Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Review: Montauk by Nicola Harrison

An epic and cinematic novel by debut author Nicola Harrison, Montauk captures the glamour and extravagance of a summer by the sea with the story of a woman torn between the life she chose and the life she desires.

Montauk, Long Island, 1938.

For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor―a two-hundred room seaside hotel―while Harry pursues other interests in the city.
College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.
As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.
Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…

My Review:

Montauk is an extraordinary tale that had me hooked from the very start. 

Stuck in a loveless and childless marriage, Beatrice has hopes for her marriage when her husband, Harry, suggests they spend the summer at newest beach resort, The Montauk Manor.  But, it turns out Harry doesn’t plan on staying.  He leaves Beatrice there while he goes back to the city to work.  Beatrice isn’t comfortable hanging out with the society women at the resort, so she befriends the laundry woman at the resort which leads to meeting Thomas, the lighthouse keeper.  Beatrice ends up having an affair with Thomas and as summer is coming to an end, she is left with some life altering decisions that need to be made.

This book took me by surprise.  After reading the premise, I thought it was going to be good.  But, I had no idea it would be this good.  To say I got hooked on the story would be an understatement.  I will definitely be reading more books by this author.  

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  


  1. Replies
    1. Oh yea. It was really good. The book was a little longer than the ones I usually read, but it was well worth the extra time it took to read it.