Friday, June 21, 2019

Literary Friday: A Palm Beach Wife



Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today I have a fun, PERFECT beach (or lake) read to share with you:  A Palm Beach Wife by Susannah Marren.  I was intrigued from the first few pages, and it maintained my interest throughout.  Add this to your summer readling list ASAP!

According to Goodreads:

For readers of Elin Hilderbrand, Susannah Marren's A Palm Beach Wife is a delicious and irresistible commercial novel set among the high society galas and gossip of Palm Beach. 

Amid the glamour and galas and parties of Palm Beach, Faith knows that image often counts as much if not more than reality. She glides effortlessly among the highest of the high society so perfectly that you would never suspect she wasn’t born to this. But it wasn’t always so; though she hides it well, Faith has fought hard for the wonderful life she has, for her loving, successful husband, for her daughter’s future.


In this town of secrets and gossip and rumors, Faith has kept a desperate grip on everything she holds so dear, built from so little. And yet even she—the only one who knows just how far she has to fall—never suspects from which direction, or how many directions all at once, betrayal will come.


My Review:

Faith Harrison has it all: A faithful, loving husband, a smart, accomplished daughter, a successful business, and social status in Palm Beach, Florida.  She has harbored a secret for most of her life that could bring her social life and standing in the community to a crashig halt.

But this pales in comparison to the secrets her seemingly perfect husband Edward has been keeping from her for at least a year.  And this is where the narrative begins:  at one of the most prestigious balls of "the season;" Faith and Edward both intended to come clean with each other this special night, but circumstances prevented one from following through.

Faith's business is called Vintage Tales; it's a high-end consignment shop that specializes in jewelry and purses.  A huge part of the book is all about designer clothes, purses, jewelry watches, and even housewares.  At times the digression into all things haute couture gets monotonous, but it does add to the storyline because of Vintage Tales.  What I loved most about the store is Faith's daughter Katherine's quirky contribution to the store's items: each one comes with a story, the "tales" aspect of Vintage Tales.  For example, a mid-nineteenth-century rose-gold earrings and necklace set is tagged with Anne Brontë's feminist novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.  This is probably what I love most about the book: the consigned items and their literary pairings.

The story itself is interesting, and I find that although Faith is the main character in the book, I still have questions about her past.  It's also shcoking that Edward married her in the first place; maybe it's because he had no family left to object.  Faith maintains her support of Edward even when she finds out what he's been up to, and she does not make the typical Palm Beach decisions in how she handles her situation.  Mrs. A, Palm Beach matriarch extraordinaire, admires Faith's tenacity even though she disagrees with her.  Everyone needs a Mrs. A in her life!

If you strictly want a feel-good book, then this is not the book for you.  However, if you're looking for a unique story set in one of the wealthiest American enclaves that will raise lots of questions (especially from a feninist perspective) then you will love A Palm Beach Wife.


Disclosure:  I received a copy of A Palm Beach Wife from the publisher via the author.  Normally I only accept books from TLC Book Tours, but I made an exception this time because the author is a professor in the field our youngest is studying right now.  Thank-you, St. Martin's Press!


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What's on your summer readling list?

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


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