Beatriz Williams has made a name for herself as a historical novelist with a knack for the obscured whisperings and yearnings of women’s lives ... She adds to that canon with The Summer Wives ... Williams writes of Miranda’s journey in both timelines with a keen eye for the wounds unique to both the first flushes of teenage love and an older, deeper, more enduring ache ... Williams’ particular gift as a writer is peeling back the pages of history to breathe life into the interior lives of women ... With The Summer Wives, she has perhaps crafted her most evocative and stirring novel yet ... But Williams also never falls into the trap of nostalgia, always taking care to draw back the curtain on this sparkling world to show the rottenness at its core ... The novel is also a compelling mystery that will keep you turning the pages to discover both the secrets of the past and the prospects of the future. Williams writes with compassion and empathy for all of her characters, beguiling you with twists and turns.
...a satisfying simmer of a read about stepsisters, passion and murder ... Miranda is a beautifully crafted character ... Some of Williams’ lovemaking scenes veer into Bridges of Madison County territory of impassioned prose – which is a plus or minus, depending on how you felt crossing that bridge.
...it wasn’t until I picked up her latest novel, The Summer Wives, that I realized what a master storyteller the author really is ... I loved watching Miranda change from a timid wallflower into a self-assured, mature woman who refuses to let social conventions dictate the way she lives her life ... If you go into this book expecting a mystery, you’re likely to be disappointed. The Summer Wives does contain an undercurrent of suspense, but it’s not the force that drives the story. Instead, the novel’s focus is on the relationships between the various characters ... The writing is lyrical and poignant without being overly dramatic or pretentious. Ms. Williams managed to transport me to a different place and time.