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The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,852 ratings  ·  340 reviews

Summer 1941  

Young Adelia Monteforte flees fascist Italy for America, where she is whisked away to the shore by her well-meaning aunt and uncle. Here, she meets and falls for Charlie Connally, the eldest of the four Irish-Catholic boys next door. But all hopes for a future together are soon throttled by the war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home. 


Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 28th 2015 by MIRA
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Raven Haired Girl
Jul 27, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
I found Addie frustrating. Her avoidance of issues by constantly running away was annoying despite her forced and abrupt departure to a new country alone, not completely understanding her parents insistence she flee Italy. I had empathy for her up to a point, quickly it manifested into annoyance and disappointment. Her strength, intelligence and somewhat independence did not match her poor decision-making in the romance department or her overall character. Part 3 is where Addie fell apart for me ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, kindle
A sweeping historical that takes us from Italy to America to London and back to America.

Originally published in 2015, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach introduces readers to Adelia( Addie) Monteforte, a young teenage girl in Italy. It is 1941 and Italy is at war and for their daughter's safety, Addie's parents decided to send their daughter to her aunt and uncle in America. Adjusting to life living with strangers and a new culture, Addie soon befriends the boisterous Connally brothers, an Irish
I devoted a significant portion of my day to reading this book - when I really needed to be doing other things - and in the end, I didn't even like it very much.

It did hold my attention, but the main character and her frequent running away got to be a bit much, and she sounds so meek and plain and yet these wonderful men are crazy in love with her. (To the author's credit, at one point a character does very bluntly say to her that she can't quite figure out why it is two great guys are falling a
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Pam Jenoff has been one of my go-to writers for a while. I always enjoy the time I spend with her stories and I think that is why I put off reading The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach for as long as I did. I’d flagged it as a comfort read and kept it in my back pocket to distract me when I found myself in rough patch.

The story surprised me in many ways. I found it slower than Jenoff's other novels, but it is a story of self-dis
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
I have a bit of a soft spot for Pam Jenoff's novels. They are just my cup of tea; romance and drama during wartime. This latest read succeeded in living up to my expectations having read The Kommandants Girl series some time ago.

When young Italian Addie is sent suddenly across the atlantic to live with relatives in the US once war breaks out, she befriends the lively Connelly family and in particular, their eldest handsome son Charlie. The story is very much a coming-of-age one, set against the
Lisa Wolf
I really want to find the positive in this book, which I expected to like much more than I actually did.

The bare bones of the plot seemed promising: A young girl escaping wartime Europe on her own ends up being taken in by the rowdy boys of the family next door. Addie loves all of the Connally boys, but falls in love with Charlie. War gets in the way, as does a family tragedy, and Addie ends up running away again and again, always looking for meaning and a place of her own.

The problem I had with
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Adelia Monteforte was put on a boat alone to America in 1941 as WWII was underway. Her mother forced her into leaving Italy and living with her aunt and uncle that she had never met.

Adelia was grateful for her aunt and uncle's love, but ​she ​felt out of place with them and with her accent. When she met the Connallys, things changed. There were children her own age, children to play with​, a family she felt very comfortable with, and their son she fell in love with.

Her aunt and uncle seemed dist
Colleen Turner
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Find the full review at

I read Pam Jenoff's novel The Winter Guest last year and it was one of my favorite books of 2014. It was the kind of book that had me adding her backlog to my wish list, it was that good. She has a way of presenting complex, unusual stories set during WWII that somehow give you a new angle on a much discussed topic while also making what the characters go through seem relatable and entirely absorbing. I just couldn't put the novel dow
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
DNF at 40%

I cannot tell you how much I wanted to like this book. Everything about it sounded like something I would enjoy - lost love, WWII and a story influenced by Little Women.

At almost halfway through, I didn’t care about a single character. I couldn't wrap my head around any of Adelia’s decisions - falling for Charlie so easily, abandoning her aunt and uncle with no warning, and fleeing to London. Adelia and Charlie’s connection was lackluster and nothing more than insta-love, which I despi
Kimberly Belle
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
War stories are sometimes hard for me to read, but this one blew me away, and in a good way! Pam Jenoff's prose is gorgeous, and her characters are so real. I highly recommend this one. ...more
Laura Kay Bolin
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Adelia "Addie" has come to America to live with her Aunt and Uncle. Her parents are still in Italy, but they send her over to protect her. Addie is taken to her Aunt and Uncle's beach house where she meets the Connally family. Four Irish Catholic boys. Over the years she becomes like a daughter/sister to the Connally family even with people looking at them because they are different. It makes no difference. Then Pearl Harbor. The eldest Connally boy, Charlie wants nothing more than t ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Adelia Monteforte boarded a ship, alone, during the summer of 1941 in Italy. Her parents sent her to America to escape the political situation in Italy. She made the entire voyage on her own and met up with her aunt and uncle whom she has never met. Adelia now lives in Philadelphia, but for the summer she is spending it at her aunt and uncle's beach house in Atlantic City. There she meets four Irish-Catholic brothers, the Connallys. They become her first real American friends; she even hits it o ...more
Deborah Blanchard
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review
This is an exquisitely written portrayal of life during World War II and yet encompasses so much more.It is a beautiful, heart wrenching story of love and forgiveness. It is about all the ways that fate and circumstances shape who we ultimately become, who we are meant to be. It gave me a true sense of what it was like to live during the upheaval of war. It's historical accuracy makes this book touch your very soul. These could very well be real people and not just characters in a book. That's h ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a gorgeous romantic story of first loves, lost love, and second chances set in one of my favorite time periods, WWII. The prose was beautifully written. The characters were well-developed, complex, and lovable. Every ingredient was there to make this a stunning literary masterpiece, and it was. I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction and women's fiction. ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good story, thank you Jenny B for letting your Sis borrow your book!
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I love a good historical fiction novel and this one did not disappoint. 4.5 Stars
Starting out in the summer of 1941, during WWII, I was quickly swept up in the story of Adelia "Addie" as she traveled alone, young and scared, from her home in Italy to America to live with her Aunt and Uncle. Through her meeting and falling in love with the family next door and their oldest son, to one tragedy and heartbreak after heartbreak, back across the ocean right in the middle of the war and then back to A
Mary Kubica
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH and quickly devoured it. Pam Jenoff has an incredible ability to bring together lush love stories within the desolation and devastation of war. Her characters are rich and authentic, and the setting and history so lifelike I felt I was living in the midst of World War II through the pages of the book. Can't wait to go back and read more of Pam's work (and see what she comes up with next)! ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing

