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Summer on the Bluffs

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Emmy Award winner, renowned lawyer and journalist, and View cohost Sunny Hostin makes her literary debut with this dazzling novel about a life-changing summer along the beaches of Martha's Vineyard. Welcome to Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive black beach community in the country. Known for its gingerbread Victorian-style houses and modern architectural marvels, this picturesq Emmy Award winner, renowned lawyer and journalist, and View cohost Sunny Hostin makes her literary debut with this dazzling novel about a life-changing summer along the beaches of Martha's Vineyard. Welcome to Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive black beach community in the country. Known for its gingerbread Victorian-style houses and modern architectural marvels, this picturesque town hugging the sea is a mecca for the crème de la crème of black society—where Michelle and Barack Obama vacation and Meghan Markle has shopped for a house for her mom. Black people have lived in this pretty slip of the Vineyard since the 1600s and began buying property in the 1800s, making this posh town the embodiment of “old money.” Every summer, Esperenza “Perry” Soto, a beautiful and talented Afro-Latina lawyer, escapes the fetid heat of New York City for the gorgeous weather, cool water, and stunning views Oak Bluffs offers. Sharing a cottage on the beach, owned by her “Ama”, with her husband and two god sisters, Perry is looking forward to trading meetings and clients for days of languor and fun. When Memorial Day arrives and the season begins, some of the nation’s wealthiest, most powerful, and famous from the worlds of politics, art, and entertainment meet to swim, dance, party, and chill. While a few can’t leave work behind, others indulge in a different kind of business affair.  But this summer on the Bluffs is different. Ama is moving to the south of France to reunite with her college sweetheart. She is going to give the house to one of her goddaughters and she has invited all three of them to spend the summer with her the way they did when they were kids. Each of the women want the house desperately. Each is grappling with a secret that they fear will make them lose Ama’s approval and the house. . . .


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Emmy Award winner, renowned lawyer and journalist, and View cohost Sunny Hostin makes her literary debut with this dazzling novel about a life-changing summer along the beaches of Martha's Vineyard. Welcome to Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive black beach community in the country. Known for its gingerbread Victorian-style houses and modern architectural marvels, this picturesq Emmy Award winner, renowned lawyer and journalist, and View cohost Sunny Hostin makes her literary debut with this dazzling novel about a life-changing summer along the beaches of Martha's Vineyard. Welcome to Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive black beach community in the country. Known for its gingerbread Victorian-style houses and modern architectural marvels, this picturesque town hugging the sea is a mecca for the crème de la crème of black society—where Michelle and Barack Obama vacation and Meghan Markle has shopped for a house for her mom. Black people have lived in this pretty slip of the Vineyard since the 1600s and began buying property in the 1800s, making this posh town the embodiment of “old money.” Every summer, Esperenza “Perry” Soto, a beautiful and talented Afro-Latina lawyer, escapes the fetid heat of New York City for the gorgeous weather, cool water, and stunning views Oak Bluffs offers. Sharing a cottage on the beach, owned by her “Ama”, with her husband and two god sisters, Perry is looking forward to trading meetings and clients for days of languor and fun. When Memorial Day arrives and the season begins, some of the nation’s wealthiest, most powerful, and famous from the worlds of politics, art, and entertainment meet to swim, dance, party, and chill. While a few can’t leave work behind, others indulge in a different kind of business affair.  But this summer on the Bluffs is different. Ama is moving to the south of France to reunite with her college sweetheart. She is going to give the house to one of her goddaughters and she has invited all three of them to spend the summer with her the way they did when they were kids. Each of the women want the house desperately. Each is grappling with a secret that they fear will make them lose Ama’s approval and the house. . . .

30 review for Summer on the Bluffs

  1. 4 out of 5

    Read In Colour

    It's not possible to read any book about Oak Bluffs and not think of Dorothy West's The Wedding or the movie The Inkwell or the Obamas. When you hear about Martha's Vineyard you think of an overly white, extremely upper class of people. We don't typically get stories of wealthy black people in fiction, at least not in this kind of fiction. It's refreshing. Sunny Hostin invites readers to a world of wealth and class in the form of Amelia Vaux Tanner. I really like that Hostin doesn't overtly name It's not possible to read any book about Oak Bluffs and not think of Dorothy West's The Wedding or the movie The Inkwell or the Obamas. When you hear about Martha's Vineyard you think of an overly white, extremely upper class of people. We don't typically get stories of wealthy black people in fiction, at least not in this kind of fiction. It's refreshing. Sunny Hostin invites readers to a world of wealth and class in the form of Amelia Vaux Tanner. I really like that Hostin doesn't overtly name drop, but she does drop artist names and brands that you definitely want to bookmark so you can go back and look them up later. The secrets that Ama is keeping took me back to 80s dramatic sagas like Lace or the Thornbirds. Like I knew something was coming but I never figured out what was coming, so I gasped as each secret was revealed. How hooked was I? When I started reading the book today, I was about a quarter ways through and didn't turn on the TV or my computer until I was done four hours later. I loved the characters, I loved their backstories. I do wish she'd delved a little deeper into some relationships, but overall I just really enjoyed this book. since the subtitle is Oak Bluffs

