About the Book:
From bestselling author Sarah McCoy, a sun-splashed romp with a rich divorcée and her two wayward daughters in 1970s Mustique, the world’s most exclusive private island, where Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger were regulars and scandals stayed hidden from the press.
It’s January 1972 but the sun is white hot when Willy May Michael’s boat first kisses the dock of Mustique Isle. Tucked into the southernmost curve of the Caribbean, Mustique is a private island that has become a haven for the wealthy and privileged. Its owner is the eccentric British playboy Colin Tennant, who is determined to turn this speck of white sand into a luxurious neo-colonial retreat for his rich friends and into a royal court in exile for the Queen’s rebellious sister, Princess Margaret—one where Her Royal Highness can skinny dip, party, and entertain lovers away from the public eye.
Willy May, a former beauty queen from Texas—who is also no stranger to marital scandals—seeks out Mustique for its peaceful isolation. Determined to rebuild her life and her relationships with her two daughters, Hilly, a model, and Joanne, a musician, she constructs a fanciful white beach house across the island from Princess Margaret—and finds herself pulled into the island’s inner circle of aristocrats, rock stars, and hangers-on.
When Willy May’s daughters arrive, they discover that beneath its veneer of decadence, Mustique has a dark side, and like sand caught in the undertow, their mother-daughter story will shift and resettle in ways they never could have imagined.
Princess Margaret! Mick and Bianca Jagger! The exotic locale of Mustique! All of these elements first drew me to this story set in the 1970’s. Even the cover is very evocative of the sun-drenched and beautiful island. The book however is more focused on the family drama between Willy May Michael and her two daughters Hilly and Joanne.
The book is divided into the different points of view of the three main characters. Willy May is a former beauty queen from Texas who has found herself divorced from her wealthy and titled British husband. I imagined Jerry Hall as Willy May although the author stated in her notes that Willy May is loosely based on another real-life person from the 197o’s. Willy May ends up on the island of Mustique which is in the very early stages of becoming the lush playground for the jet set.
I especially loved the chapters on Hilly and Joanne. The story is very well-written, and readers of a certain age will enjoy reading about fictionalized versions of Princess Margaret and other glamourous characters of that era. While perhaps not my favorite book of the summer, this story will absolutely appeal to anyone who loves family sagas and historical fiction, especially those set in the time frame of the 1970’s.
(Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)