An unexpected inheritance, a promise broken, and four lives changed forever: discover "the gold standard of summertime escapism" from USA Today bestselling author Jamie Brenner (Elin Hilderbrand).
Summer has started in idyllic Sag Harbor, and for Emma Mapson that means greeting guests at the front desk of The American Hotel. But when one of the town's most famous residents, artist Henry Wyatt, dies suddenly, Emma learns he has mysteriously left his waterfront home -- a self-designed masterpiece filled with his work -- to her teenage daughter, Penny.
Back in Manhattan, legendary art patron Bea Winstead's grief at her lifelong friend and former business partner Henry's passing turns to outrage at the news of his shocking bequest. How did these unknown locals get their hands on the estate? Bea, with her devoted assistant Kyle in tow, descends on Sag Harbor determined to reclaim the house and preserve Henry's legacy.
While Emma fights to defend her daughter's inheritance, Bea discovers that Henry left a treasure trove of sketches scattered around town. With Penny's reluctant help, Bea pieces them together to find a story hidden in plain sight: an illustration of their shared history with an unexpected twist that will change all of their lives. Drawn together in their battle for the house, Emma and Bea are forced to confront the past while facing a future that challenges everything they believe about love, fate, and family.
An apparent conflict of interest melts into the comfort of chosen community in this warmhearted, personal story with Hamptons ambience. Emma Mapson, desk clerk at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, N.Y., is as shocked as anyone when artist Henry Wyatt leaves his valuable estate, Windsong and all of the art in it to Emma's daughter, Penny, who had recently become his friend and informal student. Wyatt's old friend and business partner, Bea Winstead, arrives from Manhattan and refuses to leave Windsong while she attempts to dispute the will. Bea soon becomes involved in a quest to understand Henry's choices by tracking down drawings, some of which show scenes from their past together, that he has hidden all over town. Brenner sits too long in Emma's discomfort with the estate's value and Bea's entitled meanness before allowing them to interact in a more human way. Penny's father is a caricature of villainy, and Brenner engages Penny's mental illness mostly as a plot point. Nevertheless, sentimental readers will enjoy her commitment to showing how caring for others wins in the end.