I think that The Bungalow might be the most perfect beach read. Ever. The setting is the island paradise of Bora-Bora during World War II. Twenty-one year old Anne Calloway is a college nursing graduate, and has recently become engaged. Uncertainty over her impending nuptials convinces Anne to join the Army Nurse Corps, and she is sent to the Pacific with her best friend, Kitty. Anne develops a crush on a handsome and enigmatic soldier named Westry, and they soon begin having a love affair.
One evening while walking on the beach, Westry and Anne discover an abandoned bungalow. They clean it up and start meeting there, and they even leave love notes for each under beneath a loose floorboard. The island's natives claim that the bungalow is cursed, and that anyone entering its door will live a life of heartbreak. Westry and Anne ignore these warnings, and soon learn that the bungalow has an artistic past. They discover an unsigned painting underneath the bed, and it looks like it was painted in the same post-Impressionist style of Paul Gauguin. An older native reveals that Gauguin did indeed live for a time in the bungalow, and she reiterated the bungalow's curse.
Westry is sent on a mission to Guadalcanal, and he survives. But before he is redeployed to France, Westry and Anne witness a brutal crime on the beach near the bungalow. This tragedy along with its aftermath kept me up very late at night reading. Another mystery involving art and an investigation by Anne's granddaughter in the present might be a link to solving what happened on that beach so many decades ago. This book is beautifully written, and it truly takes you away to Bora-Bora during the Pacific Theatre during World War II.
If you want more information about The Bungalow, watch this book trailer. There are a few more spoilers in it than in my review.
What have you been reading this summer? Please post and link-up!
Until next time...