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Plunkett

    Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin is a work of audio art! I loved digging into this story and was captivated by the way Hostin wove each character's story together. Move over Elin Hilderbrand, there's a new Queen of the Martha's Vineyard set books. January LaVoy has a beautiful voice and it was enchanting. When I finished the last section I wished there was more to listen to. Summer on the Bluffs will be a classic for many years to come and will be one of the hottest books of 2021. There's lo Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin is a work of audio art! I loved digging into this story and was captivated by the way Hostin wove each character's story together. Move over Elin Hilderbrand, there's a new Queen of the Martha's Vineyard set books. January LaVoy has a beautiful voice and it was enchanting. When I finished the last section I wished there was more to listen to. Summer on the Bluffs will be a classic for many years to come and will be one of the hottest books of 2021. There's love, romance, mystery and intrigue with the beautiful Vineyard setting. Hostin also dives into deeper topics in a way lesser authors may shy away from. This book not only transported me, but encouraged discussion and challenged me in the way only the best books can. Summer on the Bluffs follows Ama Vaux Tanner and her three goddaughters: Perry, Olivia and Billie. Ama and her husband Omar built a beautiful life together between Manhattan and Oak Bluffs in Martha's Vineyard and opened their hearts to three goddaughters they would host every summer. This summer is different though, Omar has passed and the little girls are all grown up. Ama asks them to spend one last summer on the island and reveals she'll give one of the girls the house she and Omar built to painstaking perfection. Summer on the Bluffs chronicles that summer, but dives much deeper into the past. To moments that shaped each girl and to the way Ama and Omar fell in love and built their impressive careers. I enjoyed this book immensely.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin is a great, refreshing, heartwarming book about heart, love, relationships, family, and secrets. This is an excellent book that centers around Ama and Omar and their wonderful life and summer house together in Martha’s Vineyard. The reader then gets to see a mystery unfold in the “adoption” of three goddaughters: Perry, Olivia, and Billie. We learn of their relationships with each girl, and with each other. Fast forward to current day, all the girls are brough Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin is a great, refreshing, heartwarming book about heart, love, relationships, family, and secrets. This is an excellent book that centers around Ama and Omar and their wonderful life and summer house together in Martha’s Vineyard. The reader then gets to see a mystery unfold in the “adoption” of three goddaughters: Perry, Olivia, and Billie. We learn of their relationships with each girl, and with each other. Fast forward to current day, all the girls are brought to the summer house one more time to find out which one may inherit the gem will Ama takes the next step as a widow into staying abroad with her new love interest. We learn all the girls have their own secrets as well as Ama and the late Omar. Will the unearthing of long-buried secrets bring the women together, or push them a apart? A great, relaxing read with a great ending. I loved the female characters. They were real, flawed, like able, strong, and fierce. This looks to be the beginning of a new series. I look forward to additional books if they are as amazing as this read. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dawnny

    This was a deeply moving story of an upper crust black family on Martha's Vineyard. Ama and Omar had no children but they have three goddaughters. Now, the three goddaughters gather at their home in Martha's Vineyard. Each one eager to see who Ama will leave the house to. All of them have hidden secrets they carry, including Ama. This was a moving and suspenseful story of family and secrets. I love stories like this and especially the setting on Martha's Vineyard. I really enjoyed this. There is This was a deeply moving story of an upper crust black family on Martha's Vineyard. Ama and Omar had no children but they have three goddaughters. Now, the three goddaughters gather at their home in Martha's Vineyard. Each one eager to see who Ama will leave the house to. All of them have hidden secrets they carry, including Ama. This was a moving and suspenseful story of family and secrets. I love stories like this and especially the setting on Martha's Vineyard. I really enjoyed this. There is alot to this story. Dawnny-BookGypsy Novels N Latte Book Club Hudson Valley NY Mahogany Media Review

  5. 4 out of 5

    Permanently_Booked

    Contemporary literature is a fairly new genre for me. I love the portrayal of life and growth that comes from a read like this. Each character is battling their own inner demons and what I love most is that this isn’t just a happy fairy tale ending. It is life. It is up and downs, fights and make-ups, struggles and victories. This novel looks at the life of Ama, her rise as a successful African American woman and the decisions she made that affected the lives of those around her. Ama and her husb Contemporary literature is a fairly new genre for me. I love the portrayal of life and growth that comes from a read like this. Each character is battling their own inner demons and what I love most is that this isn’t just a happy fairy tale ending. It is life. It is up and downs, fights and make-ups, struggles and victories. This novel looks at the life of Ama, her rise as a successful African American woman and the decisions she made that affected the lives of those around her. Ama and her husband Omar have lived a wonderful life and during that life they had three god daughters brought into their lives. Ama decides that her infamous house on Oak Bluffs will be inherited by one of her three god daughters. But who will inherit this childhood home? All of the females in this novel have a fiery inner strength. They come from backgrounds of oppression, loss and struggle. Learning about each of their childhoods, how they were connected to Ama and each of the secrets they held kept me intrigued throughout the story. I did enjoy this novel with its uplifting feel but outside of the unique connections each god daughter had with Ama and Omar there wasn’t a lot that made this completely stand out for me. Some areas in the beginning do drag and the climaxes at the end left me feeling rushed instead of satisfied. Don’t let that dissuade you. This would make for a great beach read, especially for the underlying themes. Thank you to the Book Club Girls, HarperLux and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this novel for an honest and unbiased opinion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Celia Buell

