Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster

I really appreciate good historical fiction and Summer Darlings captured me. The story is set in the 1960’s on Martha’s Vineyard, known for being a summer playground of the rich and famous.

Our protagonist is Heddy Winsome, a college student who has recently lost her scholarship and whose final year at Wellesley is therefore in jeopardy. Heddy has worked hard to be the first in her family to attend college, and has been raised as the only child in a single parent, financially poor family. She is on the island to care for the children of a wealthy family who appear to have the kind of life she so desires. She believes this a life-changing time in her life - will she meet a man who brings with him the lifestyle she so desires?

Heddy actually meets two men who become the romances of her summer. One has the financial security she so desires, and the other is full of charisma and charm. Heddy is confused as she feels attraction to both of these men - how can she choose just one? Along the way, she learns that money doesn’t always buy happiness and the persona of life outside of the home is often vastly different then what is actually experienced inside of it. Additionally, she learns that she needs to protect and provide for herself and not be dependent on others for what she desires in life.

The book is full of interesting characters including Gigi, a Hollywood starlet who befriends Heddy and becomes a bit of a mentor to her. The book kept me engaged throughout, had a few twists, and a surprising ending. I appreciated the theme of empowerment of women, especially given the context of the book. I recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction.

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

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