It Happens in the Hamptons
by Holly Peterson
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 9, 2017)
In the Hamptons, everyday people are as complicated and fascinating as millionaires…
When Katie Doyle moves across the country to the Hamptons, she is hoping to find summer employment, new friends for her young son, and a chance to explore a new love affair with George, a dazzling investor. What she finds is a strange cocktail of classes, where society’s one-percenters vacation alongside local, hardworking people who’ve lived in the Hamptons for generations. Though she’s looking forward to her move, Katie is wary about mingling in her boyfriend’s East Coast elite circles. She soon discovers Southampton isn’t all that it seems to be on the surface—and neither are the people who live there.
As George takes Katie on a whirlwind tour of country clubs, haute couture, and lavish events, Katie is amazed to witness sudden whims becoming dire needs, extramarital affairs blossoming right and left, and people purchasing friends and loyalties like a pair of shoes. Even the middle-class townspeople maintain determined façades while maneuvering like sharks among the wealthy summer invaders.
The more Katie becomes immersed, the more she learns the stories of both the upstairs and downstairs, the upper crust and middle of the road. The combustion between classes becomes explosive as the summer tears on. Betrayals, a sexual predator, and a missing person lost in murky waves drive the reader on a racing Learjet through impossible twists and turns before landing at the shocking conclusion. When Katie meets Luke, a marine biologist and teacher, he makes her what it is she really wants as she understands the life she’s begun for herself is built on shifting Hamptons’ dunes.
As the moonlight bore down on the abandoned town, the conversation between the Tide Runners instructors bounced between topics big and small: the height of the waves heading in (measured by buoys far out at sea that could predict)… and, most animatedly, who would be paying the thirty-dollar June fee for the Porn Hub password they all shared.
She’d had a fitful night; the worry fairies kept sprinkling their persuasive spell on her.
Julia, who sensed she wouldn’t get her way, suddenly decided to save her arguing capital for another fight. It was easier to let the kids and husband believe they were in charge so she could squash their demands like insects when it really counted.
The gloomy, preteen boy posse at her side were mortified to be anywhere near this woman, let alone in her care. They all wore surf trunks, flip-flops, and towels wrapped around their necks. Margaux Carroll’s son, Tyler, age nine, was a few years older than the other kids, and looked like he was weighing the pros and cons of matricide.
I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging, intriguing, and cleverly amusing story. Holly Peterson has deft word skills and a wicked sense of humor – which are at the top of my list of favorite traits. The plot was well-paced and artfully crafted and the characters were delightfully complex, uniquely quirky, colorfully described, and lushly detailed. A wealthy and highly skilled sexual predator was on the loose and plying his wiles on young girls and women of all socio-economic groups across the country. I established and discarded several of my own theories and while I had figured out the perpetrator, I certainly did not foresee the entangling plot twists coming. The interesting storyline was smartly written, witty, irresistibly intriguing, and held my rapt attention throughout. I was provided a review copy of this deliciously fascinating book by HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.
About Holly Peterson
Holly Peterson is the author the May 2017 social satire fiction release, It Happens in the Hamptons. In 2016, she curated an outdoor cooking book, Assouline’s Smoke and Fire: Recipes and Menus for Outdoor Entertaining. In 2014, she published The Idea of Him and of the New York Times bestseller The Manny in 2007. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek, an Editor-at-Large for Talk magazine and an Emmy Award-winning Producer for ABC News, where she spent more than a decade covering everything from trials of the century to global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Town and Country, The Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Decor, Departures and numerous other publications.