July 2015, 384 pages
Spring 1921. The Great War is over, Prohibition is in full swing, the Great Depression is still years away. Wealthy families flock to the glittering "summer cottages" they built in Newport, Rhode Island.I know "page-turner" is an overused phrase, but Newport kept me turning pages fast enough to finish it in less than twenty-four hours -- so it definitely deserves that epithet. I really didn't expect to enjoy this one so much. Love it when a book surprises me like that.
Having sheltered in Newport during his misspent youth, attorney Adrian de la Noye is no stranger to the city. Though he'd prefer to forget the place, he returns to revise the will of a well-heeled client. Bennett Chapman's offspring have the usual concerns about their father's much-younger fiancée. But when they learn of the old widower's firm belief that his late first wife, who "communicates" via séance, has chosen the stunning Catharine Walsh for him, they're shocked. And for Adrian, encountering Catharine in the last place he saw her decades ago proves to be a far greater surprise.
Adrian is here to handle a will, and he intends to do so—just as soon as he unearths every last secret about the Chapmans, Catharine Walsh . . . and his own very fraught history.
I will admit that in the beginning I was a little disturbed that the story kept reminding me of Woody Allen's film "Magic in the Moonlight": lovely young medium and the older woman working with her manage to attach themselves to a wealthy family astounded by their seances. Non-believers try to prove the psychic a fraud, but soon fall under the young woman's spell. And, well -- the similarities pretty much end there. Newport is much more entertaining.
Note: I received my copy of this novel, free of charge, from the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. No other compensation was received.