This Summer Darlings novel review gives you the details of this soap opera-like historical fiction book set in 1960s Martha's Vineyard. And because this is a book pairings blog “where books meet lifestyle,” I have also provided some recommended pairings for more fun.
Summer Darlings Novel Review
It's 1962, and coed Heddy Winsome leaves her Brooklyn neighborhood for a Summer escape as a nanny to a wealthy family in the vintage glamour of Martha’s Vineyard.
As she is thrust into the world of the rich and famous (cue the Kennedy references!), she gets an insider's look behind their oversized sunglasses and into the real, and sometimes dark, inner workings of their family dynamics.
At the same time, Heddy learns that her academic scholarship at Wellesley has been revoked, putting her entire future at risk.
And in her personal life, she nurtures a romance with a hip surfer. As Heddy comes of age during this memorable Summer, she wonders whether money solves problems or creates more of them.
But her Summer without end without some added suspense! Summer Darlings is perfect for lovers of Martha's Vineyard and/or women's historical fiction.
Pairings for Summer Darlings (Including Author Interview & Book Club Questions)
For more like Summer Darlings:
- Check out my interview with Brooke Lea Foster and discussion questions for the book. She shared SO much and really puts into focus the full cycle of initial idea and inspiration for this book to its publication.
- Check out my literary guide to Martha's Vineyard to see what it really looks like there.
- Check out my Jackie Kennedy book and Jackie Kennedy style posts.
- Upon both Foster's and my recommendation, read something by Nantucket author Elin Hilderbrand. I would especially recommend Summer of ’69 as a follow-up. I also highly recommend Beatriz Williams' Summer Wives for some vintage glamour historical fiction with a "soap opera" kind of feel.
- Watch Mad Men and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
- Listen to Niall Horan’s This Town (which Foster listened to when she wrote the party scene where Heddy approached Ash) and Rachel Platten’s Fight Song (which Foster listened to when she wrote the scene in which Heddy told off her boss).