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Review: The Lost Summers of Newport

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The Lost Summers of Newport is the latest book out by Team W, the bestselling team of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White. This is the newest of their collaborations and I can assure you, it’s a winner!

If you’re familiar with these authors, you’ll know that they are each very successful authors on their own. So it’s no surprise that when they pool their considerable talent, they come up with wonderful blockbusters like The Lost Summers of Newport, among others.

My review will give you a short synopsis of the book along with my thoughts on it and whether you should read it or not.

The Lost Summers of Newport

the lost summers of newport

The Lost Summers of Newport is the latest collaboration published by the writing team of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White. While these collaborations aren’t technically part of a book series, they do mention some characters that will be familiar to you if you’ve read many of Beatriz Williams’s other novels.

The truth is that each of these talented ladies is a successful author on her own.

Beatriz Williams is the author of 16 historical fiction novels as of right now, three of which are collaborations with Lauren Willig and Karen White.

Lauren Willig is also a historical fiction author, perhaps best known for her Pink Carnation historical mystery series.

And last but not least, Karen White writes southern women’s fiction, as well as a contemporary paranormal mystery series.

Together, these women certainly create some marvelous books!

But for now, let’s get back to their latest collaboration.

Publishers Synopsis of The Lost Summers of Newport

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 has 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….

The Lost Summers of Newport – What I Liked

There are so many things I loved about this book, that it’s difficult to just name a few.

The first is certainly the setting of the book – Newport, Rhode Island. And specifically, the famous summer mansions of Newport during the Gilded Age as well as in the 1950s and also the present day. I’ve only visited Newport once so far, and during that visit, I was fortunate enough to tour one of those fabulous summer mansions.

This book has really rekindled my interest in Newport and in visiting every single one of those “cottages” as they were called at the time. On my next visit, I also intend to walk the famous cliff walk, just like the characters in the book.

The three different time frames that the book was set in really kept the story moving, as almost every chapter moved to a different period of time along with a different set of characters.

Some famous families (like the Vanderbilts) were sprinkled in with the fictitious ones I found this interesting. It really gives you a chance to imagine how those real families lived.

The characters were likable – some of them, that is. Others, not so much. But isn’t that what makes a book interesting?

In the end, reading The Lost Summers of Newport really made me imagine living in one of these cottages during the turn of the century. And wondering what it would be like to be a neighbor of the Vanderbilts or another famous family. It had me imagining living the lifestyle of those privileged few, and wondering what I would have felt like at the time.

Of course, my imaginings had me living the life of one of the privileged. This book also made me consider what it might have felt like to be living the life of one that was not so privileged back then. The kitchen staff, the maids, the gardeners, and the many other people who quietly supported the lifestyle of the very rich and privileged ones.

This book was fast-paced, and by the time I got near the end, I couldn’t turn those pages fast enough. I was just desperate to see what was going to happen next.

The Lost Summers of Newport – What I Disliked

There really wasn’t anything that I disliked about this book. It was a bit tricky at first to figure out who everyone was with all the changes in time frames. But, once I read a few chapters from each time period portrayed in the book, I felt I know the characters quite well.

The Lost Summers of Newport – Read, Reread or Reconsider?

And now, for my 3 Rs of book reviews. Should you read, reread or reconsider The Lost Summers of Newport?

A Definite Read

The Lost Summers of Newport was a page-turning blockbuster of a book and I highly recommend it.

In fact, I recommend that you check out some of the other books by Beatriz Williams as well. If you’re a stickler for reading books in order, then reading her books in order from the start will allow you to recognize those familiar characters that I talked about earlier which are mentioned off and on in these collaborations.


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Last Updated on September 3, 2022 by Mary Elle

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