1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Summer Wives  By  cover art

The Summer Wives

By: Beatriz Williams
Narrated by: Kristin Kalbli
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $31.93

Buy for $31.93

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Beatriz Williams brings us the blockbuster novel of the season - an electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power, and redemption set among the inhabitants of an island off the New England coast....

In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island as a schoolgirl from the margins of high society, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda’s catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister - all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion - is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.

But beneath the island’s patrician surface, there are really two clans: the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. In summer, Joseph helps his father in the lobster boats, but in the autumn he returns to Brown University, where he’s determined to make something of himself. Since childhood, Joseph’s enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and as the summer winds to its end, Miranda’s caught in a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the island for nearly two decades.

Now, in the landmark summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned Shakespearean actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same - determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for the murder of Miranda’s stepfather 18 years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naïve teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice for the man she once loved...even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island.

©2018 Beatriz Williams (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Summer Wives

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    521
  • 4 Stars
    324
  • 3 Stars
    169
  • 2 Stars
    34
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    614
  • 4 Stars
    235
  • 3 Stars
    88
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    14
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    468
  • 4 Stars
    277
  • 3 Stars
    158
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    17

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Oh hum!

Chick-Lit mystery. Narrator was good until she got into using accents. Instead of New Enland or upper crust accents, they sound more like "Brooklyneese" ...so annoying!!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I love all of Beatriz Williams books (a Hundred Summers being my favorite), but this one was not to the level of the others.
It was ok, but I won't read (listen) to it again.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mystery, lyrical prose and fascinating setting

Finally a novel worth recommending on its literary merit and enjoyment level. The characters struggle with social position or lack of, distilled on a small island, the hypocrisy of the times, and of money-always money-and the tension eventually expressed in murder... plus a destined romance, make this an enthralling “listen” or read. I only wish the author could refrain from occasionally confiding to the reader with “You know?”

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good read

The story is romantic and intriguing even if a little obvious. But the romanticism was beautiful without being overly cheesy. I enjoyed the listen and would recommend.

The reader’s voice was not exactly to my taste. Her pronunciation at times felt stretched and somewhat annoying. But she did a wonderful job discerning character voices.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too much for me

This "beach read" was well structured and written but I just wanted to gag with the drama. One sexual infidelity after another just made my eyes roll over and over. I read the book because it was a book club pick. It just wasn't my thing but if you are headed to the beach or a vacation and want to get caught up in a soap opera in book form, go for it!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

voice for all the male characters was awful.

like scratching on a chalkboard. couldn’t stand the narrator ( a woman) trying to sound like a man. made al the men unattractive because their voices were so whimpy.
not a great story either. sorry.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A little better than most beach reads

I found the story interesting although I got a little confused with the going back and forth with the time span. I enjoyed the 1950’s setting because it reminded me of my grandparents.

The story had a decent plot that I enjoyed more than your average women’s issues/beach read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

everything you want in an easy summer listen

I skipped to this book from one of Elin Hildebrand's (my favorite) because that specific one was a bit lacking. Holy cow, I'm so glad I did! This story was engaging and lovely. I didn't want to put it down. I finished it in 6 days (that's really fast for me).

To comment on other reviews - yes, the accents missed the mark, but it didn't ruin the story. At the end it got slow (but the rest of the book redeemed it.)

I found it humorous in parts because it seemed like she was in a contest to see how many times she could use the word "clandestine" within a single book. Oh well.

I didn't find it THAT predictable, just a couple of details. The end pays off like the end of Tana French's books.

I haven't read many of the authors books, but I put it at par or slightly below One Hundred Summers, and above The Secret Life of Violet Grant.

Listen if you're looking for an escape!

TW- don't want to give away a plot point, but there's a tiny bit of domestic violence. I'm usually really bothered by it, but it was brief enough that I didn't have to put the story down. you be the judge.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Painful

I force myself to get through this book by turning the speed up to 1.5. This was a torturous story and torturous chapters that were oddly connected. I do not recommend this book for anybody

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Read for a Book Club and enjoyed it

It started out a bit confusing so I also downloaded the pdf to read alongside which helped the confusion in the beginning. I ended up getting caught up in the book although I typically read non-fiction. It wasn't the typical romance novel, but the plot was strangely compelling.