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The Last Bathing Beauty

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,218 ratings  ·  116 reviews

A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her pastfor herself and the sake of her familys futurein 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

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Expected publication: April 1st 2020 by Lake Union Publishing
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  • The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan
    The Last Bathing Beauty
    Release date: Apr 01, 2020
    A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her pastfor herself and the sake of her familys futurein a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second ...more

    Format: Kindle book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 2320 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 02 - Mar 30, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.99  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,218 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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    Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Rated 4.25 stars

    The Last Bathing Beauty takes us back to the summer of 1951 in South Haven, Michigan. Located on Lake Michigan, this area was affectionately regarded as the Catskills of the Midwest filled with resorts for the areas Jewish families. Betty Claire Stern is the granddaughter of the owners of Sterns Summer Resort and this will be her last summer with her best friends Georgia and Doris before heading to New York City to attend Barnard College hopefully followed by a career at a
    Renee Rosen
    Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Review coming soon
    Sonja Yoerg
    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 Bettys 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 womens fiction at its best. ...more
    Susan Peterson
    Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    You should own all pieces of your life, good or bad. They make up who you are. Those words are spoken by Hannah, as her grandmother Betty Boop reveals long-held secrets, memories of her first love, and the dreams she had as a young girl. The Last Bathing Beauty is a heartfelt novel written with compassion and hope, reconciling the past to pave a road to happiness and second chances. The characters in this book bring life and heart to this story, each with a distinct voice and personalitythey ...more
    Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I loved this novel and cant thank Amy Nathan enough for the early read!

    this story touches directly to the heart filled with the true love between Grand-daughters and their Grandmothers, family secrets and lost love and chances and above all else memories.

    Parts made me laugh and swoon, others cry and hope for the best.

    Loved every page. Amy Nathan has a knack for developing relatable characters you love from the first to the last page!

    thanks to Amy and to the publisher for an early read!
    Linda Zagon
    Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "The Last Bathing Beauty" by Amy Sue Nathan, Lake Union Publishing, April 1, 2020

    I loved everything about "The Last Bathing Beauty" by Amy Sue Nathan. Amy Sue Nathan is a wonderful storyteller, and the writing in this book vividly describes the characters, the events, and the landscape. This is an amazing book that puts so many things into perspective. The themes throughout this novel are the importance of friendship, family, second chances, acceptance,
    Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Tender, nostalgic, and sentimental!

    The Last Bathing Beauty is an absorbing, heartwarming tale that takes us to the shores of South Haven, Michigan during 1951 when Jewish summer camps in the Catskills of the Midwest were the place to be, girls were excited for more than just marriage, and Betty Stern and her family would never be the same.

    The writing is vivid and expressive. The characters are authentic, vivacious, and sympathetic. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a
    Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.

    I love Jewish fiction and books set in the 1950s.

    What a wonderful plot. Set in Michigan in 1951 at a Jewish resort Betty (aka Boop in her later years) her grandparents owned. Her parents weren't like her parents and just "abandoned" her to her grandparents while they traveled as actors. She had her friends Georgia and Doris to keep her company when they all worked there during their senior year in high school. Betty wanted to be a fashion editor in New York
    Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Delightful story... predictable, but such an enjoyable good read.
    Diane D White
    Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was ok

    Every once in a long while I choose a book classified by Kindle as adult literary fiction only to find it is actually a romance or perhaps a YA novel. I seldom enjoy either.
    Vivian Payton
    Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    THE LAST BATHING BEAUTY is a story told in alternating time periods---in 1951, when 18 year-old Betty Boop Stern is a beautiful young woman exploring life and all it offers at that age---and in 2017 as an 84 year-old woman reflecting on her life and what it could have been. Boops granddaughter, Hannah, and her relationship with her grandmother will warm your heart. Their bond and strength are what opens avenues that will sustain them for the rest of their lives. Boop possessed a spirit more ...more
    Christine Moore
    Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    This is an amazing heartwarming dual time line book! In 1951, Betty has just graduated high school and is working another summer at her grandparent's resort. She meets Abe a waiter at the resort and they start dating. Jump ahead to 2017 and Betty now known as Boop has a granddaughter Hannah that reminds her so much of her younger self. As Boop helps Hannah with her problems, she realizes she must tell Hannah about the summer of '51. I loved the characters in this book. The love and affection ...more
    Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    *special thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for an advance copy; all opinions are my own*

    This was a great book-I particularly enjoyed the chapters that went back in time, to when Boop was known as Betty and was an 18 year old enjoying the summer between high school & college. It was the summer she could do anything she set her mind to, including finding love at her familys South Haven vacation resort and winning the Miss South Haven beauty pageant. The author was somehow able to write
    Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    A wonderful book told in dual timelines of a woman named Betty aka Boop.
    This is a story of how life for her "happened" and now at eighty, she must divulge her mistakes so her granddaughter will not make these same errors.
    It begins in 1951 alternating with the present day.
    "Was it possible that the best-- or something close to it-- was yet to come for Boop as well?"
    If ever you believe in second chances, this novel will validate that belief!
    I loved the characters in this book. Boop is one
    Sue Kluger
    Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I have read all of Amys books and was so excited for the release of this one....I was not disappointed. The Last Bathing Beauty is the story of forever friendships and true loves. Amys words flow, her descriptions are so vivid you can visualize everything. The way she blends the past with the present as she details the story of Betty is perfect. I was drawn in immediately and couldnt put it down. Great job, Amy!! ...more
    Louetta Waters
    Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I really like this book even though parts were slow and over descriptive. Handling of blending past and present timelines very well
    Great characters and a good plot.
    4 stars

