Hot Best Seller

The Lost Summers of Newport

Availability: Ready to download

From the New York Times bestselling team of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White--a novel of money and secrets set among the famous summer mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, spanning over a century from the Gilded Age to the present day. 2019: Andie Figuero has just landed her dream job as a producer of Mansion Makeover, a popular reality show about restoring Am From the New York Times bestselling team of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White--a novel of money and secrets set among the famous summer mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, spanning over a century from the Gilded Age to the present day. 2019: Andie Figuero has just landed her dream job as a producer of Mansion Makeover, a popular reality show about restoring America's most lavish historic houses. Andie has high hopes for her latest project: the once glorious but gently crumbling Sprague Hall in Newport, Rhode Island, summer resort of America's gilded class--famous for the lavish "summer cottages" of Vanderbilts and Belmonts. But Andie runs into trouble: the reclusive heiress who still lives in the mansion, Lucia "Lucky" Sprague, will only allow the show to go forward on two conditions: One, nobody speaks to her. Two, nobody touches the mansion's ruined boathouse. 1899: Ellen Daniels has been hired to give singing lessons to Miss Maybelle Sprague, a naive young Colorado mining heiress whose stepbrother John has poured their new money into buying a place among Newport's elite. John is determined to see Maybelle married off to a fortune-hunting Italian prince, and Ellen is supposed to polish up the girl for her launch into society. But the deceptively demure Ellen has her own checkered past, and she's hiding in plain sight at Sprague Hall. 1958: Lucia "Lucky" Sprague has always felt like an outsider at Sprague Hall. When she and her grandmother--the American-born Princess di Conti--fled Mussolini's Italy, it seemed natural to go back to the imposing Newport house Nana owned but hadn't seen since her marriage in 1899. Over the years, Lucky's lost her Italian accent and found a place for herself among the yachting set by marrying Stuyvesant Sprague, the alcoholic scion of her Sprague stepfamily. But one fateful night in the mansion's old boathouse will uncover a devastating truth...and change everything she thought she knew about her past. As the cameras roll on Mansion Makeover, the house begins to yield up the dark secrets the Spragues thought would stay hidden forever....


Compare

From the New York Times bestselling team of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White--a novel of money and secrets set among the famous summer mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, spanning over a century from the Gilded Age to the present day. 2019: Andie Figuero has just landed her dream job as a producer of Mansion Makeover, a popular reality show about restoring Am From the New York Times bestselling team of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White--a novel of money and secrets set among the famous summer mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, spanning over a century from the Gilded Age to the present day. 2019: Andie Figuero has just landed her dream job as a producer of Mansion Makeover, a popular reality show about restoring America's most lavish historic houses. Andie has high hopes for her latest project: the once glorious but gently crumbling Sprague Hall in Newport, Rhode Island, summer resort of America's gilded class--famous for the lavish "summer cottages" of Vanderbilts and Belmonts. But Andie runs into trouble: the reclusive heiress who still lives in the mansion, Lucia "Lucky" Sprague, will only allow the show to go forward on two conditions: One, nobody speaks to her. Two, nobody touches the mansion's ruined boathouse. 1899: Ellen Daniels has been hired to give singing lessons to Miss Maybelle Sprague, a naive young Colorado mining heiress whose stepbrother John has poured their new money into buying a place among Newport's elite. John is determined to see Maybelle married off to a fortune-hunting Italian prince, and Ellen is supposed to polish up the girl for her launch into society. But the deceptively demure Ellen has her own checkered past, and she's hiding in plain sight at Sprague Hall. 1958: Lucia "Lucky" Sprague has always felt like an outsider at Sprague Hall. When she and her grandmother--the American-born Princess di Conti--fled Mussolini's Italy, it seemed natural to go back to the imposing Newport house Nana owned but hadn't seen since her marriage in 1899. Over the years, Lucky's lost her Italian accent and found a place for herself among the yachting set by marrying Stuyvesant Sprague, the alcoholic scion of her Sprague stepfamily. But one fateful night in the mansion's old boathouse will uncover a devastating truth...and change everything she thought she knew about her past. As the cameras roll on Mansion Makeover, the house begins to yield up the dark secrets the Spragues thought would stay hidden forever....

