Thursday, May 12, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway: Mustique Island by Sarah McCoy

Pages: 336
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: May 10, 2022
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher for reivew
Other Books By Author: Marilla of Green Gables
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "From bestselling author Sarah McCoy, a sun-splashed romp with a rich divorcée and her two wayward daughters in 1970s Mustique, the world’s most exclusive private island, where Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger were regulars and scandals stayed hidden from the press.  It’s January 1972 but the sun is white hot when Willy May Michael’s boat first kisses the dock of Mustique Isle. Tucked into the southernmost curve of the Caribbean, Mustique is a private island that has become a haven for the wealthy and privileged. Its owner is the eccentric British playboy Colin Tennant, who is determined to turn this speck of white sand into a luxurious neo-colonial retreat for his rich friends and into a royal court in exile for the Queen’s rebellious sister, Princess Margaret—one where Her Royal Highness can skinny dip, party, and entertain lovers away from the public eye.  Willy May, a former beauty queen from Texas—who is also no stranger to marital scandals—seeks out Mustique for its peaceful isolation. Determined to rebuild her life and her relationships with her two daughters, Hilly, a model, and Joanne, a musician, she constructs a fanciful white beach house across the island from Princess Margaret—and finds herself pulled into the island’s inner circle of aristocrats, rock stars, and hangers-on.  When Willy May’s daughters arrive, they discover that beneath its veneer of decadence, Mustique has a dark side, and like sand caught in the undertow, their mother-daughter story will shift and resettle in ways they never could have imagined."


It's 1972 and Willy May Michael is a wealthy divorced woman with the desire to start over, for not only her, but her two grown daughters. She has her sights set on the Caribbean island of Mustique.  We aren't talking some boring tropical hideout. This is Mustique - it's exclusive, wealthy, beautiful, lavish, and did I mention private?  Some of its residents include Princess Margaret (yes, Queen Elizabeth's rebel sister) and the Jaggers to name a few. The owner of the island is Colin Tennant, a British aristocrat, who desires to turn Mustique from a mosquito infested island full of fishermen to a hideaway for rich people, especially Princess Margaret. He hopes it will become a place where she can truly unwind without being in the spotlight and the residents will be her "court."  Willy May, an American, starts building Firefly, a beautiful home on Mustique, but she wants to find some peace here and isn't necessarily interested in socializing constantly.  Her focus is on her two daughters: Hilly and Joanne.  Both daughters are dealing with their own issues and when they arrive at Mustique, they will find things aren't always one big vacation on the island.  There's aristocrats to deal with, never ending dinner parties, rock stars (no, really...Mick Jagger!), problems that won't go away no matter how far you travel, and temptation that will test them.  Mustique Island by Sarah McCoy is a great escape to the lifestyles of the rich and famous in the 1970s, but it's also a tender story about the importance of family.

Willy May is a character I was really interested in right off the bat mostly because she isn't exactly the type of person I'd expect to be building a house on Mustique.  She comes from Texas, is a bit rough around the edges, and is a former beauty queen. Need I say more? Not exactly the type of person to be rubbing elbows with Princess Margaret.  Nonetheless, I appreciated her desire to start over and to reconnect with her daughters.  Things get challenging though as one could imagine when you share an island with British aristocrats, Princess Margaret, and others who don't always have a person's best interest in mind.  Also, without the media on the island, these wealthy party-goers have free reign.  Even though this book seems like a frothy beach read with a to-die-for setting, it is also about Willy's relationship with her daughters.  The narration is split amongst them, so readers get to know each woman pretty well in Mustique Island.

Hilly is a bit of a tortured soul in Mustique Island. She is a model in the 70s, so you can imagine what that entails. When she comes to Mustique to see her mother, she desperately needs some TLC.  At first it took me awhile to warm up to her as I didn't always agree with her decisions, but once the story progressed, I found myself cheering for her as it's her story arc that develops the most and Hilly really comes into her own.  Joanne is the opposite of Hilly and a more stable character overall. However, she also has to deal with difficult choices in Mustique Island and desperately wants to follow her heart. These three women are the very core of the story.

What I enjoyed the most about Mustique Island was McCoy's ability to transport me there. The private island, the white sand beaches, warm breezes, cold drinks, the crashing waves, clifftop villas, and even the wandering mosquitoes all were so vividly done. I felt like I was there and once I finished the book, I was pining for a trip to the Caribbean. While I didn't connect with Mustique Island as much as Marilla of Green Gables and the novel had a slow start, it was still an excellent escape with a ton of atmosphere, and a great book to throw in your beach bag this summer.

So, are you a fan of Sarah McCoy? Is Mustique Island on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below.  



Also, thanks to William Morrow, I am so excited to be hosting a giveaway for a copy of Mustique Island by Sarah McCoy.  One lucky US reader will win a copy!  Now is the perfect time to get your hands this book--just in time for beach reading season!  Good luck and please refer to my giveaway rules.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway  



  1. What a fun setting! The Princess Margaret connection is especially intriguing.

    1. It really is the perfect beach read setting. I loved Princess Margaret's cameo. You might remember her house on Mustique from The Crown! Thanks for visiting, Angela!

  2. This sounds fun and definitely different from what I normally read!

    1. It was definitely a fun. I am now pining for a Caribean vacation. Thanks for visiting, Michele!


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