Montauk

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

From my blog: Always With a Book:

Having grown up on Long Island and recently moved back,  I always love when I find books set in towns here. So of course, I was excited to have been sent this debut novel by Nicola Harrison...and let's just take a moment to admire this beautiful cover...isn't it so striking? I'm such a fan of a good cover and this one is so stunning, yet so simple!

I loved that this whole novel was set in 1938. Yes, I've really come to enjoy dual narratives, but it was so refreshing to have a historical novel all told in one timeframe, from one point of view. It really has such a great sense of time and place - Montauk in the late 1930s really comes alive as a fishing village and you really felt the divide of class between the haves and the have-nots. 

This is such a great character study of a woman who is really struggling to find her place. I loved the main character, Beatrice. She is such a strong woman who is held back by the standards of her time. She is supposed to be a "good wife" and do as she is told, which according to her husband, Harry, is to hang out with the high society women at the manor, while he is spending his time in NYC, drinking and cavorting with other women. As Beatrice feels she doesn't fit in with these women, she ends up making friends with the locals. 

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed seeing Montauk as it was in 1938 and am desperate to find local history books to see just how it looked back then. And of course, I will definitely be heading out there to visit one day soon - it's been ages since I last took a trip to Montauk! I definitely recommend picking this book up - the writing is beautiful and you will find yourself completely immersed in the story. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for what comes next from this author for sure!
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3.5 stars rounded up to 4.Location, location, location! Montauk, Long Island, 1938. 

Beatrice (Bea) and Harry are going to be spending 3 months in the summer of 1938 at the coastal little fishing village of Montauk. Bea hopes she will be able to rekindle the passion in her marriage. Instead, Harry spends a lot of time away from Bea for work. She gets to know some of the women staying at Montauk Manor, while Harry spends a lot of time in the city. Let's go ahead and add it is not all work. 

As things unfold, Bea gets to know several locals and enjoys their company more than her haughty "Wives of New York" friends. (my nickname). She begins to spend a lot of time up at the lighthouse and when her husband's infidelities are revealed, she takes comfort with a certain lighthouse keeper. But there is more here. She also becomes a writer of stories for a the local paper. She finds her voice. Bea became a character I grew to really like and identify with. By the end she made me proud !

Many thanks to the publisher via Netgalley who provided me with a digital copy to read for review. I enjoyed the characters and setting . I highly recommend it!
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I heard a lot about this book and saw it advertised a lot before I was approved to read it. I was not let down. It was a great story and very well written and I loved it. I highly recommend it to everyone.
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Montauk is the debut novel by author Nicola Harrison, a huge thanks to NetGally for letting me review this book. 

I'll be honest, at first I was a bit skeptical with the first few chapters, but once it started to pick up I couldn't put it down! Beatrice's character grew on me and towards the end of the book I had so much respect and love for her. She is such a strong woman, my heart broke for her so much. 

There are so many surprises throughout the book which makes it such a gripping read. The story itself is beautifully written, the characters are charming and elegant. The whole book oozes glamour and scandal which makes it even more special. 

Harrison certainly knows how to write and I can't wait to hear of other books in the works by this sensational author. it is easily one of the best books that I have read this year so far. If you're looking for something new or if you're into your era reads, then look no further than Montauk.
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This one is slow and steady, atmospheric, and easy like Sunday morning. There was nothing surprising in here, but the difference was the characters, the setting, and the writing was wonderful. To clarify, by nothing surprising I mean that you have a case of girl marries man, man is not who she thinks he is, girl is forced to spend the summer in an environment of rich, mean women and she is not like them, but girl does not conform, instead she finds her voice, and you can probably take it from there.  That being said, this is set in Montauk, NY, right before it becomes a booming vacation spot, and the author describes this place so vividly that you feel as if you are there. The locals were charming, and no wonder Beatrice wanted to spend her time with them.  As for Beatrice herself, I was absolutely endeared to her and rooting for her the entire time. She really comes into her own, even when it feels as if her situation is hopeless, and yet she still has moments of weakness, where you want to shake her and tell her to get up and deal (she does). Those are the types of strong female leads that I cannot get enough of. 

