Secrets and Scandals Abound In Holly Peterson’s ‘It Happens in the Hamptons’ [REVIEW]

Couple swimming

Everything can be had for a price in Holly Peterson’s provocative new social satire, It Happens in the Hamptons.
(Photo by Eleazar, Flickr)

Quaint coastal cottages, powder soft sand, surf lessons on picturesque beaches, decadent gelato eaten with wooden spoons, pastel bicycles traversing narrow streets, lazy lunches at the club, and plenty of scantily clad bodies walking barefoot through tides as the sunset paints the sky orange. It’s summertime, and you’re invited to join the fun in Holly Peterson’s delicious new beach read, It Happens in the Hamptons.  


William Morrow

Katie Doyle and her young son love their lakeside Oregon town. But soon after her mom dies, she meets George, a handsome older man from the East Coast. After starting a breathtaking romance, he urges her to move to the Hamptons so they can really explore their relationship. While a change in scenery sounds good, she has her reservations, primarily because she wonders how she will fit in with the rich and powerful whose lives are so very different than her own.

When Katie arrives in the Hamptons, her first impression is that the people there aren’t as stuffy and self-absorbed as she had originally thought they would be. Well, not all of them anyway. Gradually, she settles into the small cottage she’s rented and George helps her acclimate to her new locale. She quickly discovers that while some of the stories she’s heard about the Hamptons may have been exagerated, others are definitely based on more than an ounce of reality. Here, secrets and scandals abound, and society’s one-percenters rarely mingle with the middle-class townsfolk who reside here year round.

One of the things I admire most about this novel is Peterson’s devotion to detail. She chronicles Katie’s baptism by fire into the world of the rich and famous. In the grand tradition of Dominick Dunne and Tom Wolfe, she isn’t afraid to show the absurd power that comes with wealth and how possessions act as stunning facades that hide the true, ugly faces of the filthy rich. Peterson shows us that whether they are sixteen or forty-six, these people believe that everything can be bought for a price, and no indulgence is forbidden. While this may all be very titilating, it no longer comes as a shock.

Peterson shows us just how important labels are as well. Certain passages, filled with brand names that will delight the fashion obsessed, may at first seem trite and trivial. However, due to the subject matter at hand, these labels are definitely pertinent, primarily because they serve to separate the rich from the rest of the world. In fact, everything the one-percenters do proves just how important they think they are. From the exorbitant price tags they pay for their gradiose homes to the small fortunes they pay for their mouth-dropping parties, they prove time and again that social status is everything. Even their friendships are forged by how people can help them climb higher up the social ladder.

It Happens in the Hamptons is a social satire dressed as a romantic, scandalous beach read. It’s smart and funny, absurd and infuriating, and yet totally relevant for today’s political and social climate. It offers insight into the minds of the one-percenters who spend their free time catering to their every whim, whether it’s actually in the Hamptons or at places like Palm Beach’s Mar-a-Lago. So don your oversized sunglasses, sit back in your poolside cabana or recline under a big beach umbrella, and indulge in Holly Peterson’s over-the-top romp through the playground of the rich and famous. This is one story you won’t be able to put down!


Holly Peterson

Holly Peterson
(Photo by Eric Strifler Photography)

Holly Peterson is the New York Times bestselling author The MannyLast year, she curated an outdoor cooking book, Smoke and Fire: Recipes and Menus for Outdoor Entertaining. She published The Idea of Him in 2014.

Peterson has worked as a contributing editor for Newsweek, an editor-at-large for Talk Magazine, and as an Emmy Award-winning producer for ABC News, where she spent more than a decade covering everything from trials of the century to global politics.

Her writing has been published in the New York Times, NewsweekTown and CountryThe Daily BeastVogueHarper’s BazaarElle DecorDepartures, and numerous other publications.

To find out more about Holly, visit her home on the Web at, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Holly Peterson
384 pgs. William Morrow. $15.99

You may purchase It Happens in the Hamptons at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

It Happens in the Hamptons has been brought to you by TLC Book Tours.

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

One Response to Secrets and Scandals Abound In Holly Peterson’s ‘It Happens in the Hamptons’ [REVIEW]

  1. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    A single mom and teacher soon discovers that life among the rich and famous isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be in Holly Peterson’s hilarious social satire, It Happens in the Hamptons.

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