Reviews for Hundred Summers

Booklist Reviews 2013 April #2
Dashing football hero Nick Greenwald is catapulted into the rarified milieu of Park Avenue penthouses and Ivy League campuses in the uncertain days of the Great Depression when he falls in love with Lily Dane. The meeker (though more polished), moral, and beautiful best friend of Zeldaesque flapper Budgie Byrne, Lily is immediately smitten with Nick's determination and strength, an attraction the manipulative Budgie doesn't encourage, though she doesn't necessarily discourage it, either. After all, Nick is Jewish, and Budgie is confident that Lily's socially conservative family will never condone the match. They don't, and Budgie profits from the rift, marrying Nick on the rebound, while Lily nurses her broken heart. Seven years later, the Greenwalds turn up at Seaview, Rhode Island, the perennial summer enclave for the Danes, Byrnes, and other WASP stalwarts, and their renewed presence in Lily's life unleashes a storm of unexpected consequences. Williams' sweeping saga of betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption trenchantly examines the often duplicitous nature of female friendships and family expectations. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #1
A candidate for this year's big beach read--the period story of a derailed love affair seen through a sequence of summers spent at Seaview, R.I. It's not "Whodunit?" that drives Williams' (Overseas, 2012) latest but "What went wrong?" between Lily Dane and good-looking-but-Jewish Nick Greenwald, whose love for each other seemed unstoppable. How, seven years on, can Nick be married to Lily's BFF Budgie Byrne while Lily herself is single and accompanied by her 6-year-old sister, Kiki? The answer is teased out at length via parallel narratives set in 1931 and 1938, both voiced by Lily. In 1931, she meets dashing Nick at a football game when they are both college students. Their passion is mutual, but Lily's father disapproves. Undeterred, the couple elopes. But, in 1938, they are not together. Instead, Lily is confronted by Budgie's apparently idyllic marriage to an oddly distracted Nick. Another old college pal, Graham Pendleton, previously Budgie's lover, tries to woo Lily, but their engagement falls apart. Just when the reader's exasperation with Nick, Lily and the missing link reaches its limit, explanations for their non-togetherness are delivered. And then the weather at Seaview turns distinctly stormy. An elegant if somewhat old-fashioned delayed-gratification seaside romance with a flavor of Daphne du Maurier. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 February #1

Williams, who proved herself capable of smart, delicious writing with Overseas, returns with a second novel set in upper-crust Seaview, RI, in 1938. New York socialite Lily Dane is anticipating a leisurely summer there until she learns that Nick and Budgie Greenwald are in town. What's worse than dealing with your former fiancÚ and the former best friend who stole him? Williams adds a signature touch of historic drama as a deadly hurricane hurries up the coast.

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Library Journal Reviews 2013 March #2

In 1938 Lily Dane is summering in Seaview, RI, where her family has vacationed for generations. But her hopes for a quiet, uneventful holiday with her young sister, mother, and aunt are dashed with the appearance of longtime friend Budgie and her husband, Nick Greenwald. Seven years ago it was Lily who fell in love with Nick, and his marriage to Budgie broke Lily's heart. His reappearance forces her to revisit emotional terrain she'd hoped was past. As the summer builds to a cataclysmic event, Lily and Nick's relationship is told through flashbacks. Just how did their love for each other go so wrong? VERDICT While Williams's new novel (after her acclaimed debut, Overseas) starts strongly, it becomes a bit mired in melodrama in the latter third. Lily makes for an appealing protagonist and the setting and period will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey. The problem is that only Lily and Nick are fleshed out as characters. Budgie's motivations are never fully clear, and Lily's mother, who plays a key role, is never present at all. The lack of development of the supporting cast weakens the eventual exploration of just what happened. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/13.]--Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #3

Born into post-Depression New York society, innocent, steadfast Lily Dane and fast, jazzy Budgie Byrne are best friends. It's through Budgie that Lily meets Nicholson Greenwald, handsome, smart, charming, loyal, and, in that time and place, inconveniently half Jewish. Williams alternates between Lily and Nick's 1931 courtship and the summer of 1938, when Lily returns to Seaview, the Rhode Island beach redoubt where the Byrnes and Danes have always summered. Only now ex-fiancÚ Nick and ex-bestie Budgie are Mr. and Mrs. Nick Greenwald. What Williams is good at is love (and, relatedly, sex), which is what powered her debut, Overseas, past what could have been a clunky time-travel setup. But the obstacles between Nick and Lily involve a lot of complicated plotting--by both Williams and her high-society characters--featuring secrets imperfectly kept, misplaced gallantry, blackmail, and, in the case of Lily, a tremendous ability to see things as people paint them rather than as they are. When the great New England hurricane of 1938 makes landfall near the end, it feels less like a natural disaster and more like a convenient way to get the most problematic characters out of the way so true love can prevail. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (June)

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