Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on May 9th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In the Hamptons, the everyday people are as complicated and fascinating as the millionaires...
When Katie Doyle moves across the country to the Hamptons, she is hoping for summer employment, new friends for her young son, and a chance to explore a new love affair with a dazzling investor. What she finds is a strange cocktail of classes, where society’s one-percenters vacation alongside local, hard-working people who’ve lived in the Hamptons for generations. Though she’s looking forward to their move, Katie is wary about mingling with her boyfriends’ East Coast elite circles. She soon discovers Southampton isn’t all that it seems to be on the surface—and neither are the people who live there.
As George takes Katie on a whirlwind tour of country clubs, haute couture, and lavish events, she is amazed to witness sudden whims become dire needs, extra-marital affairs blossoming right and left, and people purchase friends and loyalties like a pair of shoes. Even the middle-class townspeople maintain a determined façade while maneuvering like sharks among the wealthy summer invaders.
The more Katie becomes immersed, the more she learns the secrets of both the upstairs and downstairs, the upper crust and middle of the road. The combustion between the classes becomes explosive as the summer tears on. Betrayals, a sexual predator, and a missing person lost in murky waves drive the reader on a racing Learjet ride through impossible twists and turns until landing at the shocking conclusion. When she meets Luke, a local surfer and middle school teacher, he makes her question what it is she really wants as she understands the life she’s begun for herself is built on shifting Hamptons’ dunes.
I finished this story just over a week ago and I keep thinking that I need to recommend this book to my sister, to my friends, to anyone getting ready to take their summer vacation. It’s simply a great read for anyone wanting a little escape. While there’s a romantic relationship driving the story, it’s not a romance read. It’s a story about a community and all it’s quirks; the range in social status and how people bridge gaps. A week later and it just keeps coming back to me that it really is a perfect beach read. Everything about this story; the premise, the setting, and the myriad of characters put me in a unique frame of mind. I wouldn’t want to be in the thick of their lives, but I sure loved observing the antics that occur in this a very distinct seaside community. It’s an easy read in that the story flows along as you get to know the key characters and the happenings in the Hampton’s ( Southhampton to be precise) throughout the season.
At the center is Katie, a young single mother who has uprooted her life on the west coast to spend a summer in the Hampton’s. She’s practical but definitely a risk taker, and her connection with the community is mixed. This is what makes this story interesting. While she has one foot in the “country club set” of George’s life, the other side is also happily ensconced in the water sports community, where he son quickly bonds with his instructor Luke. Oddly enough, Katie seems to fit into both worlds. Is George as straightforward as we think he is? I simply never felt he and Katie’s connection. I found myself waiting and wanting to see if he was all that she thought he was. But I had little faith. Now, the draw she feels to Luke is much more organic and his energy, the way her son Huck bonds to him, makes him much more trustworthy and endearing.
Peterson does a stellar job with the many voices in the story; Katie, Luke, Kona, and the Chase family, so we get a really rounded view of the community. But it’s George Porter who plays a pivotal role and drives the mystery. And then there’s Kona and Julia and what’s really going on there? And what about Alexa and the mystery man? And the list of characters experiencing a event filled summer goes on and on. By the end of the summer, people fall in and out of love, some discover loyalty that’s been missing in their family, and some simply get the new lease on life. It Happens in the Hamptons is a highly entertaining read. 4.5 stars!
~Review by Cyndi
Holly Peterson is the New York Times best-selling author of four books. Her latest, a work of humorous social satire, is titled, It Happens in the Hamptons, and was published by William Morrow in May of 2017. She has also authored an entertaining book, Assouline’s Smoke & Fire: Recipes and Menus for Entertaining Outdoors, and two previous works of fiction — The Idea of Him and The Manny. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek, an Editor-at-Large for Talk magazine and an Emmy Award–winning Producer for ABC News, where she spent more than a decade covering everything from global politics to trials of the century. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Town and Country, Vogue, Departures, Elle Décor, The Daily Beast, Harper’s Bazaar, and numerous other publications.