It's the story of Adelia Montforte, who is forced by her mother to flee fascist Italy for America. Once there, she lives with her aunt and uncle, and meets the Connally family, who will have a lasting impact on her life.

Set against the backdrop of WWII, THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH is a story of bravery and romance, family and friendship. If you like historical fiction or romance, you will absolutely love this book.
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
AUTHOR Jenoff, Pam
TITLE The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach
DATE READ 04/16/20
GENRE/ PUB DATE/PUBLISHER / # OF Fiction/2018/audio - hoopla/11 hr 19 min
CHALLENGE Good Reads 2020 Reading Goal 67/120;
TIME/PLACE 1941-44/NJ, PA, England
CHARACTERS Adelia Montfort/ Italian Jewish girl; Connolly Family
COMMENTS This was a nice story taking place during WWII in both US and England. Adelia is a young Jewish girl living in Italy with her parents, they
Becky R.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is set in the U.S. and England during WWII, which is always an interesting to period to read. Beginning in the U.S., we meet our series of characters, mainly centered around Adelia Monteforte, who is an immigrant from Italy living here in the U.S. with her aunt and uncle. She quickly becomes friends with a family of boys who live nearby and spend their summers at the beach, as do her aunt and uncle.

Although the book spans two continents and several countries, the main conflict is betwe
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful love story taking place during the Second World War.
Amy Lignor
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Readers know that, every once in a great while, stories appear which are retained forever because of their capacity to overwhelm and delve into a person’s heart so deeply, that the tale becomes a part of them. Upon saying this, it will come as no surprise to learn that behind the power, suspense, romance and history found in this one amazing creation, is author Pam Jenoff.

When we begin, Adelia Monteforte is put on a ship bound for America by her parents. The tide is turning and the end is near
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
The story begins with sixteen-year-old Italian Jewish immigrant Adelia (“Addie”) Montforte arriving in America in 1941, having been sent by her parents to take refuge from the Germans with her aunt and uncle in Philadelphia.

Addie is despondent, but perks up when the three of them go to the New Jersey seaside for the summer and she meets the Connally family next door. Irish-Catholic and full of life and fun, the parents and their four boys take Addie into their lives immediately. She loves them a
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
There are many engaging moments in this story by Pan Jenoff and the premise is really quite interesting! I was very excited to get this book from the library but as the story developed I became frustrated. I can certainly understand the challenges that Addie faces with her being dropped suddenly into a new life without her parents (they remained in Italy in WWII) in America with an unknown Aunt or Uncle. It's odd that Addie spends so much time with the neighbors and that she doesn't seem to make ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
16-year-old refugee Addie escapes Fascist Italy to live in Atlantic City with her aunt and uncle. But her journey is not over yet..

It’s only right that this story is from the mouth of Addie, a small Italian Jewish girl. For this is her story. Her story of being a war refugee, an Italian stranger in an American city. A female war correspondent and someone with secrets from the past. As she moves from Italy to the USA, her hopes and fears are poignantly portrayed and this is an emotional story on
Dottie Legatos
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach is a beautifully written World War II historical fiction/love story. Adelia Monteforte's parents send her to relatives in America to flee Facist Italy and the terrible fate befalling the Jews in Europe. She spends her first summer at her aunt and uncle's rental in Atlantic City where she meets her neighbors, the Connally family. She is taken under their wing, as they help her in her new country, and she falls for the older son, Charlie. When America joins in the ...more
Jenny Q
Aug 12, 2015 marked it as to-check-out  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Check out my Q&A with Pam Jenoff and enter to win The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach with a limited edition beach bag @ Let Them Read Books! ...more
Rachael Burrows
This pulled at my heart on so many different levels. Thank Pam Jenoff for once again writing a wonderful book.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A character-driven historical fiction set in WW11, THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH included the elements of a love story that fails and a love story that of course succeeds. It focuses on a young Italian Jewish girl who immigrates to America as Italy is overrun by Nazis.

Adelia "Addie" is sent to her Aunt and Uncle and her parents remained in Italy. Once settled with her relatives she meets the Irish Catholic Connally family that includes four boys. The story often pushes the idea that it takes
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 18, 2015 06:02PM  

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Pam is the author of several novels, including her most recent The Lost Girls of Paris and The Orphan's Tale, both instant New York Times bestsellers. Pam was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Speci ...more

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