    Free in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Goodreads Giveaways. Thanks to William Morrow for listing. There is not enough out there about affluent black communities, and especially not about black women. The way they are portrayed in media and literature always accentuates struggles, which are very important for people to learn about, or they're about a specific black person and his or her specific experiences. This novel encompasses a lot more than just that. It focuses on a black woman, Free in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Goodreads Giveaways. Thanks to William Morrow for listing. There is not enough out there about affluent black communities, and especially not about black women. The way they are portrayed in media and literature always accentuates struggles, which are very important for people to learn about, or they're about a specific black person and his or her specific experiences. This novel encompasses a lot more than just that. It focuses on a black woman, Amelia "Ama" Vaux Tanner, who worked her way up from New Orleans to Wall Street, and encourages and aids her goddaughters, now in their twenties and thirties, to do the same. In the summers, she lives in Oak Bluffs, a community for affluent black people's summer homes in Martha's vineyard, but she's ready to retire from that life. At the end of this summer, she will give the house to one of her goddaughters, Perry, Olivia, or Billie. But first there are secrets that she has to make known to the girls, and others that they need to tell her. They are all at difficult points in their lives and they have a lot to work through. If this sounds like every other contemporary novel out there, I guess it kind of is. But somehow Sunny Hostin creates this story to be so much more. Her characters are interesting and leave me wanting more throughout their whole stories. There's Perry, with a rocky relationship and a burning desire for a baby when she can't seem to get pregnant; Olivia, who experiences colorism more highly than the other two, and Billie, who explores what it means to be a black lesbian throughout the novel. Each of these struggles, as well as Ama's own, are focused on in equal parts throughout the novel, and as the sisters come together for one final summer, I really enjoyed how each of them were portrayed. The only story I feel like was lacking a bit was Billie's. She does not get as much "screen time" as her godsisters, and the issues she faces throughout the story are resolved more haphazardly than everyone else's. I wish we'd seen more of her relationship with Dulce when they were having snags, in a lot of the same way we saw Perry's relationship's ups and downs. Overall, though, I think Sunny Hostin is an excellent and very much needed new voice in contemporary fiction, and I hope she writes more. I definitely look forward to continuing the Oak Bluffs series when the next book comes out.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin is a great, refreshing, heartwarming book about heart, love, relationships, family, and secrets. This is an excellent book that centers around Ama and Omar and their wonderful life and summer house together in Martha’s Vineyard. The reader then gets to see a mystery unfold in the “adoption” of three goddaughters: Perry, Olivia, and Billie. We learn of their relationships with each girl, and with each other. Fast forward to current day, all the girls are brough Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin is a great, refreshing, heartwarming book about heart, love, relationships, family, and secrets. This is an excellent book that centers around Ama and Omar and their wonderful life and summer house together in Martha’s Vineyard. The reader then gets to see a mystery unfold in the “adoption” of three goddaughters: Perry, Olivia, and Billie. We learn of their relationships with each girl, and with each other. Fast forward to current day, all the girls are brought to the summer house one more time to find out which one may inherit the gem will Ama takes the next step as a widow into staying abroad with her new love interest. We learn all the girls have their own secrets as well as Ama and the late Omar. Will the unearthing of long-buried secrets bring the women together, or push them a apart? A great, relaxing read with a great ending. I loved the female characters. They were real, flawed, like able, strong, and fierce. This looks to be the beginning of a new series. I look forward to additional books if they are as amazing as this read. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Summer on the Bluffs was a mixed bag for me. In one regard, the four women at the center of the story are the pinnacle of strong women that have worked hard and achieved success. They each have demons they struggle with in their life that makes you not hate them for being successful. But I never really feel like I get to know any of them - I just float along the surface of their lives without feeling their struggles with them. And the book doesn't really feel like it builds a strong relationship Summer on the Bluffs was a mixed bag for me. In one regard, the four women at the center of the story are the pinnacle of strong women that have worked hard and achieved success. They each have demons they struggle with in their life that makes you not hate them for being successful. But I never really feel like I get to know any of them - I just float along the surface of their lives without feeling their struggles with them. And the book doesn't really feel like it builds a strong relationship among the women, their stories are mostly told as if they coexisted instead of being intertwined, and it turns out that there is more to their relationship than really seems. And while I love Billie (maybe because she's the free spirit I'm not), Olivia seems angry at the world and so desperate to prove herself that she never sees her own potential. Perry is a perfectionist in an unhappy marriage, and I can't say that I would make the same choices she did. While I can handle all of those things, the one thing that drove me crazy about this book was the name-dropping and excessive background building. I'm pretty sure I lost track of the number of artists, actors and musicians that are casually bandied about, along with fashion designers and politicians. It felt like the author did it to try and elevate the circles these women circulated in, and it wasn't necessary.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karen Parisot

    This story began a little slowly for me. I didn’t enjoy the narrative outlining Ama and Omar’s background and the paths they followed to success. I did however lap up the rest of the book which follows the lives of their three goddaughters. Full of atmosphere with lavish descriptions of the island, Chateau Laveau and the elegant attire they wear, it’s a feast for the senses. I was totally unaware of the existence of Oak Bluffs and found it fascinating. If I were to categorize the book I would sa This story began a little slowly for me. I didn’t enjoy the narrative outlining Ama and Omar’s background and the paths they followed to success. I did however lap up the rest of the book which follows the lives of their three goddaughters. Full of atmosphere with lavish descriptions of the island, Chateau Laveau and the elegant attire they wear, it’s a feast for the senses. I was totally unaware of the existence of Oak Bluffs and found it fascinating. If I were to categorize the book I would say it’s a romance novel, but there is also an element of mystery involving Ama and Omar’s skeletons in the closet. A perfect book for your summertime reading pleasure. 3.75 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Yelton