30 review for The Lost Summers of Newport

  1. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    This triple timeline story recounting the melodrama in various generations of a Newport family has it all--grand houses, balls & parties at the club, jaded scions of society wreaking havoc, strong women holding their families together behind the scenes, struggles between the privileged classes & the serving folks, secret & forbidden romances, suspense, mystery & ghosts, innocent girls caught up in the plots of scheming relatives & even a cynical prince who loses his heart to an unlikely love int This triple timeline story recounting the melodrama in various generations of a Newport family has it all--grand houses, balls & parties at the club, jaded scions of society wreaking havoc, strong women holding their families together behind the scenes, struggles between the privileged classes & the serving folks, secret & forbidden romances, suspense, mystery & ghosts, innocent girls caught up in the plots of scheming relatives & even a cynical prince who loses his heart to an unlikely love interest. I was easily caught up in the lives of these characters & enjoyed hours of listening pleasure!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    The 3Ws are my FAVORITE! Individually I absolutely love Beatriz Williams, Karen White and Lauren Willig and there co-written books are just as wonderful! This is the perfect summer book -- a historical fiction set in Newport in a Gilded Age mansions where we get romance and intrigue from the 3 time periods of 1899, 1958 and 2019. 2019: Andie has her dream job on Mansion Makeover, about restoring lavish American homes. When they are working on Sprague Hall in Newport, Andie finds this project a li The 3Ws are my FAVORITE! Individually I absolutely love Beatriz Williams, Karen White and Lauren Willig and there co-written books are just as wonderful! This is the perfect summer book -- a historical fiction set in Newport in a Gilded Age mansions where we get romance and intrigue from the 3 time periods of 1899, 1958 and 2019. 2019: Andie has her dream job on Mansion Makeover, about restoring lavish American homes. When they are working on Sprague Hall in Newport, Andie finds this project a little more challenging than the past ones, especially with the conditions the family has about the work. 1958: Lucky's part of Newport society, though she feels like she doesn't always fit in. She grew up in Italy with her grandmother, but when Mussolini rose to power they moved back to the cottage in Newport that her grandmother left in 1899. She's on the committee for the Tiffany Ball to help with the preservation of the Newport cottages. 1899: Ellen has been hired to give singing lessons to Maybelle Sprague, a heiress whose brother purchased Sprague Hall. An Italian prince is coming and Maybelle's brother wants to see her married off to him, but at what cost? I loved the preservation aspect of this book (and had to laugh a few times at mentions to the 3Ws other book characters that would randomly pop up). This was a book I couldn't put down. I was drawn into the Newport scene among the 3 time periods and the secrets hiding in each one. I loved how the 3 storylines all came together at the end! If you're a fan of multi-narrator/timeline historical fiction you'll love this one!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    I’m sorry to say I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would because all three authors are excellent in their own right and I did enjoy a previous book by the three W’s. Three timelines (1899 / 1957 / 2019) each offering up unappealing, silly women and horrible drunken men and ridiculous predictable plots. There were so many characters I couldn’t keep them straight and having finished the book I’m not sure I could tell you who is who – but the thing is – I don’t care. Somewhere along th I’m sorry to say I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would because all three authors are excellent in their own right and I did enjoy a previous book by the three W’s. Three timelines (1899 / 1957 / 2019) each offering up unappealing, silly women and horrible drunken men and ridiculous predictable plots. There were so many characters I couldn’t keep them straight and having finished the book I’m not sure I could tell you who is who – but the thing is – I don’t care. Somewhere along the way Jacky Kennedy is mentioned attending a party in the 1957 section sticking out like a sore thumb making a ridiculous plot more ridiculous. This book was a dud and a waste of time. Alyssa Maxwell writes a Gilded Newport cozy mystery series featuring the stately Newport homes all of which I have enjoyed much more than I did this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    One of the best books I’ve read in 2022. A transporting novel told from three very distinct voices. Andie: a young historian who loves to explore old homes and the stories of those who live there. Andie is raising a young boy, taking care of her father and trying to find her place. When she is hired to work on the Sprague home she may find more than what she signed up for! Ellen: a young music teacher who is hired to care for a heiress as she tried to escape a sordid past. What she finds is a des One of the best books I’ve read in 2022. A transporting novel told from three very distinct voices. Andie: a young historian who loves to explore old homes and the stories of those who live there. Andie is raising a young boy, taking care of her father and trying to find her place. When she is hired to work on the Sprague home she may find more than what she signed up for! Ellen: a young music teacher who is hired to care for a heiress as she tried to escape a sordid past. What she finds is a desire to follow her heart. Lucky: a strong young mother who is navigating marriage and her desires. These three woman are bonded by stories and a home. The secrets, desires, snd loves that make them. Team W - three talented authors solo come together to write this novel. Part of the fun is to try and figure out which author write which character. The setting, the characters, the story as a whole . I adore this story and it will stay with me forever. Releases in may. Thanks to the authors, the publisher, netgalley and edelweiss for the early read

