An Invincible Summer Page 1

Author: Mariah Stewart

Series: Wyndham Beach #1

Genres: Romance


Hi, all!

Hope this finds you all well (fat and happy for some of us!). Can you believe our FORTIETH HIGH SCHOOL REUNION is only ONE WEEK away? This is the last call! If you haven’t already sent in your reservation, do it NOW. Dear friends, how could so many years have passed since we left the halls of Mid-Coast Regional High? I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel a day over eighteen! Okay, maybe a day or two, but I know I’m still a kid at heart. I’m betting you are, too.

Your reunion committee has been working hard to make this the absolute best weekend EVER. Rooms have been set aside at several local B&Bs (see attached list) but they’re going quickly, so unless you’re local or have family still in the area, I urge you to pick one and call as soon as possible to make your reservation.

Of course we’ve planned a full slate of activities, from the reception on Friday night to the homecoming football game at our alma mater on Saturday. If football’s not your thing, there’s a golf outing (email me if you’re planning on golfing—we need to let the country club know how many to expect), a tour of the new(ish) art center, and a luncheon at Wyndham Beach’s newest (and some say best!) eatery (I need to make reservations, so let me know if you want to attend). And of course there’s the dinner on Saturday night. We’ve hired a DJ and given him the appropriate playlist. Long live the seventies!

Hope to see you all next week! It won’t be the same without you.

Lydia Hess Bryant, Reunion Chair

Mid-Coast Regional Class of 1980

PS: I’ve attached a class list noting the friends we’ve lost over the years, may they rest in peace.


Chapter One


From her window seat, Maggie Flynn watched the T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, come into view through the parted clouds. She’d been looking forward to this weekend since she received the invitation to her high school class reunion. She’d immediately called her two oldest friends to make plans. Best friends since childhood, Liddy Bryant and Emma Dean had returned to their hometown, Wyndham Beach, after college, married local men, and stayed to raise their families while Maggie had moved on. But forty years! Maggie couldn’t wrap her head around the fact so much time had passed since they’d graduated.

She slipped off her headphones, through which the soundtrack from her favorite movie, Saturday Night Fever, had been playing for the entire flight. Maggie firmly believed a trip back to the seventies had to begin and end with the Bee Gees. She placed the headphones in her bag, fastened her safety belt, and watched the runway come into view.

After the plane landed, she grabbed her luggage, picked up her rental car, and soon was behind the wheel of a midsize sedan, eagerly heading toward Providence, where she’d pick up Route 6 before swinging into Massachusetts. Happily singing along at the top of her voice—“Stayin’ Alive”—she drove the once-familiar highway that would take her past places that had been part of her life decades ago. Fall River, home of some of the best seafood on the planet and the flavors of Portugal, Cape Verde, and the Azores. Kayaking and hiking through Slocum’s River Reserve in Dartmouth with Brett, breathing in the salt air, watching for fledgling ospreys, back in the day when they were young and in love and so sure about their future together—before things became so complicated. New Bedford, once the world’s greatest whaling port and a major station on the Underground Railroad. Buying freshly caught lobster right off the boat in Fairhaven, her mother waiting at home to toss them into a steaming pot of water. Mattapoisett with its beautiful sandy beaches and Neds Point Lighthouse. The boat ramp from which her grandfather, Harvey Wakefield, used to launch his boat, In My Wake, and Shining Tides Beach, where many a summer day he’d taken Maggie and her sister, Sarah, crabbing and digging for quahogs. It all seemed so long ago—Well, it was, she reminded herself—yet the memories were as clear as yesterday. Funny how sometimes time and memory fed off each other, how some years flashed by in a hazy fast-forward blur, while others passed with such clarity, in slow motion and excruciatingly detailed.

For Maggie, the past two years had been painful and difficult and had left her feeling and looking wan and tired. She’d admittedly looked so bad that it had been months before she could recognize herself in the mirror. Being the primary caretaker for a terminally ill loved one would do that to a person.

Not that Maggie had complained. She’d devoted every waking hour to her late husband’s care, and it had broken her heart to watch Art deteriorate so rapidly. He’d gone from a vibrant, active, intellectually sharp man of barely sixty to little more than a shell in a short time. When Art first shared the terrible, totally unexpected diagnosis, Maggie had vowed to be there for him every step of the way, through every day of the treatment they all hoped would defy the odds. She’d been true to her word, not leaving the house except to take him to his doctors’ appointments and to drive him into Philadelphia for treatment. Despite offers from their daughters to stay with him while Maggie went . . . well, anywhere, to lunch with a friend or to the hairdresser, Maggie’d refused. Throughout thirty-two years of marriage, Art had taken care of his wife and daughters. Now it was Maggie’s turn to take care of him. And she did, around the clock.