I could not believe this was a debut novel, and am very much looking forward to the next thing from Nicola Harrison. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Nicola Harrison debut novel set against the back drop of Montauk, Long Island 1938 is a good historical romance book.  When reading about this one before I requested to read, I thought it was more of a historical fiction but this is more romance. than history.  I enjoyed her writing style and reference to some of the historical timelines back then, though a bit slow going and more about the social elite.  I look forward to reading more by this author.
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Thank you Netgalley and publishers for an ARC of this book.


Montauk is a place for the elite, the richest of the rich. This is a story of how Montauk was in the late 30's, beginning to be populated with the wealthy. A destination for the summer, Montauk becomes the host to both those who serve the wealthy and the secrets of the wealthy. The story follows Beatrice, who doesn't quite fit in with the typical folk on the island. Her husband Harry, a charmer and smooth talker, is well known in the town. 

This story was slow to start, but I'm glad I kept with it. The last half of the book flew by. I kept wanting to know what secrets would be revealed. A great, entertaining read. Perfect for the beach or a cozy winter day.
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An interesting historical novel on Montauk, New York in 1938. A good summer read on how the rich spent their summer. While the setting was enjoyable some of the characters needed to be explored and developed more as they made parts of the story drag.
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I have mixed feelings about this one.  I love historical fiction and this was a fun time period to visit and I really enjoyed seeing the day to day life of the summer people and just how the details were managed.  I also enjoyed Harrison's pacing.  Even when I was getting frustrated with certain aspects of the book it was always easy to read. 

However, I did have two issues with the book.  While I enjoyed Harrison's efforts to make 1938 Montauk come to life the level of detail was just a bit two much and bogged the story down at times.  Also, while I felt sorry for Beatrice there were multiple times where she seriously annoyed me.  She seemed completely unaware of the way things were in the society world but it's mentioned multiple times that she and Harry have been married five years and she's hardly been living under a rock so why was she so shocked that the Jewish newsman wasn't instantly accepted?  Or to find out that hanging out with the woman who does the laundry is unacceptable and could potentially get the woman in trouble?  She cannot see the point of this exclusion or not think it's right but to be so unaware was hard to believe.  There was another character who clearly knew a great deal about her but she never thought to question this.  These things made it hard for me to really believe in her intelligence and just frustrated me.

Despite my rant above I did enjoy this book and found Harrison's writing style very readable.  While I wanted to strangle Beatrice at times I did enjoy the reading experience and will be keeping an eye out for future books.
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Review will be posted on 7/23/19

Beatrice, although she grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, now lives a life of luxury along with her banker husband, Harry.  Harry wants her to spend her summer at Montauk Manor, where all the other well-to-do wives stay for the summer while their husbands toil away in the city.  Montauk, in 1938, is an up and coming sleepy fishing town that at least for the summer is filled with the city's finest, so the Manor ends up employing many locals.  While there, Beatrice finds herself gravitating to the wrong crowd as opposed to the other wealthy wives.  She finds herself especially drawn to Elizabeth, the Manor's laundress.  While spending time with Elizabeth, she meets the lighthouse keeper, Thomas.  Sparks fly and it leaves Beatrice wondering if perhaps she made the wrong choice in marrying Harry, who has essentially left her all summer and she comes to find that he is up to no good in the city. Well, you know what they say? While the cat is away, the mouse will play!  Harry wants Beatrice to focus on what he wants her to focus on this summer, so when she comes in contact with a Manhattan journalist who wants her to write an anonymous column about life in Montauk, she initially declines. As her summer goes on, she decides she might do it after all and highlight some of the ridiculous things the upper class partakes in while summering in Montauk.  Montauk by Nicola Harrison is a decent historical beach read and while I really enjoyed parts of it, such as the time period and the setting, a lot of the story ended up being just ok.

