“Summer on Sag Harbor” Should Be Your Westchester Beach Read

Adobe Stock | AndreaMeling

The View cohost Sunny Hostin just released Summer on Sag Harbor, the second book in her series focusing on glitzy, waterfront locales.

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Summer on Sag Harbor

By Sunny Hostin
William Morrow (2023)
384 pages (pbk, hc, kindle)

For three-time Emmy Award winner and longtime The View cohost Sunny Hostin, her new book, Summer on Sag Harbor, is more than a breezy beach read. According to Hostin, a Purchase resident, the novel arose from the encouragement and inspiration of the late lawyer and author Lawrence Otis Graham as well as Hostin’s personal experience with three Black seaside communities.

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“The theme really comes from Larry’s love of Black excellence, culture, and those beach communities. That’s how it started,” says Hostin. “I felt it would be really nice to write a beach read about these three places and elevate it and center it on Black women, White women, Latina women, and the relationships we have with each other.”

Summer on Sag Harbor
Courtesy of William Morrow, An Imprint of Harper Collins

While many of Hostin’s fans may know her for her time on daytime TV, the lawyer and journalist’s love of literature stretches back to her earliest days. “Growing up, the rule in my house was that I couldn’t stay up playing video games or on the phone, but I could stay up if I was reading,” she says. “I would read before I went to bed, and it’s still a nighttime ritual for me.”

Hostin’s new novel, which just hit shelves in May, focuses on Sag Harbor, a Long Island retreat populated by Black lawyers, doctors, and entrepreneurs. “Since the ’30s, very few people have known about this part of the Hamptons, but real estate developers discovered this hidden gem,” says Hostin of the novel. “Now the residents have to fight for the preservation of their community.”

The book centers on Olivia, a young, successful Wall Street analyst from Hostin’s previous novel, Summer on the Bluffs. “This book is about Olivia’s journey to understand her roots — both her adoptive roots and biological roots — because, for me, family is everything, as you can see if you watch The View. It’s a key feature of the book, and it is a key feature of every novel I write,” says Hostin. “Olivia is also just searching for community, which we all are — especially post-pandemic. The story was pretty easy to write once I understood that Olivia really needed exploration.”

Yet those who haven’t read Hostin’s prior work need not worry. “This novel stands alone,” says Hostin. “You don’t have to have read Summer on the Bluffs to read Summer on Sag Harbor.”

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Despite Summer on Sag Harbor’s May release, Hostin is already wrapping up the next part of her series. “The third part of the trilogy is actually due at the end of June, so I am writing about Highland Beach now,” says Hostin, who plans to visit the historic Maryland community soon. “I don’t spend time at Highland Beach the way I do at Sag [Harbor] and [Oak] Bluffs, so I am little more nervous about this than I probably should be. I just want it to be authentic because what I think people loved about the Bluffs and what they’re going to love about Sag Harbor is that these are real places where people really live.”

Beyond her literary endeavors, Hostin is also embarking on an exciting journey in television. “I have partnered with [Academy Award winner] Octavia Spencer to bring Summer on the Bluffs to TV as an eight-to 10-episode series,” says Hostin. “Octavia and I are working hard to make sure that it’s authentic and that we shoot on [Martha’s] Vineyard. I think people are really going to appreciate the story.”

Related: How to Spend a Saturday on the Riverfront in Croton-on-Hudson

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