The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
“You should own all the pieces of your life, good or bad. They make up who you are.” Hannah to her grandmother.
The Last Bathing Beauty will whisk readers away to Stern’s Summer Resort in South Haven, Michigan, during the carefree summer of 1951. Betty Clare Stern, is the cherished granddaughter of the owners of the resort-one which happens to be a premier destination of the Jewish elite for miles around. Raised by her grandparents from the age of 4, when her parents decided she’d be better off without them; Betty has spent her summers participating and then helping, with the children’s activities. Now at 18 years old, she plans to attend college and forge a career in the New York fashion industry. (The “standard” expectation of Marriage and motherhood might come later.) For now Betty wants to enjoy one last glorious, sun drenched summer in South Haven, palling around with childhood friends, Doris and Georgia; then she’ll be off to follow her dream. The pieces of her puzzle are falling into place.
Fast forward to the summer of 2017, “Boop,” as she is known, is expecting her friends, Doris and Georgia, for a long planned reunion. The arrival of Hannah, her granddaughter, preempts the arrival of Boop’s friends; but no matter, Doris and Georgia are known as Hannah’s “bonus bubbes.” The “bubbes” cajole stories out of Hannah, while “smothered memories are gasping for air through unguarded cracks in Boop’s consciousness.” Author, Amy Nathan, sorts through all the pieces in Boop’s memory as she slowly unpacks the “tackle box that holds her happiest and her saddest memory… love and loss, comedy and tragedy, past and future.”
What will be the final piece to Boop’s life puzzle- that “puzzle of family, love and being true to oneself while honoring those around you?” Readers will be so satisfied with the final and complete, whole picture of The Last Bathing Beauty.
Writer of novels, lover of cats, morning coffee, dark chocolate, and bold lipstick. Former vegetarian, occasional crafter, adequate cook, loyal friend, proud mom to two awesome adults.
A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past for herself and the sake of her family’s future in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-bathing-beauty-amy-sue-nathan/1132798106;jsessionid=3D98C942B0B2413C098E482CA2A72725.prodny_store02-atgap13?ean=9781542007092&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,