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    This review may contain some spoilers to its preposterous plot. Perhaps having three authors allows the content to have an abundance of stupid mistakes, but that's not an excuse for this reputable publisher. However, the editor didn’t do her job either. This romance thriller covers three time periods and three female protagonists. Maybe they needed a fourth contributor as there’s a generation omitted and never mentioned in the plot! Somebody provide a family tree with the missing generation! And This review may contain some spoilers to its preposterous plot. Perhaps having three authors allows the content to have an abundance of stupid mistakes, but that's not an excuse for this reputable publisher. However, the editor didn’t do her job either. This romance thriller covers three time periods and three female protagonists. Maybe they needed a fourth contributor as there’s a generation omitted and never mentioned in the plot! Somebody provide a family tree with the missing generation! And that missing generation might allow this dumb story to make some sense. The present day characters (ex. Luke) refer to their great, great grandmother as “great grandmother” which is incorrect. This is an error that any copy editor should have corrected. The motivation and cover up of deaths makes no sense, nor does the explanation of estate finances and inheritances. Just too many ridiculous sloppy contrivances that should have been rewritten by professional writers and editors. A disappointment and embarrassment of these authors.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON JUNE 23. Three women, three timelines, one house, family secrets that were to be hidden forever, and individual secrets. The book seamlessly moves from time frame to time frame as we find out about all three women and learn of their secrets, their woes, and connections. Fans of the three W's will not be disappointed as they weave another marvelous tale with the house being the center of the story and a house that sounds amazing. Loved the characters and the story line. THE LOST FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON JUNE 23. Three women, three timelines, one house, family secrets that were to be hidden forever, and individual secrets. The book seamlessly moves from time frame to time frame as we find out about all three women and learn of their secrets, their woes, and connections. Fans of the three W's will not be disappointed as they weave another marvelous tale with the house being the center of the story and a house that sounds amazing. Loved the characters and the story line. THE LOST SUMMERS OF NEWPORT is an enjoyable summer read for the fans of these authors. 5/5 This book was given to me by the publisher for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hooker

    A picturesque Newport summer, three generations of strong women, and the historic manor that holds the best kept secrets. THE LOST SUMMERS OF NEWPORT is the latest historical fiction release by writing trio Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White. The story is told in three timelines that span from the Gilded Age to present day. The infamous Newport, Rhode Island mansion looms large over the story as it witnesses defining moments over the course of a century. I felt equally invested in A picturesque Newport summer, three generations of strong women, and the historic manor that holds the best kept secrets. THE LOST SUMMERS OF NEWPORT is the latest historical fiction release by writing trio Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White. The story is told in three timelines that span from the Gilded Age to present day. The infamous Newport, Rhode Island mansion looms large over the story as it witnesses defining moments over the course of a century. I felt equally invested in each storyline and found it interesting to consider how the three authors worked together to seamlessly weave the timelines together. Although this is a longer read, I enjoyed getting lost in the pages. Readers who enjoy layered mysteries, the extravagance of the gilded age, and coastal summer setting will want to toss this in their beach bag! RATING: 4/5

