Truth is stranger than fiction. Or is that the other way around? Here in the Hamptons, it isn’t always easy to tell. When you put time travel, the upper crust of New York City and some of history’s most mysterious mistresses into the mix, it gets even trickier. You can thank our friends at Books & Books in Westhampton Beach for that—and you will after cracking open this trio of summer books.
The Map of Time by Feliz J. Palma
What happens if we change history? Felix J. Palma raises such questions in The Map of Time. Mingling fictional characters with real ones, Palma weaves a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting, a story full of love and adventure that also pays homage to the roots of science fiction while transporting its readers to a fascinating Victorian London for their own taste of time travel. Yvonne Zipp of The Washington Post calls The Map of Time “a big, genre-bending delight.” The booksellers at Books & Books agree!
This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman
Helen Schulman creates a vivid portrait of the Bergamots, who move from an upstate college town to New York City, where they’re not quite sure how they’ll adapt or what to make of the strange new world of upper-class Manhattan. Just as each family member is adjusting, however, a scandal shatters their comfortable world. This Beautiful Life is a devastating exploration of the blurring boundaries of privacy and the fragility of self, a clear-eyed portrait of modern life that will have readers debating their assumptions about family, morality and the sacrifices and choices we make in the name of love. Jennifer Egan says, “Helen Schulman is one of the most gifted writers of her generation.”
A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers by Michael Holroyd
A Book of Secrets is a treasure trove of hidden lives, uncelebrated achievements and family mysteries. With grace and tender imagination, Holroyd brings a company of unknown women into the light. From Alice Keppel, the mistress of both the second Lord Grimthorpe and the Prince of Wales; to Eve Fairfax, a muse of Auguste Rodin; to the novelist Violet Trefusis, the lover of Vita Sackville-West—these women are always on the periphery of the respectable world. Beautiful!