Every month my Amazon Prime account offers me a free Ebook. Sometimes the choices I make don’t live up to my expectations, and sometimes I fall in love with a book that I probably wouldn’t have chosen, had it not been free. That’s what happened with The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan. From the first page it drew me in, and isn’t that what a book’s meant to do?
Betty Stern is 18 in the summer of 1951. The book begins in September of that year, which Is the month and year of my birth, so that alone caught my attention. In the opening scene Betty is getting ready for her wedding at her grandparents resort in Michigan, an event you can quickly tell is not surrounded by the typical wedding excitement. The reader knows that Betty, beautiful by all accounts, is not marrying for love, and as the book progresses the story unfolds.
If you’ve read my books you know that I write in a vacillating format of “Now and Then”, and The Last Bathing Beauty also moves back and forth from the present to the past. It’s a wonderfully written account of the time when families spent summers together at resorts, and gives the readers of today a glimpse into life in the 1950’s.
The Last Bathing Beauty is a story of memories, and second chances, and first love. It’s a romance without graphic love scenes, but that only makes it better. Being able to imagine that summer in 1951 made it almost magical, and I can still vividly see the characters in my mind.
As the book goes on Betty is now an old woman, “Boop” to her family and friends, and ready to sell the Sterns Resort. As I too am making plans to sell the home I’ve lived in for 37 years, Boop’s feelings reflect my own. She decides to have one last hurrah with her childhood friends, and long lost secrets emerge. An unexpected visit from her granddaughter, Hannah, that same weekend, brings Boop’s story full circle, and explains all the unanswered questions.
If you’re looking for a true “feel good” story, that will leave you thinking about it for days after you turn the last page, you can’t go wrong with The Last Bathing Beauty. It’s available in paperback, Kindle and Audible formats, and I know you won’t be sorry!
Until we read again…📚