Rhody Reads: Duchess of York Among Highlights at This Summer’s Ocean House Author Series

Deborah Goodrich Royce shares six novels featured this season


Can you imagine a more beautiful summer spot than our very own state of Rhode Island? The beaches, the surfing, the sailing. The corn, the tomatoes, the strawberries. It is a heady season of long days and gentle breezes made all the more delicious by the company of a good book. As the Ocean House Author Series embarks on its fourth year, I am delighted to share some of the new titles and authors we will feature in person in Westerly this summer. This is a small sample of the fun and summer reading we have in store. So come down to the Ocean House, get your favorite books, and grab a beach towel, lemonade, and straw hat to while away your summer afternoons!

Watch Hill author Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg will join us on July 1 to talk about her latest novel, Daughter of a Promise. In it, Blasberg deftly uses the biblical story of Bathsheba to weave a tale of ambition and love in the competitive investment banking world of New York. Written as a letter to the narrator’s unborn son, Daughter of a Promise captures the protagonist’s coming-of-age as she increasingly understands the forces that shaped her and her child’s destiny.

On July 10, Boston-based author Dawn Tripp will be part of the series with her new novel, Jackie, the remarkable story of the beautiful, intelligent, and deeply private Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, who no matter how hard she tried was unable to escape the public’s glare. Through two marriages, motherhood, unspeakable violence, and later a quiet relationship and career, she took her legacy of grief and shaped history even as she lived it on her own terms.

Beatriz Williams returns to the series on July 17 with her latest summer page-turner, Husbands and Lovers. Once again, Williams masterfully weaves timelines and plots to deliver dual narratives: that of a wealthy woman in coastal New England fighting to save her son from a potentially fatal poisoning, and that of a Hungarian war refugee in revolutionary mid-century Egypt, whose decisions and sacrifices will ricochet through the ages.

On July 24, I am delighted to welcome Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, with her international bestselling novel, A Most Intriguing Lady. While Victorian London was rife with pickpockets, elite Victorian country houses hosted their own share of thieves, but wealthy victims with secrets to keep were reticent to call the police. Enter Lady Mary Montagu Douglas Scott, a most unconventional and successful detective. This rollicking tale follows a Duke’s daughter – the perfect Victorian lady – who secretly moonlights as an amateur sleuth for high society’s inner circle.

Another Watch Hill author, Patricia Walsh Chadwick, has a second memoir. Following up on Little Sister, her riveting tale of childhood in a Catholic cult near Boston, Chadwick brings us Breaking Glass, Tales from the Witch of Wall Street. Her incredible journey from a completely isolated and naïve childhood in the countryside to the pinnacle of the financial world of New York is as improbable as it is fascinating. She will join us at the Ocean House Author Series on August 21.

Annabel Monaghan will wrap up our series on August 28 with her aptly named Summer Romance. The romantic and hilarious story of a professional organizer whose life is a mess until she meets someone one fateful summer. Joining Monaghan will be author Alix Strauss, whose powerful, The Joy of Funerals, draws readers into the strange and humorous world of nine women grappling with sex, power, love, and death. Summer Romance and The Joy of Funerals will end your summer with a smile.


Ocean House Author Series

The Ocean House Author Series – a salon-style conversation that Goodrich Royce hosts in partnership with Bank Square Books – brings world-class authors to the stunning seaside location of Watch Hill. It has featured a wide range of fiction and non-fiction writers including Chris Bohjalian, Katie Couric, Emma Straub, and many more. Learn more at OceanHouseEvents.com



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