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This was a book that I just could not get into, no matter how hard I tried. I did not relate to the characters or the story or anything. I wanted this one to end quickly, but it felt like it dragged on. I think that we have an audience for this book in the library, but I am not that audience.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I think this might be my favorite of their writing collaborations. Really did enjoy all three parts, even if I figured out what happened to make the storylines converge pretty early.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I'm a huge fan of Team W, the writing trio of authors for this book. I've read every book they put out and have loved them all. This book is my least favorite. I didn't connect much with the present day character, Andie. But the other two time lines were interesting and kept me going. I'm a huge fan of Team W, the writing trio of authors for this book. I've read every book they put out and have loved them all. This book is my least favorite. I didn't connect much with the present day character, Andie. But the other two time lines were interesting and kept me going.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    Well, I’m afraid I fall into the minority of readers who find this book very disappointing. I wanted to love it … I really did. I love the concept of three strong women writers collaborating to create one novel. To my mind, however, the execution totally failed. I found the three timeline scheme incredibly confusing, for starters. Nowhere in those three timelines could I find a character I connected with. I can’t figure out why Ellen would work for free, why Lucky would stay married to a vacuous Well, I’m afraid I fall into the minority of readers who find this book very disappointing. I wanted to love it … I really did. I love the concept of three strong women writers collaborating to create one novel. To my mind, however, the execution totally failed. I found the three timeline scheme incredibly confusing, for starters. Nowhere in those three timelines could I find a character I connected with. I can’t figure out why Ellen would work for free, why Lucky would stay married to a vacuous playboy, or how Andie produces a makeover program despite never doing any work. None of these women can, apparently, survive without a white knight riding in on his charger. How, oh how, does no one smell decomposition in the boathouse? I just can’t!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    3.5 I usually love the books by the 3 Ws but this was both a little too gothic and a little too predictable for me. Lucky was the most engaging character for me- wouldn’t mind a whole book for her!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I almost didn't read this one but I'm so glad I did!! A multi-timeline story, this book is set among the glamor of Newport society and one family's grand mansion. Each timeline is intricately woven and we get to know three generations of the Spragues. In the present (2019), Andie is hired to renovate the crumbling mansion as part of a reality tv show. Nothing is going to plan though as things keep disappearing and the remains of a dead body are discovered. 1899: Ellen is young woman from Colorado I almost didn't read this one but I'm so glad I did!! A multi-timeline story, this book is set among the glamor of Newport society and one family's grand mansion. Each timeline is intricately woven and we get to know three generations of the Spragues. In the present (2019), Andie is hired to renovate the crumbling mansion as part of a reality tv show. Nothing is going to plan though as things keep disappearing and the remains of a dead body are discovered. 1899: Ellen is young woman from Colorado who is hired to give singing lessons to Miss Maybelle Sprague, the young lady living at Sprague Hall whose brother is trying to marry her off to an Italian prince. 1958: Lucia "Lucky" Sprague has returned to her family home after fleeing Mussolini's Italy. Sadly she finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage and falling for another man. Great on audio, with a stellar cast of narrators including Brittany Pressley and Saskia Maarleveld, this was a wonderful multi-generational family story full of secrets, lies, romance and intrigue. Perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Val (pagespoursandpups)

    Put together 3 amazing and accomplished writers, a gorgeous Rhode Island setting, 3 distinct timelines and a dysfunctional family and what have you got? A blockbuster book of course. Spanning 1899, 1957 and 2019, this story follows the Sprague family. In 1899, Maybelle is introduced to a prince in hopes of forging a marriage between a family with wealth and a family with status. In 1957, Lucky is married to Stuy Sprague, a handsome and unfortunately philandering man with a severe alcohol problem. Put together 3 amazing and accomplished writers, a gorgeous Rhode Island setting, 3 distinct timelines and a dysfunctional family and what have you got? A blockbuster book of course. Spanning 1899, 1957 and 2019, this story follows the Sprague family. In 1899, Maybelle is introduced to a prince in hopes of forging a marriage between a family with wealth and a family with status. In 1957, Lucky is married to Stuy Sprague, a handsome and unfortunately philandering man with a severe alcohol problem. Although she loves Stuy, her heart resides with another. 2019 finds Andie, a producer with the TV show Makeover Mansion, tackling surface updates to a falling down and long since grand Sprague Hall. A historic preservationist at heart, she finds herself enticed by the mystery surrounding the reclusive Lucky and the secrets Sprague Hall seems to be hiding. The alternating timelines jump around a bit, but help to build the bigger picture. The stories and characters finally all intertwine. The twist at the end wasn’t too difficult to figure out, but didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story. There were definitely characters I really liked and definitely ones I despised. I love when an author (or authors in the case) lead me to feel strongly about characters. This is a perfect beach read- a little glamour, a little history, a little forbidden love, a little mystery and a lot of generational family drama. There is a little something for everyone in this story. Definitely recommend. Thank you to partners @bibliolifestyle, @williammorrowbooks

