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The Lost Summers of Newport - family secrets across the generations in one decaying mansion.

Known as the “three W’s,” Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White are each accomplished authors. (Williams’ three-book Schuyler Sisters series is one of my all-time favorites.) Yet when the three write together, something extra special happens. With The Lost Summers of Newport, we are treated to a very entertaining story of three compelling women told in three time periods seamlessly weaved together for one highly enjoyable book.

In 2019, Andie Figuero is host of Makeover Mansions, a reality TV show. The current season will feature Sprague Hall, a Newport, R.I. mansion that has seen better days. As a trained architectural historian, Andie is frustrated that the producers want the direction of the show to veer from its original premise of authentic restoration to a more gossipy format revealing hidden family secrets. Lucia “Lucky” Sprague has agreed to allow the home to be featured in the series but has a strict set of rules, which include not talking to her or going near the property’s boathouse. The story shifts to 1899 as Ellen Daniels arrives to give music lessons to 17-year-old Maybelle Sprague. As the heiress to the family fortune, Maybelle’s stepbrother is planning to marry her off to an Italian prince who is heavy in debt. And we meet a younger Lucky in 1957, who is raising a daughter, has a cheating husband and yearns for the married man next door. Lucky and her grandmother Maybelle had returned to the family home after fleeing Mussolini’s fascist Italy years before. Family secrets and possibly murder have kept the Sprague family very guarded. Until now. Perhaps it’s time for the truth to be told and reveal why the boathouse is off limits.

While reading The Lost Summers of Newport, I tried to determine which of the three time periods I favored and decided I couldn’t pick as each supported the others so well. It’s impossible to tell that three authors wrote this one, engaging book. But thankfully they did. If you’ve ever been to Newport, R.I. and have toured the many incredible mansions, you’ll especially enjoy how this book captures the different periods and this unique setting. Fans of the authors will surely love this book but if you haven’t read anything from them, this is a good place to start.

Many thanks to William Morrow / HarperCollins for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in advance of its release.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Historical / Contemporary Fiction / Mystery.

Publication Date: May 17, 2022.

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