Beatrice, also known as Bea, is someone I really initially liked in Montauk.  I felt badly for her that she is trapped in such a horrible marriage, but summering in Montauk doesn't sound like a bad trade off, right? Wrong.  Bea is like a fish out of water in Montauk. She finds herself relating more to the "help" and the locals instead of mixing and mingling with the upper class like her husband wants her to do to help his business.  Harry at first seems like a good guy, but once you peel back the layers of their relationship you see inside is a rotting piece of fruit.  He ends up being a pretty toxic character and in turn a bit of a caricature at times.  Even though I wanted Bea to escape his clutches, I didn't necessarily agree with her interest in Thomas.  I mean she is upset her husband is having an affair in New York City, so should she stoop to his level and do the same thing? Or perhaps this is true love?  Is this risk worth losing it all?

The setting of Montauk in 1938 is my favorite aspect of the novel.  I loved the time period, the Manor, and the dynamic between the locals and the wealthy.  The crazy antics that they partake in, such as mailing dirty diapers home to be cleaned is just unbelievable.  Rich people problems, I suppose?  I also enjoyed how Bea started working for a Manhattan newspaper and anonymously exposing some of Montauk's secrets.  The events at the Manor, the dinner parties, the cocktails, the lighthouse, the quiet fishing village, and beaches were all well done and my favorite parts of Montauk.

While Montauk was entertaining enough, I do wish that Harrison would have explored the characters a bit more and fleshed out some of the plot points.  I felt like Bea and especially Harry became a bit derivative at times.  Oh, and that ending!! It was over the top depressing.  

Nonetheless, if historical beach reads are your go-to summertime read, then give Montauk a try, especially if you like a story that examines the important question of whether it's worth it to risk everything for love or is for money more important?
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As a Long Islander, I loved reading about Montauk in the late 30's.  It was amazing to learn how a place I love was so many years ago.  And it was equally awesome to visit Montauk a couple of weeks after I read the story.  I kept thinking about the cast of characters and the summer they spent at this special beach town.
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Montauk is a hotel where all the rich New York wives go to for the summer while their husbands come to visit on the weekend. Beatrice has married rich, to a man who after not being able to get pregnant during their 5 year marriage, has grown distant over the years. Feeling disconnected from her husband and not fitting in with the wives in Montauk, she finds herself becoming friends with the workers in the hotel and on the island. One such person is the light keeper, whom she helps out after he was injured. Ignoring the warnings from others, she begins a relationship with him and the story continues to unfold. 

I had a hard time with this book. The descriptions of the hotel were detailed and interesting, which to me, didn't bode well when I was more interested in the hotel and secondary characters, than what happened to our main one.

I appreciate the opportunity from St. Martin's Press to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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3.5 Stars

Nicola Harrison's debut novel, Montauk should be labeled as a summer beach read! Sweeping, dramatic, but more romance than historic, Montauk takes us through the summer of 1938 with a wonderful look into the time and the place. The characters are well written and true to the time - yes, even our main protagonist Beatrice, who is unhappy in both her marriage and her societal role and is drawn to those whose friendship her husband definitely wouldn't approve of.

While I prefer more historical pieces, Montauk would definitely tick a few boxes for those who prefer their romance with a little bit of an edge and wonderfully written.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Since it is summer, I thought I would dive into some beach reads. Beach reads for me are the kind of books I don’t have to think much about yet keep me from falling asleep and getting a sunburn. "Montauk" by Nicola Harrison does a decent job as a light summer read.

As the title suggests, "Montauk" takes place at the summer resort town of Montauk, New York, in 1938, when it was the place to go if you were a rich and entitled member of the New York elite. We meet Beatrice Bordeaux or Bea, a country girl from Pennsylvania who married a rich and handsome man named Harry. Harry wants to invest in the new resort town, so sends Bea out there for the summer to mix and mingle with the other wealthy wives while he flits back and forth from Montauk to the city for business- monkey business and the real thing. Bea struggles to fit in with the female pecking order of high society but feels more at home with the working people who service the resort.

She finds out what her husband is doing in the city and falls for the lighthouse keeper who is (of course) kind and hunky. What should she do? Stay with her rich husband or cling to the down to earth folks?

