Today I'm featuring the novel, It Happens in the Hamptons, as part of TLC Book Tours stop. After reading the description/teaser for this book (below in the feature box), it sounded like it would make the perfect summer beach read. After reading the book itself, I hesitantly agree with my initial assessment. I say hesitantly because I think the teaser is a tad misleading. Here's why:
The teaser calls George Katie's new boyfriend. In the story, it's more of a "let's see if this leads to boyfriend" status.
The teaser implies that George takes Katie on his arm and shows her around in a whirlwind fashion. This never happens. A lot of what is seen of lavish events, country clubs, and haute couture fashions is not seen through Katie's eyes.
I sort of get why they teased it as "upstairs-downstairs", but I think that description is a bit of a stretch.
That may seem a bit nit-picky, but I'd rather the teaser be vague than misleading.
I would definitely say this classifies as a trashy beach novel, much of the dialogue seeming to read like a 13-year old boy who has learnt crass new words and phrases and can't wait to shock and amaze his buddies by saying as many of them as he can, as often as he can. Perhaps that qualifies it as a bodice-ripper...but I thought bodice rippers were geared more towards women than the language on these pages.
It took me some effort to finish this book since it just didn't turn out to be my cup of tea.
What did I enjoy about this one? I liked a few of the characters - Katie, Huck, Luke, Julia, and Poppy. And while I figured out who the sexual predator in the story was almost immediately, I was surprised by another plot twist at the end.
I was also pleased by some unexpectedly delicious foodie bits that were woven throughout. From Katie's love of cooking ("I love cooking, I do. I love sharing food.") to the Chase's gourmet personal chef, to the every man's beach/summer/picnic food, to the boring and bland country club offerings, to the over-priced, pretentious Hamptons food...there was a little bit of everything.
The best-sounding bite was Luke's s'mores dipped in homemade strawberry sauce that bubbled in a cast iron skillet at the edge of the fire where you toasted the marshmallows. But I decided to go with a simple egg salad to represent the book. Egg salad was actually mentioned a couple of times, in both a gourmet fashion (using quail eggs), and in a teasing quote made early on by Luke's best bud, Kona, and directed at Bucky/George. Plus, I was craving egg salad.
If you don't mind, I'll take two egg salad sandwiches and a glass of that cheap Chardonnay you serve.
While I can't say that this book ranks high on my "recommended" list, I will say that it would make a great trashy beach read if over-exaggerated and totally stereotyped "guy talk" doesn't bother you...and that you don't have any kids who like to sneak up and read over your shoulder.
It Happens in the Hamptons
author: Holly Peterson
publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 9, 2017)
genre: Literature & Fiction > Women's Fiction > Contemporary Women
soft cover : 384 pages
"foodie" read: No, but there was a passage about s'mores (dipped in homemade strawberry sauce) that made me crave them something fierce, plus a handful of other amazing food references.
opening sentence: "Sorry, lady," the taxi driver said to the woman in the backseat.
teaser: In the Hamptons, everyday people are as complicated and fascinating as millionaires…
When Katie Doyle moves across the country to the Hamptons, she is hoping to find summer employment, new friends for her young son, and a chance to explore a new love affair with George, a dazzling investor. What she finds is a strange cocktail of classes, where society’s one-percenters vacation alongside local, hardworking people who’ve lived in the Hamptons for generations. Though she’s looking forward to her move, Katie is wary about mingling in her boyfriend’s East Coast elite circles. She soon discovers Southampton isn’t all that it seems to be on the surface—and neither are the people who live there.
As George takes Katie on a whirlwind tour of country clubs, haute couture, and lavish events, Katie is amazed to witness sudden whims becoming dire needs, extramarital affairs blossoming right and left, and people purchasing friends and loyalties like a pair of shoes. Even the middle-class townspeople maintain determined façades while maneuvering like sharks among the wealthy summer invaders.
The more Katie becomes immersed, the more she learns the stories of both the upstairs and downstairs, the upper crust and middle of the road. The combustion between classes becomes explosive as the summer tears on. Betrayals, a sexual predator, and a missing person lost in murky waves drive the reader on a racing Learjet through impossible twists and turns before landing at the shocking conclusion. When Katie meets Luke, a marine biologist and teacher, he makes her what it is she really wants as she understands the life she’s begun for herself is built on shifting Hamptons’ dunes.
about the author: Holly Peterson is the author the May 2017 social satire fiction release, It Happens in the Hamptons. In 2016, she curated an outdoor cooking book, Assouline’s Smoke and Fire: Recipes and Menus for Outdoor Entertaining. In 2014, she published The Idea of Him and of the New York Times bestseller The Manny in 2007. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek, an Editor-at-Large for Talk magazine and an Emmy Award-winning Producer for ABC News, where she spent more than a decade covering everything from trials of the century to global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Town and Country, The Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Decor, Departures and numerous other publications.
connect with the author: website | facebook | twitter | instagram
recipe inspired by the book: Egg Salad Sandwiches with cheap white Chardonnay
yield: serves 2-3Author: Heather Schmitt-Gonzalezprint recipe
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 8 MINStotal time: 18 mins
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2-1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons minced green onion, optional
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly minced tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)