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Summer on the Bluffs: A Novel (Summer Beach #1) (Paperback)
New York Times Bestseller!
The View cohost and New York Times bestselling author Sunny Hostin dazzles with this brilliant novel about a life-changing summer along the beaches of Martha's Vineyard.
Welcome to Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive Black beach community in the country. Known for its gingerbread Victorian-style houses and modern architectural marvels, this picturesque town hugging the sea is a mecca for the crème de la crème of Black society—where Michelle and Barack Obama vacation and Meghan Markle has shopped for a house for her mom. Black people have lived in this pretty slip of the Vineyard since the 1600s and began buying property in the 1800s, making this posh town the embodiment of “old money.”
Thirty years ago, Amelia Vaux Tanner and her husband built a house high on the bluffs, a cottage they named Chateau Laveau. For decades, “Ama” played host to American presidents, Wall Street titans, and cultural icons. But her favorite guests have always been her three “goddaughters:” Esperanza “Perry” Soto, a beautiful, talented Afro-Latina lawyer with Ama’s strong, yet guarded personality; Olivia Jones, a gifted Wall Street analyst with Ama’s brilliant, logical mind; and Billie Hayden, a gifted marine biologist and rule-breaker with Ama’s courageous free spirit.
Growing up, these three goddaughters from different backgrounds came together each summer at Chateau Laveau. As adults, the cottage is a place this trio of successful yet very different women go to escape, to slow down from their hectic lives, share private time with Ama, and enjoy the gorgeous weather, cool water, and stunning views Oak Bluffs offers.
This summer on the Bluffs, however, will be different. An era is ending: Ama, now nearing seventy-one, is moving to the south of France to reunite with her college sweetheart. She has invited Perry, Olivia, and Billie to spend one last golden summer together with her the way they did when they were kids. And when fall comes, she is going to give the house to one of them.
Each of the women wants the house desperately. Each is grappling with a secret she fears will hurt her and her chances. By the end of summer, old ties will fray, new bonds will be created, and these three found sisters will discover they aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Ama has a few secrets of her own. What she has to give them is far more than property. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, she will tell these surrogate daughters she fiercely loves and protects everything they never knew they needed to know.
About the Author
SUNNY HOSTIN is the 3-time Emmy Award-winning legal journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and co-host of The View. On May 4, Hostin released her debut novel, Summer on the Bluffs (William Morrow), which skyrocketed to #11 on the New York Times Bestseller List, the first book in her "Summer" trilogy. Last fall, Hostin released her memoir, I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between Worlds, with HarperOne. Hostin has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Woman, Essence, Newsweek, the New York Post, Latina, and Ebony. A sought-after public speaker, she has delivered a TEDxTalk called “A Possibility Model” and spoken at and moderated panels for the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, and the National Bar Association, and served as a witness at the Federal Judiciary’s Congressional Hearing for the Public’s Right of Access to the Courts. Hostin lives with her husband and two children in New York.
“Hostin’s debut novel is aspirational escapism at its best, balancing an idyllic setting and lush, evocative language with emotional heft and adroit social commentary… Hostin’s story is a vast, intricate and ultimately rewarding one about love, family and self-fulfillment... In short, this book is summer incarnate.”
— New York Times Book Review
“A complicated, memorable tale of family, allegiances, secrets and summertime.”
— Good Morning America
“The Emmy Award–winning lawyer and journalist invites readers to the exclusive Black beach community of Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard where the money is old, the secrets are deadly, and summer is more of a sport than a season…Think The Undoing with a hint of melanin, where everyone’s wearing $300 sandals.”
“The highly anticipated summer must-read from the talented co-host of The View is finally here… No one, including the reader, is prepared for the feelings and secrets exchanged in this novel about love, family, and the courage to make the hardest of decisions.”
“Bestselling author and The View cohost Sunny Hostin has penned the ultimate beach read in Summer on the Bluffs.”
"Summer on the Bluffs by the Emmy-award winning Sunny Hostin is a delicious, shimmering novel about the lives of Amelia Vaux Tanner and her three, grown-up godchildren. I was riveted by these fascinating, complicated women, and looked forward every day to opening Hostin's luminous novel and escaping, through its pages, to the golden dunes of Martha's Vineyard."
— Amanda Eyre Ward, New York Times bestselling author of The Jetsetters
"Everybody needs a fairy godmother and a glorious summer read. Treat yourself to both with the magnificent Sunny Hostin's Summer on the Bluffs... This beautiful novel will have you turning the pages long into a summer night."
— Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author
“Summer on the Bluffs is a thoroughly enjoyable escape… A revealing glimpse into the lives of the black bourgeoisie and the Vineyard as told by someone who understands the complex nuances of our sisters. Sunny Hostin is an elegant yet contemporary voice that daughters, mothers and matriarchs alike will enjoy!”
— Rita Ewing, author of Homecourt Advantage and Brickhouse
“The View cohost, an Emmy award-winning journalist, has written her first novel about a dramatic, romantic season on Martha's Vineyard. It's an entertaining beach read set in Oak Bluffs, a real-life affluent black beach community on Martha's Vineyard (where Barack and Michelle vacation) during one life-altering summer.”
— AARP Magazine
“This glorious piece of summer fiction takes us to Oak Bluffs, a slice of the island that’s been home to the Black community elite for summers since the 1600s. Come for the ethereal setting and beautifully drawn characters, stay for the family dynamics, personal secrets and wisdom revealed.”
— Boston Herald
“Emmy-winning co-host of The View, Sunny Hostin invites readers to Martha’s Vineyard in her fiction debut…what follows is a summer full of secrets that puts family ties to the ultimate test.”
— Woman's World
“Juicy… hits all the escapist notes you’d want in a tale of secrets and lies by omission while also tackling the complex nuances of womanhood, race, and place.”
— Parents magazine
“Lovingly rendered characters and beautiful depictions of Oak Bluffs...make this first book in a planned trilogy a great summer escape...Come for the debut novel from an Emmy-winning cohost of The View, stay for the diverse cast of characters in an aspirational, beachy escape.”
“Entertaining…Hostin nicely captures the Vineyard’s social nuances…packs plenty of drama.”
— Publishers Weekly
“This book earns its place on the beach blanket.”
— Kirkus Reviews