I love reading books set in a familiar locale, so when I saw that Tiny Little Thing was set in the Boston area and Cape Cod, I knew I had to read it. I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts and spent many a summer day on the family beaches at the Cape.
Tiny, a well-bred dancer who marries a well-bred politician, finds herself unfulfilled and held back. She wants to escape, but is conflicted about appearing callous or selfish to her in-laws who have ostensibly given her the keys to fame and fortune.
A niggling thought just won’t let go, though. Her in-laws are hiding something. As Tiny uncovers family secrets, she also peels away her fear of the unknown. With the help of those who truly love her, Tiny takes a leap out of the family’s political circus and into her own big life.
So I didn’t love that this was set in the ’60s – I can’t relate – I wasn’t even born yet! And I hated that Tiny was portrayed as such a “victim” who needed to be saved. But I appreciated the redeeming values of her husband, and the gentle respect of the Captain.
My favorite thing about this family saga/romance is that Williams explored Tiny’s relationship with her sister Pepper. While restoring an old car, they restored their sisterhood. Williams even brought their mother in full-circle at the end. I like that she tied up loose ends.
And even though Tiny wasn’t exactly the best example of a strong woman who knows her mind, she was a good woman, rescued over and over by a good man, and that’s my kind of happily ever after.
Buy TINY LITTLE THING
Oh. My. Goodness. A Hundred Summers was so good and so substantial that I had to stop every few chapters to reflect on and digest what I just read. I consumed this novel, and it consumed me. I was smiling as I read. Grinning from ear to ear. I’m happy even thinking about it now. A Hundred Summers is a conventional love story with unconventional twists and characters who made my eyes bug out of my head. There were several mouth-agape, palm-over-mouth gasping moments as well as full chapters that got my shoulders a-tense.
It’s the writing that makes this book a winner. Williams’ cleverness impressed me. She used metaphor and symbolism expertly: a football game, a snowstorm, a hurricane. What you see isn’t what you get; you get something even better.
Reading A Hundred Summers, I was surprised at every turn. I could not predict a thing (well, until the end, and even then I was afraid I was wrong). The characters surprised me, their circumstances shocked me. Their behavior — for the 1930s, especially! — entertained me.
Nick and Lily were an item six years ago. They had even planned on getting married. But family issues, misunderstandings, and Lily’s friend Budgie interfered. Budgie ended up with Nick. Budgie’s old flame Graham wanted Lily. No one’s intentions were pure … Jealousy, ego, anger, hurt and vengeance all played a part.
The plot explains how Nick and Lily untangle themselves from the scandal that was built around each of their families, but it isn’t a straight and narrow road. The twists and turns will pull you in, and drag you around the beach for a hundred glorious summers.
A Hundred Summers is going into my Favorites collection, along with Hosseini’s And The Mountains Echoed and Conroy’s The Prince of Tides.
Buy it now A Hundred Summers