Beatriz Williams’ new novel, COCOA BEACH (WilliamMorrow) is on just about every “best beach read list” this summer. It’s what we’ve come to expect of all of her novels. Once again, I have to point out the fact that not only is every book by Williams’ delicious between the pages, the covers are consistently gorgeous! COCOA BEACH takes readers to beautiful Florida. I live in Miami, so I can tell you it’s very hot now, but the beaches are always inviting!
COCOA BEACH takes place between the years of 1917 and 1922. Virginia Fortescue, sets out to uncover the secrets behind her estranged husband, Simon Fitzwilliam’s sudden death. They met during WWI when Simon was a surgeon and Virginia was a Red Cross ambulance driver. They haven’t communicated in three years, after a family falling-out with his parents. Simon has built a life in Florida hoping one day Virginia will come back to him. While in Cocoa Beach, her shady brother-in-law, Samuel and his wife, Clara urge Virginia to go back home to New York and let them deal with Simon’s estate. But she’s suspicious there is more to Simon’s death than a simple house fire. Virginia is determined to find out the truth for her sake and the sake of Evelyn, the daughter Simon never knew.
COCOA BEACH blends love, suspense, betrayal and redemption – everything we expect from a Beatrix Williams’ novel. And it’s all set among the unscrupulous rumrunners and scoundrels the of Prohibition-era in dubious Florida. In Virginia, Williams’ has created one of her most complex characters. She’s not a gal to be toyed with, especially when it comes to her family. The other characters in COCOA BEACH are well-developed and forward their storylines with more details than I could keep track of. I share that in a good way. The novel is like a huge wedding cake, with so many layers dessert never ends. For most of the novel, I wasn’t sure who was telling the truth, but I keep turning the pages until being completely satisfied with the ending.
What can I write that hasn’t been written about a Beatriz Williams’ novel? They immerse you in an interesting period of history so deeply, that you have to kind of take a moment when you finish to establish your surroundings.
Beatriz Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, Along the Infinite Sea, A Certain Age, and several other works of historical fiction. A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Beatriz worked as a communications and corporate strategy consultant in New York and London before she turned her attention to writing novels that combine her passion for history with an obsessive devotion to voice and characterization. Beatriz’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and appear regularly in bestseller lists around the world.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Beatriz now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children, where she divides her time between writing and laundry.
We’re lucky to have one copy of COCOA BEACH. Just tell us if you’re a beach or summer gal? And why? We’ll announce winner next week.