The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan


The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan

1951, back when life was simpler. But was it really? Or did we hide, ignore, sweep under the rug anything not fitting our story book ideals?

It’s summer 1951 and Betty ‘Boop’ Stern has had a dream childhood living with her grandparents at their South Haven MI lakeside resort. Well almost. Now a senior in high school and looking forward to attending Barnard College in NYC in the fall, Betty is determined to find summer love. What she does find changes the course of her life.

The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan started off fairly slow. I was tempted to set it aside, but ultimately glad I stuck it out. This is a charming story of a girl finding her way to adulthood in the 1950’s, making plans and sharing secrets with her two best friends. The story switches back and forth between the summer of 1951 and present day.

Betty, now 84 year olds, enjoys one last reunion with her two life long friends before packing up her beloved resort home. As much as she hates to move away, she realizes it may not be wise to live alone in the big old house and is convinced to move to live with her son and family in California.

An unexpected visit from her granddaughter, revival of Miss South Haven contest, and an unfortunate accident has Betty and friends reliving events of their summer of ’51. Long kept secrets are revealed, relationships tested, and Betty is left wondering if broken dreams and changed plans may have been part of the plan all along.

I ended up enjoying The Last Bathing Beauty, in fact think it’s author Amy Sue Nathan’s best novel so far.

I recommend for anyone wanting the nostalgia of bobby socks, penny loafers, and bonfires with the gang; a light spring read with depth; or reminders that regardless of age, our present does not erase our past. Or our future

The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan
Lake Union Publishing
Available April 2020

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