But isn’t that the whole point, to lose yourself in a word that’s different from your own?

Montauk is a remarkable cinematic historical romance from debut author, Nicola Harrison. Set in 1938 Montauk, Long Island, this is a self-discovery journey of Beatrice Bordeaux, through a crumbling marriage, a family loss, a community that she thought she belongs to, a search for her true purpose, an unexpected friendship, and a slow-burn romance.

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

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… 

★★★★½

Title: Montauk | Author: Nicola Harrison | Genre: Chick LitHistorical FictionWomen’s Fiction | Publication Date: June 4, 2019 | Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley | Read for: Goodreads Reading Challenge 2019, PopSugar Reading Challenge 2019 (Current progress) | Links: Book Depository (Affiliate)

→ Trigger Warnings!
Classism, emotional abuse, rape.

Quick Thoughts

I recommend this book if you’re into:
⇾ Historical romance, lighter on the history and heavier on the romance
⇾ Detailed and full description narrative
⇾ Women empowerment issue
⇾ Character-oriented story
⇾ Slow-paced story

Things to be considered before picking up this book:
⇾ Few explicit and triggering contents. Check out trigger warnings at the end of this review.
⇾ Constantly slow-paced for 400 pages.
⇾ Sad ending.

More Thoughts

I 👏 LOVE 👏 THIS 👏 When I first requested Montauk on NetGalley, my initial intention was because I wanted to read something outside of my comfort zone, in this case, a historical and women fiction. And before I started reading it, I didn’t have any expectation toward this book. I knew this genre is fairly a new territory to me, and therefore I don’t want this book to be the case of “it’s not the book, it’s me”. I just wanted to roll with it and see how it goes, y’know? But man oh man, did I underestimated it?! It turns out to be one of the most enjoyable reads that I have this year! 

To sum up the story, Beatrice Bordeaux was a wife of Harry, a businessman from a wealthy family and elite society. Meanwhile, she was a small town girl who born and grew up in Pensylvania. She was bright and went to university, an extraordinary and uncommon thing to do for a woman during this time. But ever since her brother, Charlie, died in a car accident, she decided to left university and closed herself from everyone. And this is when she met Harry. Long story short, they’re married but even after five years, they still got no baby. Beatrice started to feel the tension in her marriage and the pressure from Harry’s family because they expected them to carry on the family name. A three months summer vacation in Montauk, Long Island was seen as a getaway to rekindle their marriage and make the chemistry between them sparks again.

At least that’s what Beatrice hoped for. But that was before she found out about her husband’s affair. That was before she tried to fit in the community of elitists’ wives who seem connected and supported each other but threw gossips and hurtful commentaries behind the closed door. That was before she met Dolly, a candid, quirky and talented hatter who gave no shit about the elitists’ wives. That was before she met Elizabeth, a local laundry woman from the manor who introduced Beatrice to her big family and to the real Montauk. That was before she met Thomas, a lighthouse keeper who appreciated her for being her true self and gave the affection that she longed for, something that has been long missing from her marriage.

I’m your wife, God damn it. You should want to see me, but instead, you use up all your free times dallying around with other women in the city while I’m out here.

The thing about Montauk is that it focused on the main character development and how she faced the struggles in her life. However, Harrison still managed to deliver an unforgettable plot too. It was slow at times, sure, but it worth the waits. I personally not a fan of a slow-paced story, but thanks to Harrison’s magic hand, she crafted each word carefully and delivered such a pleasing and wonderful narrative. Montauk was truly cinematic. I got to imagine each scene vividly, despite not being the most imaginative person in the room. 

Sometimes I yearned for that forever feeling—those hours that stretched into days and days into week, without a thought of tomorrow.

My other favorite thing about this book is the ending. It was not the perfect ending, but hell, it was close to one. It was unexpected and truly caught me off guard. The plot twists left me wondering with multiple ‘what if?’. In conclusion, I truly enjoyed Montauk and I’m looking forward to read more works from Harrison in the future. 

Thank you St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Are you a fan of historical romance? What’s your favorite genre to read during summer?

*GIFs credit: The Affair (2014)
**The quotes above were taken from an advanced reader copy and are subject to change upon publication.

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