    I received and exclusive excerpt for the book Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin from the publisher. The first 90 pages of this book, were just enough of a tease to get you interested in the outcome of the story so that you will buy the book to find out how this story ended. I found the book to be very well written, a interesting concept and contained enough angst and jealousy to make me wonder about the outcome. I look forward to the release of the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laci Hargis

    Well hello summer!! Wow this book is a great way to kick off your summer! I absolutely LOVED this book. Summer on the Bluffs is a book that is hard to put down. I am giving this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️’s!! Summer on the Bluffs is a life changing summer for Ama and her three goddaughters Perry, Olivia, and Billie. Ama and her husband Omar built a beautiful house on the bluffs of Martha’s Vineyard. Perry, Olivia, and Billie grew up spending their summers in the Vineyards.Ama has been mourning the loss of Well hello summer!! Wow this book is a great way to kick off your summer! I absolutely LOVED this book. Summer on the Bluffs is a book that is hard to put down. I am giving this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️’s!! Summer on the Bluffs is a life changing summer for Ama and her three goddaughters Perry, Olivia, and Billie. Ama and her husband Omar built a beautiful house on the bluffs of Martha’s Vineyard. Perry, Olivia, and Billie grew up spending their summers in the Vineyards.Ama has been mourning the loss of her husband Omar. She realizes she needs to get her affairs in order if something happened to her. While getting this done she runs into her college sweetheart and falls in love. He has asked her to move with him to France. So Ama has invited her goddaughters to spend this summer with her like the way they did when they were kids. Ama has planned to give the house on the bluffs to one of the girls. Each girl wants the house desperately, but they fear their secrets will get out to Ama. Unknown to her goddaughters, they aren’t the only one with secrets.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deb Ristow

    I received Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin as part of the Goodreads Giveaway program. Summer on the Bluffs is the story of three women mentored by their godmother. Ama. When they are brought together one summer, they soon realize that they are not the only ones with secrets. I really wanted to love this book, and there were various parts of each woman's storyline that I really did love. I just didn't love the whole book- the stories of the three women and Ama were not cohesive and I just ha I received Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin as part of the Goodreads Giveaway program. Summer on the Bluffs is the story of three women mentored by their godmother. Ama. When they are brought together one summer, they soon realize that they are not the only ones with secrets. I really wanted to love this book, and there were various parts of each woman's storyline that I really did love. I just didn't love the whole book- the stories of the three women and Ama were not cohesive and I just had such a hard time relating to the characters. I love a book with well woven characters, even if the storyline isn't the strongest....this was just one of those books were the characters were not developed well enough for me to throw myself into their stories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This would make a great summer read. A story of strong women who are bonded together through unique circumstances. A story about family even though it is not a traditional family. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie Bevins

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have not read anything by Sunny Hostin prior to this. Such a talented writer! I love all of the characters especially Ama. There were so many plot twists and unexpected ties and connections amongst the characters. I definitely recommend this book. Thank you to Netgalley.com for the advanced readers copy audio book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I enjoyed the history and intertwining of characters, their past history and their lives. I enjoyed learning about Oak Bluffs and the area. The story kept me interested but I didn't enjoy the name dropping. A little more than necessary but I would still recommend this book. I enjoyed the history and intertwining of characters, their past history and their lives. I enjoyed learning about Oak Bluffs and the area. The story kept me interested but I didn't enjoy the name dropping. A little more than necessary but I would still recommend this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nance Davidson

    I was delighted to receive my ARC of Sunny Hostin's Summer on the Bluff for a number of reasons. The history of Oak Bluffs as an African American community has always fascinated me, and I have always respected Sunny Hostin as a co-host on The View. Thus, it was with great disappointment that I read the book. Superficial in content, filled with name dropping, and lean on realistic character development, it's just another throw-away beach read. I can't imagine what limited audience this book would I was delighted to receive my ARC of Sunny Hostin's Summer on the Bluff for a number of reasons. The history of Oak Bluffs as an African American community has always fascinated me, and I have always respected Sunny Hostin as a co-host on The View. Thus, it was with great disappointment that I read the book. Superficial in content, filled with name dropping, and lean on realistic character development, it's just another throw-away beach read. I can't imagine what limited audience this book would appeal to. I'm only sorry I didn't read the book earlier because I would have urged Harper Collins not to publish it, particularly at this time in history when so many African Americans are suffering. The people in this book are unsympathetic to those of any race. What a waste of 385 pages. It's unfortunate that the advance the company paid to Hostin and the printing costs couldn't have been donated to an organization that supports Black Lives Matter.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    I was chosen to receive this book by entering a goodreads drawing. Summer on the Bluffs was not for me. I found the book to be a bit shallow with a lot of name dropping. There was too much focus on wealth and lists of successful artists, musicians, writers and their works and not enough emphasis on character and story development. I was tempted to put the book aside but I persevered. I am glad I did because the last 100 pages finally became an interesting story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I received a digital copy of this from NetGally in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to like this but I guess I wasn't the target audience. Although I like references to artwork and designers in books I felt like it was way overdone in this story. Although i was somewhat intrigued by the story it didn't hold my interest enough to enjoy reading it. I received a digital copy of this from NetGally in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to like this but I guess I wasn't the target audience. Although I like references to artwork and designers in books I felt like it was way overdone in this story. Although i was somewhat intrigued by the story it didn't hold my interest enough to enjoy reading it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Living My Best Book Life

