THE SUMMER WIVES introduces readers to Miranda Schuyler, a naïve 18-year-old who, after her mother remarries, arrives on the elite, secretive Winthrop Island in the Long Island Sound in the summer of 1951. Instantly, she’s catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister—all world-weary bravado and engaged to a wealthy Island scion—is eager to draw Miranda into the secret customs of Winthrop society.
But beneath the Island’s patrician surface, there are two clans: the wealthy summer families, with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions; and the working class of Portuguese fisherman and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. Uneasy in her new surroundings, Miranda is drawn to Joseph, a young lobsterman whose father keeps the lighthouse. Joseph’s fate is linked to the Fisher family by powerful threads, and as the summer winds to its end, Miranda finds herself caught in the island’s web of secrets that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the island for nearly two decades.
When Miranda returns to Winthrop Island in 1969, she’s a renowned actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains much the same—determined to keep the outside world off its shores and fiercely loyal to those who belong—but the formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself and Miranda is no longer a naïve teenager as she begins an inexorable quest for justice for the man she once loved. Even if that means uncovering every last one of the secrets that binds the families of Winthrop Island.
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