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    I've been obsessed with the Vanderbilts and the summer houses of Newport for years, so I was excited to see this in the library catalogue. Sadly, I got sick of it at about a third of the way through, I couldn't manage to continue. It seemed to have little point. Walked away. I've been obsessed with the Vanderbilts and the summer houses of Newport for years, so I was excited to see this in the library catalogue. Sadly, I got sick of it at about a third of the way through, I couldn't manage to continue. It seemed to have little point. Walked away.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth Miranda

    3 Ivy League Graduates walk into a bar….. I hope this doesn’t start a trend. Three extremely well educated moms get together over Prosecco and try to write “historical” fiction. Is it a reflection of the wine, the Ivy League education, great connections, or all 3? It only took 1 person to write a Danielle Steel novel. I was hoping for much more Newport history and intrigue. Instead we are presented with impossible scenarios with crazy transparent rationalizations and absurd outcomes. Makes me wan 3 Ivy League Graduates walk into a bar….. I hope this doesn’t start a trend. Three extremely well educated moms get together over Prosecco and try to write “historical” fiction. Is it a reflection of the wine, the Ivy League education, great connections, or all 3? It only took 1 person to write a Danielle Steel novel. I was hoping for much more Newport history and intrigue. Instead we are presented with impossible scenarios with crazy transparent rationalizations and absurd outcomes. Makes me want to get out the Pinot Grigio and a pen to see what happens!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    I recently watched and enjoyed the TV series, The Gilded Age, and after reading the synopsis of this book, I was immediately intrigued. This historical fiction book is set in Newport in one of the Gilded Age mansions where we get romance and intrigue during the 3 time periods of 1899, 1958 and 2019. The book opens in 2019 with Andie landing a job on Mansion Makeover, restoring lavish American homes. Andie finds working on Sprague Hall in Newport a little more challenging than the past ones, beca I recently watched and enjoyed the TV series, The Gilded Age, and after reading the synopsis of this book, I was immediately intrigued. This historical fiction book is set in Newport in one of the Gilded Age mansions where we get romance and intrigue during the 3 time periods of 1899, 1958 and 2019. The book opens in 2019 with Andie landing a job on Mansion Makeover, restoring lavish American homes. Andie finds working on Sprague Hall in Newport a little more challenging than the past ones, because of the conditions the family has about the work, and family contact. In 1958 we meet Lucky, part of Newport society but uncomfortable with it as well. She grew up in Italy with her grandmother, but when Mussolini rose to power they moved back to the cottage in Newport that her grandmother left in 1899. Finally we meet Ellen and Maybelle Sprague in 1899. Ellen has been hired to give singing lessons to Maybelle, an heiress whose half-brother is trying to purchase acceptance in society by marrying her off to an Italian prince. He treats Ellen like a slave and has an incorrigible son. There are some mysteries to solve, especially why some areas are off limits, as well as why Andie is not supposed to talk to family members. I really enjoyed The Lost Summers of Newport penned by the wonderful writing team of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White. This group does such a wonderful job of writing together that it amazes me the book was written by more than one author. This is a story of secrets, greed, power, bullying, family and more. Each generation has secrets that affect the next, and they gradually come out in the story with a huge reveal at the end. I don't want to give away the story as it is beautifully revealed by these authors, but I will say it is a story with grand houses, balls & parties, backroom deals, strong women, class struggles, secret & forbidden romances, suspense, mystery, innocent girls being used to further family fortunes, and family. The three timelines are shared in alternating chapters, but come together so well as the story progresses. If you enjoy historical fiction, multiple timelines and a good family story/mystery, then I definitely recommend this book to you. I was fortunate to be able to listen to the audiobook that was done so well with the amazing narration by the team of Saskia Maarleveld, Brittany Pressley, and Lisa Flanagan. It gave each of the main characters and timeline it's own voice so it felt like I was listening to the characters share their stories with me. An extremely enjoyable experience that I recommend. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of the audiobook upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    3.5 stars I love Team W, but this one just didn't do it for me. To be more specific would spoil it for others, I'm afraid. 3.5 stars I love Team W, but this one just didn't do it for me. To be more specific would spoil it for others, I'm afraid.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer N