    Summer on the Bluffs is a charming and delightful read about family, love, loss, and hope. Sunny Hostin's writing is so inviting and made it easy to get wrapped up in this story. The story is told from multiple perspectives which I really enjoyed because we get to know the entire family in the past and present. The story centers around Ama and her husband Omar and their three goddaughters: Perry, Olivia, and Billie. These characters are so likable which is one of the reasons why I was glued to t Summer on the Bluffs is a charming and delightful read about family, love, loss, and hope. Sunny Hostin's writing is so inviting and made it easy to get wrapped up in this story. The story is told from multiple perspectives which I really enjoyed because we get to know the entire family in the past and present. The story centers around Ama and her husband Omar and their three goddaughters: Perry, Olivia, and Billie. These characters are so likable which is one of the reasons why I was glued to the book. Ama and Omar had a love for the ages. They had a wonderful meet-cute and really fit. Their love was powerful and magical. I loved that both of these characters were proud of their culture and truly shined in Oak Bluffs. Oak Bluffs is a prestigious black beach community in Martha's Vineyard. Sunny Hostin showed straight away that no matter your color YOU CAN be successful. The book goes back and forth between past and present and we learn that Omar has passed away. Ama is trying to find her place again in the world as a widower and single woman. She knows that she doesn't want to live in the Oak Bluffs house by herself so he asks her goddaughters to visit so they can all spend time together like they used to. We then meet all three girls: Perry, Olivia, and Billie. They are all so different but you can tell right off the bat how much family means to them. I loved that the author gives readers a backstory of each of the girls. The way Sunny was able to keep their stories unique and genuine to each of the characters and tie them together beautifully was magic. I give Summer on the Bluffs 5 stars. There are so many things to love about this book. I loved that these characters are of color. Being a woman of color I truly appreciate when I am able to envision the characters as people who actually look like me. The multiple perspectives fit so well into the story. And the family aspect of the book is magnificent. These women have suffered, loved, and overcome so many obstacles which allow readers to feel the emotions along with these characters. I couldn't put the book down and I feel like Sunny Hostin has found herself in the writing community. Her writing style is inviting, conversational, and engaging. I can't wait to read more of her books. Oh, and btw this would make a great Netflix series!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The narrator was spot-on. She covered black male and female, Latina, Creole, white male and female. She was very expressive and added to the story without overshadowing it. This book covers so many topics; racial injustices, white and light privilege, art, fashion, cuisine, out-of-wedlock babies, adoption, drug abuse, love, sex and friendship. It follows the lives of Ama, her husband, Omar, and their 3 god-daughters, Perry, Olivia and Billie. At times I loved this book, and at times I hated this The narrator was spot-on. She covered black male and female, Latina, Creole, white male and female. She was very expressive and added to the story without overshadowing it. This book covers so many topics; racial injustices, white and light privilege, art, fashion, cuisine, out-of-wedlock babies, adoption, drug abuse, love, sex and friendship. It follows the lives of Ama, her husband, Omar, and their 3 god-daughters, Perry, Olivia and Billie. At times I loved this book, and at times I hated this book. I loved how it showed this white girl a bit of what it is like to be black. And although I have in recent years realized my white privilege, I never considered that the same could be said for light privilege. I also appreciated that Billie calls Olivia out on her bias as a black person against people with white skin. People on each side can have skewed vision. I also loved how Perry decides to work to save her marriage instead of giving up when things aren't easy anymore. I found it interesting that Ama only bought or listened to things made by colored people. (The frequent name dropping grew tiresome as the book wore on.) Would appreciating something done by a white person somehow make her a sell-out? I was genuinely confused by this. I did not need the detailed sex scenes. It would have been enough to say that Perry and Damon had a lot of fun in a lot of places while on their honeymoon. I have an imagination. Does every book these days need to include a homosexual relationship? Even though less than 4% of the US is actually LGBQ. Also, I was really sad when Ama chose to be selfish and maintain her DINK status quo instead of honoring her best friend's dying wish to raise her baby. Despite my love/hate relationship with this book (or maybe because of it?) I would rate this book 3.5 stars. Since I can't give a half star, I'll bump it up to 4. Sunny is a very good writer. And she paints an easy to understand picture of struggles that black people, especially black women, have had to endure. If not for the sex scenes, I would recommend this book to teenagers. As it stands, it is a compelling, and hopefully influential, read for adults.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary Grace

    Sunny Hostin's Summer on the Bluffs brought back lovely memories of visits to Martha's Vineyard and the gingerbread cottages on Oak Bluffs. She captured the essence of the beautiful island, particularly at a time when travel is not recommended due to the pandemic. Ama and Omar's relationships with Perry, Olivia, and Billie initially revealed how caring and generous they were, sharing their home, their fortune, and, most of all, their love with three impressionable girls. As they grew, the young Sunny Hostin's Summer on the Bluffs brought back lovely memories of visits to Martha's Vineyard and the gingerbread cottages on Oak Bluffs. She captured the essence of the beautiful island, particularly at a time when travel is not recommended due to the pandemic. Ama and Omar's relationships with Perry, Olivia, and Billie initially revealed how caring and generous they were, sharing their home, their fortune, and, most of all, their love with three impressionable girls. As they grew, the young women appreciated all that had been given to them, so it was all the more shocking to them when they learned that Ama and Omar were not who they thought they were, and that their motives were not as unselfish as the young women had thought. Hostin shows that families, whether biological or not, are often filled with secrets held for what some believe to be good reasons; but the secrets always come out, sometimes with devastating consequences. Forgiveness plays a huge part in how these secrets are received. P.S. I know this is an advanced reader's edition and will received further editing, but there were a couple of errors I thought I would mention. In the fourth paragraph of the introduction, readers are told that Ama is "now nearly seventy-one" but throughout the novel Ama is sixty-seven. (Ordinarly, I might not have noticed this, but I am seventy-one so it made an impression.) The second error occurs in Chapter 1 when Amelia reminisces about her first trip to New York City in 1972. When she arrives at Grand Central Terminal (not Station), she is "staring up at the starry silhouette of Orion in the bright blue celestial ceiling." I worked in New York City for several years in the late 1960s and early 1970s and walked through the terminal every morning and evening. At the time you could not see a bright blue ceiling because it had been neglected for decades and was covered in dirt. Jackie Kennedy Onassis and preservationists fought to save and restore Grand Central Terminal to its original glory which was accomplished in the 1990s.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ReBecca