The book tries to capture some of the character of the resort town and the beauty of the area. It could have used a little more flavor of the times, I thought and less of the typical melodrama. I found the book uneven in places, with all the action at the very end of the book, as though the writer didn’t know how to wrap up the different plot points. The plot itself is well worn, and has been done a hundred times before. Naive wife finds out about cheating husband, falls for kind but poor man with issues and complications happen. There was one part that did surprise me, but I will never write spoilers in my review, so you will have to read it for yourself!

If you are looking for an historical beach read give this one a chance. I rate it 3 out of 5 stars. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and give an honest review of this book.

A summer at glamorous Montauk Manor, in New York, could be a dream come true for the wealthy. Wives and children spend summer days swimming, playing tennis, croquet, golfing, archery, having tea parties and luncheons.
It is the playground of the rich and famous. One young wife is unhappy there, spending the week without her husband of five years. She waits anxiously till he returns each weekend. That is until she discovers his midweek affairs while she is away. Then, she embarks on an affair of her own.

She seeks out and makes friends with the folks in town. Her summer becomes much more interesting, until her husband discovers how she has been entertaining herself in his absence.

The end of the summer is fast approaching. Decisions and plans for the future need to be worked out. Everything is temporarily placed on hold when a major storm roars through.

This book is a great summer read. It takes a young, naive woman and explores her transformation into an independent, free thinking person that begins to know her own mind and trust her own decisions.
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Montauk is the perfect summer read!  Set in 1938, it's a look at the summer days. The wealthy from New York have started to spend the summer at Montauk, Long Island. Beatrice is there with her husband Harry. The husbands go back to the city for the week. The wives are busy with their society organizations and hanging out at the club and the manor where they are staying. Beatrice is struggling with what she had hoped for her marriage and what it actually is.  The story shows us what life was like for the wealthy elite and also what it was like for the villagers and the people who live in Montauk all year round. Beatrice finds her way forming new friendships and avoiding the snobbier women.  And she meets a man who will change her life forever.
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Montauk by Nicola Harrison is her debut novel which really surprised me because of how beautifully written it is and I very much enjoyed this story. This historical fiction will definitely take you back in time to a different era to feel like you are summering in Montauk yourself.   Beatrice, she is a young housewife from NYC, is the main character.  Beatrice is such a likeable character however she does some things that make you shake your head.  Your heart goes out to Beatrice throughout the entire book from the troubles she is having with not being able to get pregnant in her marriage and her horrible husband, in general, to transitioning to finding unlikely friendships and love all while in Montauk.  The ending was unexpected in my opinion and turned out differently than I had envisioned it in my mind.  All in all this was a great read and perfect for Summer or anytime especially if you are a historical fiction or historical romance lover.  I can’t wait to see what great things Nicola Harrison has up her sleeve in the future.

Thank you to NetGally, St. Martin’s Press, and Nicola Harrison for an e-ARC copy of this book the read in exchange for an honest review.

4/5 stars
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Set in Montauk ( hence the title) before Montauk) when it was n the cusp of becoming the premier place for the wealthy to summer.  Harry decides that he and his wife Bea should summer there, although he will only be there on weekends aas he continued t work in New York City.  sBea really wasn't enthralled with the idea as she had no idea wheat she would do .  Eventually she met up with the other summer wives - all equal  because of their husband's wealth.  The women spent their days planning parties, playing tennis, gossiping nad generally enjoying wife w hile their children we're tended to by their nannies.  Bea has become disenchanted with her marriage, but there's not much she can do.  she makes several friends on Montauk - a couple in her "class" other who are the islanders who support the wealthy.  She sees no harm in befriending everyone, although that eventually leads her to a major crossroads in her life.  Well-written, great scenery , and a quite spunky protagonist.
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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I received an advanced digital copy of this book from the author, St. Martin's Press and Netgalley.com. Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in thisreview are my own.

Ms. Harrison's debut, Montauk, is a thoughtful look into the world of New York society in the late '30s. The author takes us along with her main character who discovers that there is more to life then what has been set before her.

Lush in detail, this book is perfect for historical fiction fans. A pleasure to read.

5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended.
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