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Brooke Lea Foster Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Summer Darlings (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Way They Were (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Brooke Lea Foster is an editor, multimedia journalist, and author who has won a ton of awards over the years. She went to the University of Maryland College Park and graduated with a bachelor’s in Art, English, and Literature in 1998. She then went on to work as a writer and editor for several publications including the Washingtonian Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. The veteran journalist has worked in print media for many years even though she is also an expert in social media, video, and blogging, which she uses to tell and promote her stories. Foster is comfortable writing about potty training problems on Wee Westchester as she is writing long-form features for the Washington Post Magazine or a few paragraphs on decorating on ElleDecor. While she can write about just anything she loves to write about design, parenting, relationships, education, children and families, and any topic where she has to write a story that makes people think. She also loves stories that involve a lot of research. Her first fiction novel was Summer Darlings that she published in 2020.

Brooke Lea Foster had won a ton of awards for her writing. Some of her awards include the Washington Society of Professional Journalists Dateline Award for her story on undocumented teens in the Latin American Community. She has also been a finalist for the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, an award for journalists working on stories to do with families and children. Foster also made the finals for the most prestigious award for journalists aged 35 and under, when her work was nominated for the 2005 Livingstone Award for Young Journalists. While she has written a lot for a variety of publications, she still had an interest in long-form fiction and non-fiction works. She published her first novel “The Way They Were” in 2006. The novel takes a look at the challenges that adult children have to deal with once parents divorce or separate. She analyzes how such difficult situations could result in children reassessing their relationships with their parents and even realize that they have never been as independent as they thought they were. For instance, children might question if they were the reason their parents did not divorce even though they were unhappy and this may result in feelings of guilt.

With so much success from her first work, she decided to venture into fiction writing. The inspiration for the story in “Summer Darlings” came from her own experience and from reading newspapers and magazines. Since she visits Martha’s Vineyard every summer, she would read a lot of the local publications. A few years back, she saw an ad in a magazine for “The Swindle,” a house you could rent for its unique story. At some point during the 50s, three houses had been built in a narrow beachfront in Vineyard Haven. One was the property of a famous actress and the second belonged to a granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller. Sandwiched between the two was a bachelor that had once been rich until he went broke in 1953. He had asked his neighbors if they would like to buy his house but there were no takers. With no other option, he had decided to spite them by painting his house a garish blue. It was so ugly that the neighbors paid him the princely sum of $20,000 to make him leave. Brooke loved the story and an idea formed in her mind. She thought a story of the three houses and the people who lived in them would make for a beautiful narrative. It was from this that she started fleshing out her story with Gigi McCabe and Jean-Rose her leads coming to mind. The characters would live on the two big houses on the spit of sand with Ash Porter the handsome young surfer sandwiched in between. She also used her experience working as a nanny in Hamptons as a college student to get the feel of how the rich inhabitants of similar neighborhoods lived.

Brooke Foster has said that writing “Summer Darlings” was a very long process though she has said that it was a labor of love otherwise she would not have made it. It took a few months to write the first draft though it was a lousy draft that she did not submit to editors. After two and a half years of rewriting and revising, she finally submitted it to Kate Dresser her editor at Gallery. After several months of editing, the novel was finally coming to life though the revisions meant that she had to tinker with a lot of things including plot and character.

“Summer Darlings” the debut novel by Brook Lea Foster is a beautiful story of love in the summer. Heddy Winsome is a Brooklyn girl that is traveling to Martha’s Vineyard to start working her summer job for the rich of New York. She is a student who goes to Wellesley courtesy of a scholarship and hence she is curious to learn how the wealthy live, having come from a humble background. She is hoping that she could spot someone rich and famous such as a Kennedy. She is a good student but is unlearned about the unfamiliar world of the wealthy. While there are several instances when she acts foolish, she tries so hard that she can be forgiven given her background. She lives with Jean Rose, Ted, and the entire Williams family and takes care of their children the sweet Anna and the petulant Teddy. While it looks like the perfect family from the perspective of an outsider, behind closed doors there is a lot of darkness. Next door is a sweet college boy obsessed with surfing and in no time, Jean Rose has set up Heddy with him. She is immediately torn between needing to find a safe bet and her lust for her new boyfriend. From a love triangle to celebrity parties, a mystery or two is revealed in what is a fun and entertaining story. This is a coming to age narrative as Heddy matures and learns about her privileged community and herself.

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