    ***I received an advanced copy of this ebook from Harper Collins Publishers - NetGalaxy, in exchange for an honest review.*** Follow the story of four women as they journey through life, love, relationships, family, and more. Summer on the Bluffs is a fantastic novel about Ama and Omar and their three goddaughters, Olivia, Perry, and Billie. As the reader, you get an inside look at their current lives, their past, and their family history. All leading up to the summer "vacation" with Ama and her ***I received an advanced copy of this ebook from Harper Collins Publishers - NetGalaxy, in exchange for an honest review.*** Follow the story of four women as they journey through life, love, relationships, family, and more. Summer on the Bluffs is a fantastic novel about Ama and Omar and their three goddaughters, Olivia, Perry, and Billie. As the reader, you get an inside look at their current lives, their past, and their family history. All leading up to the summer "vacation" with Ama and her goddaughters, at Ama's beach house in Oaks Bluff. However, what the girls don't realize is, there are secrets that Ama and Omar have kept from the girls their whole life and this summer those secrets will be revealed to the girls. Each girls' secret will change their lives in ways they never expected but will their relationship with Ama stay as strong. I'm not going to lie, I was a little hesitant on this book at first. I'm not a huge fan of The View and co-host Sunny Hostin, so I was cautious to read this book.....HOWEVER, I'm really glad that I did. I loved it. I thought it was a great, enjoyable, light, and fun hearted, read. I enjoyed the characters and learning more about each of the women in the book. Sunny did a great job making you feel like you were a part of the book's story and friends with each character. By the end of it I was wishing I was Ama's goddaughter! The beginning was a little rough, I didn't know how the book was going to go, but as I continued reading, I just couldn't put it down. I kept trying to figure out how these girls had come to be a part of Ama and Omar's life. And when you finally find out the secrets that Ama has kept from the girls their whole life... just O-M-G!!! Each secret was heartbreaking in its own way but also a "light at the end of the tunnel" kind of feel. Olivia's secret broke my heart, Perry's I had kind of guessed, but still really enjoyed, and Billie's I just couldn't believe it. Overall I would definitely recommend this book!! A great read for any occasion or trip!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    Much respect for this author however, this was way too much racism and way too many racist remarks to handle. I'm an avid fan of the view and I look forward to watching her legal expertise and opinions of the show but had I had known that this would be to the level of negativity I would never have requested it. The cover is absolutely stunning, the plot was dynamic, but the character's commentary such as this," I see your white boy is house trained." Or this, " Meghan Markle-ish" was just offensi Much respect for this author however, this was way too much racism and way too many racist remarks to handle. I'm an avid fan of the view and I look forward to watching her legal expertise and opinions of the show but had I had known that this would be to the level of negativity I would never have requested it. The cover is absolutely stunning, the plot was dynamic, but the character's commentary such as this," I see your white boy is house trained." Or this, " Meghan Markle-ish" was just offensive as I respect and admire Meghan and women of color. The racial tension was just too much with the name calling and direct-in-your face attitudes that I was shocked by the necessity when the book stood well on the basis of the story alone with all the negativity and toxicity. This would've been a five star review had it toned down the rhetoric as I enjoyed the story about Ama and her three goddaughters who seek to inherit her beach home property upon her passing. However, Ama does have her secrets and her love for Carter was quite apparent. He too came off as cocky, arrogant, and obnoxious. With Omar's death we see a different side to not only Ameilia but also the three girls Perry aka Esperanza, Olivia, and Billy (youngest child). The fact that Amelia became engaged after being widowed seemed a bit rushed but he was her college sweetheart so the foundation was present. Perry and her drunk fling was also a bit of tension filled drama that coupled with Dameon and Sabrina shower issue. As if that's not enough we also find a wedding day being planned, just one so-called -blood relative- and a mess with the final Chateau Laveau reveal. This wedding was done up during the pandemic so there's some concern there in the final moments of this audio. All in all I wish I could've enjoyed this more without the harsh tones throughout and strong commentary but sadly it wasn't meant to be. Thank you to Sunny, the publisher Harper Audio, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Summer in the Bluffs is about a childless African American power couple, Ama and Omar, and their three goddaughters. Omar is gone and Ama wants the goddaughters to spend the summer with her one last time on her estate on Martha's Vineyard, before she gifts one of them the house. First of all, I really liked the characters in this book. Yes, all of them were flawed, but they were interesting and passionate and each had a good story. Then, as a white woman, especially reading this book in this parti Summer in the Bluffs is about a childless African American power couple, Ama and Omar, and their three goddaughters. Omar is gone and Ama wants the goddaughters to spend the summer with her one last time on her estate on Martha's Vineyard, before she gifts one of them the house. First of all, I really liked the characters in this book. Yes, all of them were flawed, but they were interesting and passionate and each had a good story. Then, as a white woman, especially reading this book in this particular week in our history, I felt that I was able to at least take away a bit of insight into this African American author's life experience: The ability to only truly relax and be oneself when around those with the same life experience, the need to constantly be better than a white person to be treated as less than them but passable, and even the particular shade of one's skin being judged within the African American (and white) community. However, while I liked the characters and the story, I had a lot of problems with the writing. Between the cliches (the sex scenes read like they were out of an old-school romance novel) and the inconsistencies in events in the plot, I was constantly distracted from the story. From characters who saw someone laughing on the phone when they didn't wake up until hours later to someone being adamant that she wasn't ready to introduce her girlfriend to her family to suddenly having the girlfriend meet the family the next day without any explanation or acknowledgement, it drove me crazy. I started trying to find all the mistakes instead of being able to fully immerse myself in the story. The name dropping was also a lot throughout, although it did introduce me to a couple new jazz albums, so that's a good thing to come out of it. Thank you to The Book Club Girls, NetGalley, and William Morrow with providing me with an arc of this book. It has not influenced my opinion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jo Dervan

