I am crazy about A CERTAIN SUMMER by Patricia Beard, which is a perfect summer book. Set in 1948 at an idyllic beach community called Wauregan, this debut novel introduces readers to Helen Wadsworth, whose husband has been declared missing since an OSS operation in France during World War II. She is currently vacationing with her 14-year-old son, Jack, as they always have done. While she waits for news about what happened to her husband and longs for his return, two other men fall for her, which brings drama to the summer.
For anyone who has a place where they summer that they have adored, this book will stir up memories of the joys that a place like that can bring. For Helen, once she slips her shoes off when she hits the beach at Wauregan, she immediately becomes caught up in the traditions of the island, yet something is still nagging at her. What really happened to her husband? There are bits and pieces of information, but somehow they all do not make sense to her…and even as this summer lazes on, she still wonders what is missing. She journeys to Europe to try to figure it out for herself.
As the author layers in the mystery of what happened in the war, what was a “summer story” takes on a whole new tone, making A CERTAIN SUMMER one very satisfying read. Patricia Beard is known for her nonfiction work, and that background definitely infuses her first novel.