The Last Bathing Beauty
A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past--for herself and the sake of her family's future--in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances.
Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents' lakeside resort. The "Catskills of the Midwest" was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She'd head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she'd enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty's future was limitless.
Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop's memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It's time to finally face the past--for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she's lived, Boop will discover it's never too late for a second chance.
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About the Author
"This novel of first loves and second chances will resonate with fans of historical fiction authors such as Beatriz Williams or Lauren Willig." --Library Journal
"The Last Bathing Beauty is a pitch-perfect summer read, starring Betty 'Boop' Stern, a plucky heroine with a tackle box full of secrets and enough regret for a lifetime. Using dual timelines, Nathan expertly unravels the events that derailed Betty's sparkling future in 1951 and continue to haunt her even as an eighty-four-year-old woman. Full of characters that shine and told with compassion and humor, this is women's fiction at its best." --Sonja Yoerg, Washington Post bestselling author of True Places
"Amy Sue Nathan is a true storyteller, and The Last Bathing Beauty is her best book. It's an epic tale of family, secrets, loss, marriage, betrayal, friendships, laughter, and regrets." --Cathy Lamb, author of Julia's Chocolates and All About Evie
"The Last Bathing Beauty is a gorgeous story about how life doesn't always work out the way we want it to, but if we're willing, we can still make it a great life. This book ripped at my heart in the best possible way, and I won't forget it. Told across three generations of smart, determined, compassionate women, The Last Bathing Beauty is the loveliest of stories about the sacrifices and triumphs that come from being a daughter, wife, mother, and friend." --Juliet McDaniel, author of Mr. & Mrs. American Pie
"For those who believe in happily ever after, Amy Sue Nathan's The Last Bathing Beauty is a real winner. She has spun a heartfelt tale about romance, heartbreaks, friendship, and the wisdom that comes from living a life with no regrets. Told with tenderness and humor, readers will love this journey back in time with Boop and the girls." --Renée Rosen, bestselling author of Park Avenue Summer
"In this reimagining of Dirty Dancing, Nathan demonstrates expert storytelling when we meet the charismatic Betty 'Boop' Stern as a young woman, and also as an eighty-four-year-old as she looks back on a difficult choice that altered the path of her glittering future. Told with empathy and lyrical prose, The Last Bathing Beauty is a winning tale of friendship, regret, and second chances with a ring of endearing and spirited women at its heart." --Heather Webb, USA Today bestselling coauthor of Meet Me in Monaco
"A thoroughly enjoyable, past-and-present tale of a life-changing summer and its echoes decades later. This story has it all--great characters, sensory-rich settings, and a sweet salute to believing in second chances. The finale will have you cheering." --Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War
"The Last Bathing Beauty is an emotionally gripping story that captivated me from page one. Amy Sue Nathan knows how to thread the past and present together in a way that readers won't soon forget. A moving tale about second chances and the fathomless depths of true love." --Tina Ann Forkner, author of Waking Up Joy