Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Book Review: On Gin Lane

By Cindy Roesel

As a youngster growing up on Long Island, during spring and summer months my family would drive the hour and a half out east to visit The Hamptons – particularly Southampton. We’d drive around town, maybe take a walk and then get some ice-cream. But we knew behind those tall hedges, keeping us from peaking, were grand mansions dating back to when the Pilgrims landed in the New Land. 

Southampton has always been the summer destination for wealthy New York City WASPs (White Anglo Saxton Protestants).  In her new novel, ON GIN LANE (Gallery Books), Brooke Lea Foster whisks readers off to those sparkling beaches and behind those tall hedges.

It’s the summer of 1957 and Everleigh “Lee” Farrows thinks she has everything a girl could want. She has a handsome fiancé, a trust, a home in exclusive Bronxville for when she gets married and her Nikon S2. Roland gives Lee a surprise - a brand new hotel in her name, but not all of Southampton, including Lee is thrilled. For Lee it brings up unpleasant memories of growing up at another hotel, the Plaza and her mother’s mental illness. On the opening night of the hotel, there’s a fire which burns everything down. Roland thinks he will automatically get insurance money, but there are questions surrounding the cause.

ON GIN LANE takes readers to a beautiful location. We can smell the ocean, we are poolside for Bellinis and luncheons, and on the courts for daily tennis matches. But behind the aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, there are cracks and lies in the façade. Is Roland who he presents to be? Who or what is behind the fire? Does Lee really want to settle down and get married or have a career? What other lies, misleading untruths and fraud are behind all the glamour? It’s a perfect summer read for the pool or beach. 

Thanks to Gallery for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Brooke Lea Foster:

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