A Hundred Summers: Chapters 10 – 17 Discussion

August 26, 2013 | By | Comments (1)

Photo: amazon.com

Hi Beach Readers! How are you enjoying A Hundred Summers? So much has happened in these last eight chapters, and we’re beginning to learn more and more about the events leading up to what ultimately tore Nick and Lily’s relationship apart.

Chapter 10 starts with Budgie (as usual, up to no good) taking Graham and Lily out for the night to a whiskey and smoke-filled roadhouse. Graham and Lily kiss for the first time, and he reveals his desire to court Lily for the summer. We really get to know Graham’s character more in these few chapters–he seems like the stereotypical jock, and we find out, after he repeatedly reveals his desire to marry Lily and then is caught in the act of cheating, that’s exactly who he is. Did you ever have your doubts about Graham’s insincerity before this point in the novel? I never trusted his character.

A conversation between Nick and Lily reveals Nick’s history with Paris, alcohol and women shortly after things fizzled between them, though we still don’t know exactly why he left for Paris and what happened. The flashbacks end in chapter 17 with Lily and Nick sneaking off to elope on New Year’s Eve. Meanwhile in 1938, Lily tearfully reveals to her father that she is still in love with Nick. Kiki’s identity is finally addressed by Graham in this part of the novel, and I have to say I’m a little surprised that Lily was so shocked. What do you think–could Kiki still be Lily’s, or are you convinced now that she is Lily’s mother’s child? (and if so, who is the father?)

I’m also curious, what do you think of the way the book is told, alternating between flashbacks from 1931 and 1938, now that we have learned more? I occasionally find these types of constructions confusing, but I think Williams has truly made this one work. The pieces are put together with care and attention to detail, leaving no questions unanswered–and keeping the reader intrigued, as we struggle to understand why Nick left Lily for Paris, why they did not stay in touch, and how in the world he ended up marrying Budgie.

We’d love to hear your comments on the novel so far! Remember to also get your questions for Beatriz ready for our Twitter chat Tuesday, August 27, at 8 PM EST! Happy Reading!


  1. Ruth Bauer-Garcia (@RuthBauerGarcia)

    I never trusted Graham, or Budgie for that matter. And when Graham told Lily why he chose to not marry Budgie after college it showed his true colors. And if Budgie knew how dishonorable he was toward her, why would she want the same for her friend? Having said that, I just find Budgie a very sad character. Beneath that Queen Bee exterior is a very insecure person. As for Kiki, in chapters 10-17, the author blew my theory about her parentage out of the water. Until that point I was convinced that Kiki was Lily and Nick’s love child. Now I’m convinced that she’s the love child of Lily’s mother and Nick’s father. And yes, Lily has had her head stuck in the sand for seven years. But I feel like you can also say the same thing about Nick. How could Nick not have realized that his father’s apartment was nothing but a love nest but his mistress(es)?!

    At this point I’m dying to know how the Lily / Nick / Budgie love triangle will end? I’m really impressed with how the author goes back and forth between 1931 and 1938 and slowly but surely answers our questions while still keeping the reader intrigued.

    I’m exited about tomorrow’s chat and can’t wait to find out what will be our September selection!

    August 27, 2013 at 2:33 am

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