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July 5, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

A Hundred SummersA Hundred Summers
by Beatriz Williams
Narrated by Kathleen McInerney

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: May 30, 2013
Format: Audio, 11 hours | 35 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy
Rating: 3 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.

Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married — an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations.

My Thoughts:

Budgie and Lily were old friends. Their families spent summers together at the oceanfront town of Seaview, Rhode Island, and the girls were close. Now they have drifted apart. It’s been a few years since they’ve seen each other but this year Budgie showed up with her new husband, Lily’s former fiancé.

Budgie is reopening the family summer home and pick up her old friendship with Lily, maybe even help her find a husband of her own. But Lily can’t move on until things are set right between her and Nick, and in the process a lot of secrets come tumbling into the present.

The novel alternates between two time periods: The present in the summer of 1938, and the story of Nick and Lily when they met in 1931. The story was pleasant and the writing was nice with lots of descriptive prose. The seaside town in the summer was enticing. But overall the story was not compelling. It didn’t pick up until halfway through and even then the plot was predictable.

There were a few twists and a big secret one of which I had figured out right away, the other I had suspected. It was a lot like a soap opera. And that’s ok, but I was hoping for a little bit more substance. The one area of history the author did touch on was the anti-Jewish sentiment in the US prior to WWII, the extent of which I was unaware.

Even though I wasn’t crazy about the story I kept listening. For one, I was curious to find out if I was right about the big secret. Also, I find it’s easier to keep listening than it is to keep reading. I’m a big audio multi-tasker and if I’m even remotely interested I can keep listening while gardening, cooking, cleaning, driving, whatever.

Narrator Kathleen McInerney’s voice was easy to listen to. I could tell most of the characters apart with the exception of the male voices who all sounded the same to me. I especially enjoyed the voice for Aunt Julie, easily the best character in the novel. She had a lot of personality and gave her uncensored opinion on everything.

This is my second attempt at reading this author. There are a lot of positive reviews and many people love her books so I gave it another chance, but I think her stories are just not for me. For those who enjoy a light historical romance, this book would make an excellent choice.

Source: Review copy
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. Elizabeth / Jul 5 2013 12:10 pm

    Thanks for the great review. I have this for review from a win on LibraryThing. I might like it….I like historical fiction as long as there isn’t a HUGE romance line going on. 🙂

    Take care.

    Silver’s Reviews


    • Leslie / Jul 5 2013 12:15 pm

      The romance part was fine, it wasn’t overdone. For me, the story had too much of a soap opera feel to it.


      • Elizabeth / Jul 5 2013 12:18 pm

        Ugghhh on the soap opera feel.

        I may move it down my list a bit. LOL!!



  2. BermudaOnion / Jul 5 2013 1:17 pm

    Sorry to see you didn’t love this one. I had high hopes for it.


    • Leslie / Jul 5 2013 2:27 pm

      I was hoping for a little more historical substance but I had a feeling going in that it would be fairly light so I’m not terribly disappointed.


  3. Julie @ Knitting and Sundries / Jul 5 2013 1:32 pm

    I can tell exactly what type of book this is by your review. I try now and then to do the “light and kind of fluffy” thing, but it’s just not my taste either.


    • Leslie / Jul 5 2013 2:42 pm

      I can read a romance once in a while as long as it doesn’t get too fairy tale like or way out there unbelievable.


  4. Laura Fabiani / Jul 5 2013 1:54 pm

    I just reviewed this one on my blog. The first book by this author felt like a Harlequin romance to me. But this one seemed to hook me more because I just loved the narration. You’re right that it’s somewhat soap-opera like.


    • Leslie / Jul 5 2013 2:41 pm

      This book was better than the first one, Overseas. I usually like time travel romances but I couldn’t get past the fairy tale like quality and unrealistic actions of our heroine. The author does do a nice job weaving the alternate time periods.


  5. diane / Jul 5 2013 3:00 pm

    I do want to read or listen to this one as it is set in RI when the 1938 hurricane hit there. I have the eBook but will try to get the audio as well. Sorry it was not a home run for you.


    • Leslie / Jul 5 2013 4:53 pm

      The hurricane is not a theme throughout the book. I was expecting a little more history on that myself. It isn’t until the end that the weather changes so to speak. I don’t mean to be cryptic, just spoiler free!


  6. Suko / Jul 5 2013 3:09 pm

    Lelsie, thank you for sharing your honest thoughts about this audiobook.

    Since you are a fan of audiobooks, you may want to enter the great giveaway for them on Laura’s Reviews, if you haven’t already done so. 🙂


    • Leslie / Jul 5 2013 4:55 pm

      I didn’t know about the giveaway. Thanks for the heads-up.


  7. Mary / Jul 5 2013 6:23 pm

    I bought this one – sounds like a good one for the beach 🙂


    • Leslie / Jul 5 2013 7:29 pm

      I think you’ll like this one.


  8. Sheila (Book Journey) / Jul 5 2013 8:01 pm

    This sounds interesting! I am always looking for good audio… I am like an audio junky 🙂


  9. stacybuckeye / Jul 9 2013 10:23 pm

    Still haven’t read her first one!



  1. Review: A Hundred Summers

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