A Certain Summer: A Novel

Set in 1948 in “Wauregan,” an idyllic East Coast summer community, A Certain Summer explores the aftermath of World War II in a place where “nothing ever changes.” The principal character is Helen Wadsworth, the wife (or possibly widow) of an OSS operative, who has been reported missing in action; other major characters are Helen’s husband’s OSS partner, who survived the mission; a former Marine and his war dog; and Helen’s teenage son. Bookreporter.com described the novel as… “Part mystery, part love story, enlivened by an insider’s view of a private world, A Certain Summer hits home…A really satisfying read…I’m crazy about A Certain Summer.”

The East Hampton Star— “Equal parts novel of manners, historical fiction and quiet examination of social mores, A Certain Summer weaves important questions about class, gender, trauma, and family through its seemingly simple narrative as artfully as an experienced hostess arranges the seating at a dinner table so that conversations flow…Wauregan’s magic prevails…as [the community] learns that it must change to stay true to its origins.”

Publishers Weekly— “Woven into this tale of loss and romance are themes of intrigue, growth, betrayal, psychological trauma, and a fulfilling healing process. Beard’s attention to historical details and understanding of the realities and shortfalls of privilege make this a satisfying…read.”

Goodreads— “A richly evocative debut novel…”