In 1931 New England, lifelong friends Budgie Burn and Lily Dane drive up from college to see Budgie’s latest flame play football. It’s on the football field that Lily first sets eyes on QB Nick Greenwald. Despite Nick’s half-Jewish heritage and the societal challenges that entails, Lily and Nick embark on a great love affair which culminates with an engagement and a botched elopement. Now, seven years later, Lily plans to summer at Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family and Budgie’s have summered for generations. But now, Lily must share the beach with Budgie and her new husband, Nick. Torn between her loyalty to the unstable Budgie and the hurt and anger she still harbors towards Nick, Lily makes the best of things and spends most of her time with her six year old sister Kiki. Everything about the marriage is not as Budgie would like it to appear, however, and as much as Lily wishes the Greenwalds well, she can’t forget the love she shared with Nick and how it all fell apart in the early days of 1932.
This book is expertly written, with the latter day storyline carefully interspersed with the past, so that the reader does not know the full back story until the 1938 plot nears its conclusion. We are left in suspense, never quite knowing exactly why Lily and Nick broke it off in the first place, which leaves the reader unsure of how the book will ultimately end. Lily’s integrity, bravery, and pluck make her a lovable heroine – especially as the full backstory is ever so gradually revealed. This book stands out for its deep emotion and careful plotting – two elements that make what could have been a mediocre story really stand out.
Amazon link is here.