    This was a triple storyline book. The first is the late 1800s where Marybel is being groomed to marry an Italian prince. She is an American heiress and he needed money. We get the perspective of the music tutor. In the 1950s we have a woman who is married to a player but in love with another man. She is the grandaughter of the ITalian princess. In the present we have a woman who is trying to host a renovation show. She begins to learn the history of the house. It was really entertaining to see h This was a triple storyline book. The first is the late 1800s where Marybel is being groomed to marry an Italian prince. She is an American heiress and he needed money. We get the perspective of the music tutor. In the 1950s we have a woman who is married to a player but in love with another man. She is the grandaughter of the ITalian princess. In the present we have a woman who is trying to host a renovation show. She begins to learn the history of the house. It was really entertaining to see how the 3 storylines tied together.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Diephouse

    Slow beginning, suspenseful at the end, the plot twist was predictable however. Still a good read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Royce

    It may be raining outside, but indoors it’s all about summer with my latest #fridayreads #TheLostSummersofNewport! And Beatriz Williams, KarenWhite & Lauren Willig will lead off the Summer Literary Series at @OceanHouseRI May 16! Watch:https://www.instagram.com/tv/CdORNDqv... It may be raining outside, but indoors it’s all about summer with my latest #fridayreads #TheLostSummersofNewport! And Beatriz Williams, KarenWhite & Lauren Willig will lead off the Summer Literary Series at @OceanHouseRI May 16! Watch:https://www.instagram.com/tv/CdORNDqv...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scilla

    For fans of gilded age, Newport, vanderbilts, New England /and mysteries….

  23. 4 out of 5

    Allison Thrower

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was sucked in by a story about a house both in its glory days and its eventual restoration, occupied by a mysterious family in New England society. I liked how it was told from multiple perspectives over several generations. All the narrators had interesting storylines. The only downside was the writers did some annoying things toward the later parts of the book, such as rushing through some parts and lingering too long on others.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beth Vandegriff

