Montauk by Nicola Harrison
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 3.9 Mb
Montauk : An epic and cinematic novel by debut author Nicola Harrison, Montauk captures the glamour and extravagance of a summer by the sea with the story of a woman torn between the life she chose and the life she desires.
Montauk, Long Island, 1938.
For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city.
College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.
As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.
Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…
“Harry, let’s explore the town tomorrow and maybe even take a boat out; wouldn’t that be fun?”
“Not tomorrow, sweetheart, I’ve got archery, remember?”
“Oh,” I sighed, and looked at the menu. Local fluke, striped bass, lobster. “You know, now that I think of it, I remember my brother mentioning the name Montauk years ago.”
“Why would your brother have known anything about Montauk? It wasn’t even a destination to visit until a few years ago.”
“I remember him telling me it was a little fishing town all the way out on the tip of Long Island and that he wanted to go there sometime to fish for bass.” I looked out the window; just the mention of him made my chest tighten. I focused on an elderly waiter putting all his effort into opening a window on the far side of the room that looked out into the night sky. I had the urge to get up and help him. Eventually he wrestled it open and I felt relieved by the cool, crisp ocean air on my bare arms.
“Darling, I don’t know why you bring up the topic of your brother; you get upset every time,” Harry admonished.
The next instant he started waving madly at a couple walking into the restaurant and insisted that they join us. “It’s Dr. and Mrs. Sanders,” he said in a whisper as they approached. “He knows a lot of people.”
It was quite an ordeal for the restaurant manager and another waiter to move a table next to ours so we could sit together and I wasn’t entirely sure the other couple was as enthusiastic as Harry about the arrangement, but he was insistent.
“So what do you think of this place?” Dr. Sanders asked once we were situated. “Pretty great, isn’t it?”