by Brook Lea Foster
I read Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster and liked it so when I saw this new book set in 1957 and read a description of it, I knew that I had to read it. A big thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the advanced reading copy of it for my honest review.
Everleigh (Lee) Farrows grew up with her wealthy parents in the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Her mother has struggled with mental health issues her whole life and Lee’s childhood was often lonely. Her parents want her to marry a wealthy man, settle down and have children but after a failed engagement, Lee is in a bit of a bind. Her ex has been spreading rumors about her and her mother’s mental illness has cast a shadow over her life. The eligible young men in her social circle aren’t interested in her now. When she meets handsome, wealthy Roland Whittaker, everything changes. After a whirlwind romance they become engaged and her parents buy them a house. After years of living in a hotel, Lee can’t wait to marry Roland, move into their new house and start their new life together,
However, in June Roland takes her to Southampton for a surprise. He is building a giant waterfront hotel on prestigious Gin Lane and is naming it the Everleigh Hotel after her. Roland thinks that she will be thrilled to spend her days drinking cocktails by the pool and socializing with her wealthy, snobbish friends from Manhattan. She is less than thrilled but decides to go along with Roland’s hotel for the summer and then they can move into their new house.
When the opening of the hotel is a disaster and things start to go wrong, Lee begins to see some things about Roland that she has never noticed. She can’t afford to be a social outcast with another failed engagement and she won’t get her inheritance until she marries so what can she do? As her relationship with Roland continues to deteriorate, Lee begins to discover her own voice and what she really wants to do with her life.
On Gin Lane was an enjoyable read and the setting in Southampton pulled me right into the story. If you enjoy historical fiction set in the 1950’s with a bit of a mystery, you should like On Gin Lane as much as I did.