    This book needs three separate reviews. 1899 timeline- 3 stars. However I HATED the voice the audiobook used for Maybell. 1960’s timeline- 4 stars. Loved it. 2019 timeline- 1 star. The only good part about it was that it wrapped up the other two. The romance was stupid and really cheesy and predictable. But it was too hallmark movie for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    From the bestselling trio of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White --- affectionately dubbed “Team W” by their adoring fans --- comes THE LOST SUMMERS OF NEWPORT, a centuries-spanning novel set among the famous summer mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. From the mid-19th century to the early 20th, Newport became home first to wealthy Southern plantation owners, then to wealthy northerners, soon marking itself as the place to be for Gilded Age businessmen, heiresses and even celebrities. From the bestselling trio of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White --- affectionately dubbed “Team W” by their adoring fans --- comes THE LOST SUMMERS OF NEWPORT, a centuries-spanning novel set among the famous summer mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. From the mid-19th century to the early 20th, Newport became home first to wealthy Southern plantation owners, then to wealthy northerners, soon marking itself as the place to be for Gilded Age businessmen, heiresses and even celebrities. Williams, Willig and White portray a starkly different version of gilded Newport, starting their story in September 2019, when Andie Figuero, the host of the popular reality show “Makeover Mansion,” descends upon Sprague Hall, a crumbling mansion owned first by a robber baron, then by an old-money Knickerbocker family, and, finally, by the Spragues, a new-money family whose rapid rise to wealth was wrapped in a glittery facade and a fair amount of scandal. Andie has been tasked with renovating three major rooms in the Italian Renaissance-style mansion. But her hopes of returning it to its former glory have been dashed by her mentor and producer, Marc Albertson, who is facing increasing pressure from the network to “sex up” the show. Instead of digging into the history of a home and finding a way to unite its past and its present, Andie is more frequently asked to dig into a family’s history and air their dirty laundry for audiences who care less about history and more about clickbait. It’s clear that Andie has her work cut out for her as the owner’s grandchildren, Luke and Hadley, seem to be at odds over the future of Sprague Hall and their grandmother’s wishes. Although their grandmother, Lucky Sprague, occupies its upper floors, Andie is given firm directions to never seek her out or speak to her, which only increases her curiosity about the home’s decay while providing a firm obstacle to impressing her producer and keeping her show alive. Jumping back to the summer of 1957, the authors introduce us to Lucky herself: the Italian granddaughter of the mansion’s then-owner, American-born Princess Maybelle di Conti. Having fled Mussolini’s Italy, Lucky and her grandmother, Nonna, are outsiders at Sprague Hall, despite Maybelle’s ownership of the mansion and her lineage as the heiress of the Sprague family fortune. Beautiful, cold Lucky is married to Stuyvesant Sprague, the alcoholic and adulterous son of her grandmother’s stepfamily, securing her ties to Sprague mansion, but also trapping her in a tumultuous, loveless relationship. With inflation and taxes rising, the Newport mansions, which once “had a single perfect moment in history, and then the hour was past,” have begun to fall into disarray, and the wealthy families who once hosted lavish parties and celebrity guests have started organizing charity events and work focused on preserving their beloved but now unaffordable homes. But with the Sprague family patriarch, Dudley, a hateful, jealous man, ranting from his deathbed, Lucky is made privy to a dark family secret that threatens her safety and security at the mansion. Taking the narrative back even further to the summer of 1899, the height of Newport’s Gilded Age, we once again view the Sprague family from an outsider’s perspective: that of Ellen Daniels, a young woman who has been hired to teach 17-year-old Maybelle, the heiress to the Sprague fortune, to sing. Maybelle’s greedy stepbrother and guardian, John, has set into motion her marriage to an Italian prince, with the ulterior motive of securing his own wealth and standing in society. As Ellen comes to adore quiet, soft-spoken and eager to please (or, rather, terrified of displeasing) Maybelle and meets the prince alongside her, she worries that the family’s control of young, impressionable Maybelle will prove damaging to her, even while she fights to protect Maybelle from the gossipy, backstabbing social climbers of Newport’s lesser families (and lesser-known relatives of famous families). At the same time, Ellen is hiding her own secrets, and securing Maybelle’s marriage may bury them, especially if she is asked to accompany Maybelle to Italy, leaving her tragic past behind once and for all. But Newport, for all its glitz and glamour, is a treacherous, fickle place where the gossip mill never ceases and allies as well as enemies can be bought, traded and sold. Ellen will have to keep her wits and heart about her if she is to save Maybelle from tragedy and protect herself as well. With so much riding on the marriage, tragedy and heartbreak seem inevitable. And with the crumbling present-day Sprague Hall fresh in readers’ minds, it's obvious that while Maybelle did wed her prince, there’s far more to the story than a fairy tale ending. In any multi-perspective work, readers will have a favorite main character, and though it is difficult to choose one here, I found Lucky to be the most beautifully crafted. Perhaps it is because we see so much of her, from the young, ambitious wife