    Amalia Vaux left her family in New Orleans and came to NYC to start work as a secretary. She attended college part time and finally was able to become a trader on the floor of the Stock Exchange. She continued to rise through the financial world until she was known as the Witch of Wall Street partially because of her Creole heritage but mostly because of her expertise. She married Omar Tanner, a successful lawyer who was also self made. Together they were the ultimate black power couple. So it w Amalia Vaux left her family in New Orleans and came to NYC to start work as a secretary. She attended college part time and finally was able to become a trader on the floor of the Stock Exchange. She continued to rise through the financial world until she was known as the Witch of Wall Street partially because of her Creole heritage but mostly because of her expertise. She married Omar Tanner, a successful lawyer who was also self made. Together they were the ultimate black power couple. So it was no surprise when the couple bought a large piece of land on Martha’s Vineyard and built an impressive house. The Vineyard has an area called Oak Bluffs where black people have had vacation homes for many years. Ama, as she was now known, and Omar became popular hosts to other successful blacks who journeyed to the Vineyard. The couple had no children but instead became the godparents to three teen aged girls. The girls spent summers at the Vineyard with the couple who also served as their mentors and benefactors year round. Then Omar died and Ama decided it was time pass her beloved Vineyard on to one of the god daughters as well as divulge secrets that she and Omar had concealed from them for all their lives. So she invited the girls, now successful women, to spend the last summer with her at the house. This story exposes the reader to the world of upper class black society. The guest list at Ama’s Vineyard cottage reads like a volume of the Black Who’s Who. The author also uses fashion and cultural name dropping while describing the characters’ clothes and the interiors of the homes. However readers of any ethnic group will be able to understand the problems and struggles of the characters. I received this ARC from the publisher and Net Galley in exchange for a fair review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angie Simmonds

