Beautiful Days | Page 1 of 110

Author: Anna Godbersen | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 5445 Views | Add a Review

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BEAUTIFUL DAYS

A BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS NOVEL

ANNA GODBERSEN

Dedication

For Katy

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Also by Anna Godbersen

Credits

Copyright

About the Publisher

Chapter 1

IT WAS A MIDSUMMER AFTERNOON ON LONG ISLAND, and the mosquitoes, like the girls who get dolled up at evening time, would not be seen flitting about for hours yet. A lot of noise was made last night in the mansions that lined White Cove, and plenty would be made tonight, but for now the sky was just a wide arc of blue, and three such girls—some of them already much discussed by newspaper columnists and women in hair salons—

were browning poolside. One lay facedown, one sprawled on her back, and one curled up on her side, the better to turn the pages of her fashion magazine.

“Darling.” The voice of the first cut through the listless atmosphere, ending the peaceful silence.

Cordelia Grey took a breath of sweet, still air as she returned to consciousness. The sun had warmed the skin of her long legs, and the chaise she was lying upon comfortably accommodated her languid pose. June, with its occasionally gloomy weather and mourning clothes, was behind her. She moved her arm so that her eyes were no longer covered; it was another beautiful day.

“Darling?” the voice repeated. It belonged to Astrid Donal, who over the course of a month and a half had become one of Cordelia’s closest friends.

Cordelia blinked so as not to be blinded. The sky was very bright and the pool was very turquoise. Even the leaves on the trees at Dogwood seemed to have embraced the indolent spirit of summer; they were thick and mysterious and green, hardly moving even on their high branches.

“I’m sorry.” Cordelia smiled. “I guess I must have drifted off.”

“It’s nearly four o’clock, you know,” Astrid replied from the chaise on Cordelia’s left. She rolled over and pushed her cartwheel hat, which she wore to protect her creamy skin, back on her head.

“It can’t be!” Cordelia laughed, drawing her heaps of sun-streaked dirty-blond hair into a bun at the nape of her neck. “You shouldn’t have let me sleep that long.”

“We thought of waking you, but you looked so happy,” said Letty Larkspur, who had been Cordelia’s best friend in that other life she’d left behind in

Ohio.

Letty occupied the chaise to Cordelia’s right, her legs tucked up close to her chest. Both girls wore new navy blue tank swimsuits, although Letty had mostly covered her petite frame in a gauzy robe. Her dark hair was cropped short and she had pushed her bangs to the side so that they revealed a pale triangle of forehead. Even this far into summer, her skin was almost white.

They had all three bought the same suit on a shopping trip into Manhattan the week before—that had been Astrid’s idea, she’d insisted it would be great fun if they had a kind of uniform when they went sea bathing—although Astrid had somehow already ruined hers on a trip to the beach and was now wearing an old black one, which was frayed and worn thin in places but nonetheless flattered her girlish frame. Astrid had been born wealthy, and anything she threw on seemed, as if by some magic, deliberate and expensive.

“You were smiling to yourself,” Letty went on, in that small, crystalline voice that belied the deep, rich sound her throat produced when she sang,

“and whispering something.”

“Then you definitely should have woken me!”

“Nonsense.” Astrid drained her lemonade glass and put it on the little wood table that separated their chairs. “I know how you like to keep secrets, Cordelia Grey, and I am not above listening to you talk in your sleep to find them out.”

“Me? I got nothing to hide,” Cordelia replied, with a rakish and somewhat disingenuous innocence, and swung her legs over the side of the chaise.

She stood and walked quickly across the hot pool deck. For a moment she paused at the water’s edge, gazing up at the main house with its flights of stone steps zigzagging to its back entry. There was a time when that facade only made her think of her father and his sad end and the terrible way she’d betrayed him. But as the days passed, she’d begun to see that he’d died with dignity, happy to have his daughter home, and that the house was a legacy of the fantastical life he had imagined for himself and then made real. It was as shimmering and solid now as on the nights he had thrown his famous parties there, and it remained a safe haven to his two children—Cordelia, who had only been reunited with him in May, and Charlie, who was now running the bootlegging business that had made Darius Grey rich and famous.

A ripple of gratitude passed over Cordelia, and she even smiled a little to think how satisfied Darius would be to know his offspring were still sheltered under that fine roof. Then she sprang forward, arms overhead so that her body went like an arrow into the cool water. Beneath the surface there was true silence, and she sailed forward on the momentum of her dive as long as she could. It was serene and quiet, and she remembered that in her dream she had

been flying.

Cordelia came up for air and took three strong strokes to the end of the pool.

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Comments

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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