The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach
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.
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 distant ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
Although the book spans two continents and several countries, the main conflict is betwe ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more