to the sharp-witted, fierce old matriarch, but something about her expertly drawn character --- always motivated, always plotting her next move --- had me turning pages faster and faster in hopes of a glimpse of her. That we get to see her beginnings in Maybelle and her romances helps sharpen the portrait of her while exemplifying the strong matrilineal arcs so often found in the works of Williams, Willig and White. (Of course, I adored Ellen and Andie as well!) As always, Team W lays a strong, weight-bearing foundation with their choice of setting. That Newport has undergone so many total transformations makes it the perfect setting for a centuries-spanning work of historical fiction, but even then, they do not rely on the setting to do the heavy lifting for them. Their attention to detail, their gorgeous, vivid descriptions, and their tender care for the history behind their work is on full display here. Although you’ll find yourself frantically Googling images of the Newport mansions and the gowns worn in them, you really won’t need to, as the authors have built a world that not only leaps off the page, but welcomes you in with a crisp gin drink and a balmy sea breeze. But of course, as any Team W reader knows, it’s their characters --- and the meticulously plotted twists that tie them together --- that make their books truly unforgettable. There is a single, shimmering thread tying together the lives of Andie, Lucky and Ellen, and though it’s tempting to be on the lookout for clues about it, the glory of reading a Team W novel is that you don’t have to be. Reading THE LOST SUMMERS OF NEWPORT means putting your faith in the writers to drop clues when necessary, measure out their reveals perfectly, and --- somehow --- distract you with the details and character arcs so thoroughly that you can’t see their jaw-dropping sleights of hand. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    A big satisfying read set in three different time periods of family secrets, lies, and.....In 2019, Andie, an expert on house restoration, finds herself doing a reality tv makeover of Sprague Hall, a crumbling mansion inhabited by Lucky, the elderly woman who owns it, and fighting with her heirs, including her grandson Lucas, about the project. The story of Sprague Hall starts much earlier- in 1899, when Ellen lies about her background to get the job of teaching Maybelle Sprague to sing in order A big satisfying read set in three different time periods of family secrets, lies, and.....In 2019, Andie, an expert on house restoration, finds herself doing a reality tv makeover of Sprague Hall, a crumbling mansion inhabited by Lucky, the elderly woman who owns it, and fighting with her heirs, including her grandson Lucas, about the project. The story of Sprague Hall starts much earlier- in 1899, when Ellen lies about her background to get the job of teaching Maybelle Sprague to sing in order to snare the Italian prince her brother John is bringing to Newport. Then there's 1957, when Lucky, who grew up in Italy with her Nonna and Nanno until forced to flee by WWII, is unhappily married to Stuy Sprague, son of the hateful Dudley and grandson of..wait for it...John. Stuy (how is that pronounced?) disappears one night, leaving behind a boat with empty bottles and is never seen again. What happened to him? There are several mysteries here, which will only become obvious the further you read, as well as a twist (I guess that one early on but still, wait for it because there's more to the story). I'm assuming I somehow missed a discussion by the gossips of how Lucky and Stuy would be cousins as he is John's grandson and she is Maybelle's granddaughter. It had me turning the pages thanks to the storytelling and the small details (Ellen's hat! Joannie's bracelets!) There's romance and lovers who can't be together. And not everyone is who they appear to be at first glance. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I have always been fascinated by the old mansions and “old money” that Newport has in its history, so I was excited to pick up this book by these three authors since I have enjoyed their collabs before. Told in three different timelines by three different women, it tells the story of one family and the secrets that go back centuries. I enjoyed this story and liked all three narrators in the audiobook, but I found myself always wishing for more. It was very “basic” to me, no real depth. They had I have always been fascinated by the old mansions and “old money” that Newport has in its history, so I was excited to pick up this book by these three authors since I have enjoyed their collabs before. Told in three different timelines by three different women, it tells the story of one family and the secrets that go back centuries. I enjoyed this story and liked all three narrators in the audiobook, but I found myself always wishing for more. It was very “basic” to me, no real depth. They had such an interesting premise and I enjoyed it enough to always want to continue listening, but this just honestly kind of fell flat for me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Love these 3 authors, separately and together. Lucky felt very much like a Beatriz Williams character. Interesting with the 3 different timelines where characters overlapped. I guessed the reveal at the end fairly early on, but that's ok. Love these 3 authors, separately and together. Lucky felt very much like a Beatriz Williams character. Interesting with the 3 different timelines where characters overlapped. I guessed the reveal at the end fairly early on, but that's ok.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Dyer

    Round up to 4.5 stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessica (readitandquip) H

    Love this trio of brilliant writers! I guessed the one twist pretty early on, but enjoyed the intricacies of the plot nonetheless.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...