    Thanks to NetGalley and publisher for a copy of book. All opinions are my own
    Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: books-read-2020
    A quick story about granddaughters and their grandmother. Boop had this final summer working for her grandparents before leaving for college in the fall.
    She meets someone and it suddenly all changes. I enjoyed the story and the characters. I felt kinda sad for her and what might have been. Thanks to Netgalley and the author for the early copy
    Jodi Weissberg
    Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it
    3.5 really. Light. Predictable. Quick read. Who knew the Midwest had the Catskills? Take a break from the heavy books with this fun summer read.
    Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    3 1/2 Stars: I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this heart-warming new novel (due out in April) by Amy Sue Nathan and it helped bring a little beach & sun into my cold Chicago January days. The unique setting of the family owned Jewish resorts in South Haven, MI sets the novel apart from other split screen/women's fiction/romance/friendship stories and anyone with any connection to the region will especially enjoy this book.
    Kimberly Brock
    Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Amy Sue Nathan is unmatched when it comes to crafting wistful stories that uplift, but also manage to take a hard look at characters navigating difficult turning points in their lives. THE LAST BATHING BEAUTY may be her best yet! Immediately appealing with its sentimental nostalgia for first loves and summers on the water, it soon becomes apparent that the women who populate this story aren't just remembering the joys of family vacations, beauty pageants, and a carefree girlhood. As Nathan moves ...more
    Mar 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I received this book free from Amazon First Reads for March.
    I was so excited to read this book because I LOVE South Haven, MI. It is a small slice of heaven tucked into the Midwest, and I am fortunate to have spent much time there over the years. But it seemed in reading this book that the author selected the location, and then tried to write a story to fit the setting. The story fell far short of the location, and felt forced and contrived,
    The book takes place partly during the summer of 1951
    Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: e-books
    My favorite by Amy Sue Nathan so far!

    The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan

    1951, back when life was simpler. But was it really? Or did we hide, ignore, sweep under the rug anything not fitting our story book ideals?

    It's summer 1951 and Betty 'Boop' Stern has had a dream childhood living with her grandparents at their South Haven MI lakeside resort. Well almost. Now a senior in high school and looking forward to attending Barnard College in NYC in the fall, Betty is determined to find summer
    D. Starr
    Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Recommends it for: Mature Teen - Adults
    Coming to Terms with the Past

    For Mature teen - adults (younger readers probably wouldn't appreciate it.)
    Sex, but described without lurid detail
    Historically correct
    Little or No memorable harsh language
    No Violence
    Emotionally satisfying, particularly towards the end.

    Only 4 stars given because I had a hard time getting involved in the story for the first 1/2 of the book.

    Plot no spoilers:
    The chapters are titled "Boop" or"Betty." Betty chapters take place in the summer of 1951 as she looks forward to
    Lori White
    Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    The ghosts of Baby and and Johnny haunted this book for me. The setting was too familiar. The people were too familiar. The first love angst was too familiar. Maybe because Dirty Dancing was the soundtrack to my 20s, I had a hard time not making comparisons and jumping ahead while reading The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan.

    That said, I enjoyed the book and even tho I knew early on what was going to happen I cared about enough about Betty/Boop, the main character, to keep on reading.

    Stef General
    Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Nostalgic romantic love story

    You should own all pieces of your life, good or bad, Hannah said. They make up who you are.

    This was my pick for Amazon First Reads this March and Im so happy I chose it. It brings a lot of feels from The Notebook but this has a completely different storyline. Told in two parts (the 1950s and present) the story is about Betty Stern, a granddaughter of a Jewish resort owner full of dreams and aspirations. It wasnt hard to fall in love with her character along with
    4.5/5 stars

    Amy Sue Nathan is a new author for me, she is a Tall Poppy Writer (check out the website for some awesome writers here) and I'm thrilled to be one of their reviewers.

    Summer isnt here yet but this would be a perfect beach read. It took me to the Catskills of the Midwest (didnt even know they had one) in 1951. Betty planned it to be her last summer of fun before starting at Barnards in the fall. Her future is all planned out.

    Current day Betty is...well, older but wiser? Forced to
    Holly LaPat
    3-1/2 stars: I loved the setup of this book, and I really enjoyed reading it, but I think it fell short of its potential. In the opening scene, Betty is about to get married, with very mixed feelings. Then we see her in her 80s, after a long marriage, still connected to her lifelong friends. What happened in between? The rest of the book alternates between the summer that led up to Bettys decision to get married, and her present-day self facing those memories. For this to work well, we need to ...more
    Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    THE LAST BATHING BEAUTY is the perfect book to read right now. Not so gloomy as to add to depression, but not so cheerful as to be annoying when there are so many things to worry about. Just a totally engrossing, read-in-one-sitting book.

    Betty Stern is looking forward to her summer in South Haven. It is her last summer at her grandparents resort before she heads off to Barnard, she has a good chance at being crowned Miss South Haven, and shes hoping for a summer romance to make her more worldly.
    Leslie Lehr
    Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Escape! If ever there was time to visit a summer resort in 1950's this is it. Nathan is a master at period detail, from the peach shade of a pearl-buttoned sweater to the cider colored sunset on the indigo horizon. Yet these gorgeous descriptions and are icing on the cake of the modern issues of love, loss, class, and religion.

    Friendship is the glue that binds several generations of women despite their secrets. Dreams and ambitions are tempered with passion and and social expectations, yet it
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    Writer of novels, lover of cats, morning coffee, dark chocolate, and bold lipstick. Former vegetarian, occasional crafter, adequate cook, loyal friend, proud mom to two awesome adults.

    Twitter: @AmySueNathan
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