Author: Meredith Jaeger
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Santa Cruz, Summer 1940: When auburn-haired Violet Harcourt is crowned Miss California on the boardwalk of her hometown, she knows she is one step closer to her cherished dream: a Hollywood screen test. But Violet’s victory comes with a price—discord in her seemingly perfect marriage—and she grapples with how much more she is willing to pay.
Summer 2007: Single mother Marisol Cruz lives with her parents in the charming beach cottage that belonged to her grandfather, Ricardo, once a famed performer on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Drawn to the town’s local history and the quaint gazebo where her grandparents danced beneath the stars, Mari sells raffle tickets at the Beach Boardwalk Centennial Celebration, and meets Jason, a California transplant from Chicago.
When Mari discovers the obituary of Violet Harcourt, a beauty queen who died too young, she and Jason are sent on a journey together that will uncover her grandfather’s lifelong secret—his connection to Violet—a story of tragedy and courage that will forever transform them.
My historical fiction reading streak continues with Boardwalk Summer.
This was good! Better than The Dressmaker’s Dowry which I read and reviewed last week. I hope Ms. Jaeger continues to write historical fiction as she continues to entertain.
In this book, the dual story lines were equally engaging! I began to root for Mari as well as Violet as I turned the pages. Violet’s story was sad and harrowing as she endured her abusive marriage and tried to pursue her dream of being an actress. My heart broke a little more with each page. Mari was a feisty single mom who wasn’t taking anything from anybody. I liked that though anxious at times, she persevered. The love story was sweet and not overdone.
I did have one gripe, in trying to tie up loose ends, one got tied that I felt shouldn’t. It was way too much of a stretch and if you read the book, you probably know which one of which I speak. There was no need to make a connection where there did not need to be one. I knocked it down a half star due to the forced, neat ending.
BUT overall this was an entertaining read. Definitely recommend! Look forward to reading Ms. Jaeger’s next book!