Cover Trend: Retro Bathing Suits

Well, beaches here in Chicago are closed—but don’t tell these cover models that. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend—and Booklist‘s Spotlight on Historical Fiction—this cover trend roundup presents a quartet of summer releases set against iconic historical backdrops. For those of you unable to head to the beach, we recommend diving in to one of these, and resting just a bit easier knowing an accessible beach (or pool) exists, if nowhere else, on your nightstand.




The Last Bathing Beauty, by Amy Sue Nathan

South Haven, 1951. College-bound Betty spends the summer working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort in the “Catskills of the Midwest,” but her storybook summer of love and pageantry has consequences that last a lifetime. (Lake Union, April 1)






Summer Darlings, by Brooke Lea Foster

Martha’s Vineyard, 1962. Scholarship student Heddy spends a summer nannying for a wealthy family, only for the seemingly perfect world she’s fallen in love with to reveal a much darker underbelly. (Gallery, May 5)






We Came Here to Shine, by Susie Orman Schnall

New York City, 1939. Aspiring Hollywood actress Vivi is sent to perform as a synchronized swimmer at the World’s Fair, where she forms an unlikely friendship with Maxine, an aspiring journalist struggling to be taken seriously. (St. Martin’s Griffin, June 16)






Florence Adler Swims Forever, by Rachel Beanland

Atlantic City, 1934. The Adlers host their adult daughters—Florence, training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, on bedrest during a risky pregnancy—for the summer in “America’s Playground,” but unexpected tragedy forces long-buried family secrets to the surface. (Simon & Schuster, July 7)

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About the Author:

A former Booklist intern and current Booklist reviewer, Ellie is a reader and writer based in Chicago. She holds a BA in writing from Wheaton College (IL) and is the assistant to the president at Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

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