    Summer on the Bluffs was a different kind of black novel than I had ever read before. Most novels with black main characters that I have read explored themes of slavery or racism. This one explored themes of wealth and family. Ama and Omar are a successful black couple who have a beautiful stately summer home on the beach in Oak Bluffs. They seem to have everything except children to share it with, until one summer they invite a young girl named Perry to join them. The next summer Olivia joins Pe Summer on the Bluffs was a different kind of black novel than I had ever read before. Most novels with black main characters that I have read explored themes of slavery or racism. This one explored themes of wealth and family. Ama and Omar are a successful black couple who have a beautiful stately summer home on the beach in Oak Bluffs. They seem to have everything except children to share it with, until one summer they invite a young girl named Perry to join them. The next summer Olivia joins Perry, Ama and Omar and the following summer Billie joins them as well. These 3 girls, collectively called their godchildren join Ama and Omar each summer into their adult years. But now, Omar is dead and Ama is ready to let go of her beloved Chateau Laveau so she invites her three godchildren for one last summer together before she bequeaths the house to one of them as well as finally divulges the secrets her and Omar have kept hidden from them. I loved Ama's elegance and independence as well as her fierce love for her goddaughters. I also enjoyed each young woman's individual personalities and what Chateau Laveau has meant to them. Perry is struggling with infertility and infidelity. Olivia is searching for Mr. Right and feels her beauty doesn't quite measure up because her skin is darker than the others. Billie is in love but is keeping it a secret because she has not come out to Ama and her godsisters yet. Join them for the summer in Oak Bluffs and see if their stories tug at your hearts like they did mine.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    This book starts with a couple Ama and Omar. Such a loving, rich couple that has exceeded their every dreams in each of there careers. Finding themselves in a position to share their fortunes, they choose to take 3 young girls to share in their summer home. Give them a taste of life with no boundaries. To be loved like their own children. This is the year, Ama decides she needs to leave this place and give the house to one of these "goddaughters", but not before she has to reveal to each of them This book starts with a couple Ama and Omar. Such a loving, rich couple that has exceeded their every dreams in each of there careers. Finding themselves in a position to share their fortunes, they choose to take 3 young girls to share in their summer home. Give them a taste of life with no boundaries. To be loved like their own children. This is the year, Ama decides she needs to leave this place and give the house to one of these "goddaughters", but not before she has to reveal to each of them the reason they were chosen to share in this lifestyle. The amazing messages each of these girls gets from Ama is shocking and life altering. I was very fortunate to get an Advanced Copy of this book from Netgalley. I found the beginning of this book to be a bit slow, but knowing how it turns I see the pace at which it started was a necessity. Once the "sisters" start to get the reason of their fortunate love from Omar and Ama, things get crazy. Each of them are struggling with their own life issues, let alone learning new things about their "godparents". I love the life lessons Ama doles out. She's extremely mindful of not overstepping that precious space. Yet she gives each of them a chance at living their lives the way they need to. Processing the information on their own and in their personal way. I'd give this book a 4 out of 5 because of the beginning mainly. But I loved the ending!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I received an advance copy of this book. Thank you William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishing. This is a light, breezy book, that is very enjoyable. This is a great beach read set in picture perfect Martha's Vineyard. I loved the fact that the book portrayed strong, powerful successful African American women. I loved how it described Martha's Vineyard, specifically Oak Bluffs, an exclusive Black community. Alas, as I read the book, I never felt truly connected to the characters, it was just a quick I received an advance copy of this book. Thank you William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishing. This is a light, breezy book, that is very enjoyable. This is a great beach read set in picture perfect Martha's Vineyard. I loved the fact that the book portrayed strong, powerful successful African American women. I loved how it described Martha's Vineyard, specifically Oak Bluffs, an exclusive Black community. Alas, as I read the book, I never felt truly connected to the characters, it was just a quick enjoyable read. Ama and Omar Tanner are a very wealthy, successful African American couple who have summered in Martha's Vineyard since Ama was invited there by the first friend she made when she came to NYC from New Orleans. Ama became a very successful stockbroker, and the first black woman on the trading floor. Her husband was a very successful lawyer. Over the years, the two took three girls under their wing, having them spend summers with them and setting them up to flourish in what ever they desire. All three girls have grown up to be successful women and consider each other their summer sisters. After Omars death, Ama realizes her time on Martha's Vineyard has come to an end. She wants to have one more summer with the girls, now grown women, together. By the end of the summer, she will leave the house to one of them and share secrets that the girls were never aware of.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Summer on the Bluffs follows the lives of three woman as they each "grapple with a secret." Unfortunately, I thought that specific aspect of the book truly fell flat. I enjoyed learning about all the characters, but I felt like I never truly learned about any of the characters? Yea, they all had their secrets, but the only one that was worth anything in terms of the story line was Ama's secret. That one really kept the book interested. The story was told weaving in love, betrayal, loss, moving on Summer on the Bluffs follows the lives of three woman as they each "grapple with a secret." Unfortunately, I thought that specific aspect of the book truly fell flat. I enjoyed learning about all the characters, but I felt like I never truly learned about any of the characters? Yea, they all had their secrets, but the only one that was worth anything in terms of the story line was Ama's secret. That one really kept the book interested. The story was told weaving in love, betrayal, loss, moving on, friendship, sisterhood, and family. However, I felt that most of the book was superficial and full of too much name dropping. Typically, I am able to immerse myself into what the characters are feeling, but I just did not connect at any point within this book. There was a natural progression of the characters and then... that was it. I guess the predictability of it all and the lackluster emotion was what got me. Maybe I need to revisit this one again when we aren't in the middle of a snowstorm, but for now, I feel confident in saying this is a 3-star book for me. I would put this book in the same category as an Elin Hilderbrand book - very similar writing but picture Martha's Vineyard instead of Nantucket. Recommendation to read outside by the pool or on a beach somewhere :) *I received an advanced copy of the audiobook from netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

  30. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Vu

    I really enjoyed this book; at first, I thought it would be a "chick-flick", easy-to-read type of novel, but I learned that it was much more richer than that. The novel focuses on the life of Amelia, (also known as "Ama") Vaux Tanner, and how she worked up to be the lovely, but smart, Black socialite of the Bluffs. Ama, along with her husband, Omar, raise three goddaughters - Esperanza (also known as "Perry"), Olivia, and Billie. Although they all become successful, they also face some obstacles I really enjoyed this book; at first, I thought it would be a "chick-flick", easy-to-read type of novel, but I learned that it was much more richer than that. The novel focuses on the life of Amelia, (also known as "Ama") Vaux Tanner, and how she worked up to be the lovely, but smart, Black socialite of the Bluffs. Ama, along with her husband, Omar, raise three goddaughters - Esperanza (also known as "Perry"), Olivia, and Billie. Although they all become successful, they also face some obstacles as well. Towards the end of the book, family secrets are revealed, and those secrets end up changing the women's lives. I really liked Ama's character. No matter what she went through, she handled it with poise. Although she grew up poor, she worked her way up to be successful in finance, a field that is mostly male-dominated, and much harder for a woman of color. I adored her relationship with Omar and the girls. Perry, the oldest goddaughter, grows up to be successful, but learns that there is much to learn about marriage and relationships. Olivia, who is much like Ama in her way of thinking and personality, encounters difficult experiences due to her skin color. She learns to be comfortable in her own skin. Billie, the youngest goddaughter, struggles with success and her identity; at the end of the book, she then learns how to be truly happy. Overall, I enjoyed this book; I learned a few things about African-American culture that I wouldn't have learned on my own. I am also glad that there is a book that focuses on the success of African-Americans (rather than their disparities). A great read! **A big thanks to publishers William Morrow and Co, Sunny Hostin, and Goodreads for this ARC; all opinions are my own and are no way influenced by this giveaway**

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