First thing first: Liza Klaussmann is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville. How freakin' awesome is that?? It says so in the author biography on the back flap.
I've mentioned before that I adore stories set in summer homes. I've never visited let alone owned a summer home, but I find them fascinating. It may stem from the yearning to hang out with my siblings. You see your siblings every day for the first several years of your life, then everyone goes their own way. Kind of sad...but I think a summer home would provide a great excuse to hang out.
I have a huge crush on Nick. She's stylish, strong, smart, a reader. I wish the story focused only on Nick. She could be BFF's with Kate from Rules of Civility. I found Nick's cousin, Helena, to be a not so fully developed character. She seemed like a wisp of a character. The story starts at the end of World War II as the cousins separate and go their own ways. Helena to California to get involved with a loser. Nick moves South with her husband...who's living with a lie that doesn't quite ring true.
Their summers progress through the years. Eventually, they each have a child. The story spirals into a who-dun-it mystery which I could have lived without. The story of Nick doesn't need a distraction. She's a character who has great potential, but Klaussmann doesn't allow her to reach it.