Author Interview by Angie Orenstein

The glitzy late 50s Hamptons sparkles like a coupe of champagne in this tantalizing novel from the talented Brooke Lea Foster.… A delightfully complex tale of deceit, social maneuvering, and self-determination that will have you cheering for the gutsy main character as she fights for the right to control her own fate.” 

 Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

 The Hamptons in the 1950s was vastly different than it is now. There were road races down the main drag, dress codes for women banning them from wearing short shorts, and during one memorable summer – the summer of 1957 – Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller vacationed there, pedaling their bikes along back roads, and driving slowly through East Hampton in a convertible with her little dogs yapping in the back.

Brooke Lea Foster, a New York author whose parents met in Montauk, grew up in a small town on the north fork of Long Island and spent summers driving through the Hamptons with her family, all the while listening to tales of the way things used to be. These memorable stories inspired her to write On Gin Lane, a historical fiction/mystery/ romance set in the Hamptons during the 1950s as it follows the rebellion of a society girl.

“Reviewers often say that I write beach reads ‘with teeth’ and I think that’s true,” said Lea Foster.

On Gin Lane has the mystery of the fire at its heart. I think it makes the pages fly as readers try to solve it, but there’s also the powerful story of coming of age at a time when women had an entirely different set of pressures put upon them.”


When the main character Everleigh “Lee” Farrows’ fiancé brings her to the Hamptons in the summer of 1957, she has no idea her life will soon change. As a young socialite, she lives her best, most glamorous life with Roland as he gifts her  with a luxury beachside hotel on the prized Gin Lane. But when the hotel mysteriously burns down opening weekend, Lee’s perfect life of Bellinis and Manhattan social circles begins to unravel, leaving her no choice but to face her past traumas and discover who she really is.


Early on in the book, Everleigh attends a glamorous grand opening party where she interacts with Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller. Lea Foster formed this idea while researching a detail for her previous novel Summer Darlings. She had looked into where a society girl would stay in Chicago in 1962 and discovered the Palmer House Hotel, named for a wealthy Chicago businessman who gifted his glamorous society fiancé the hotel in 1871 as an early wedding present. Thirteen days later the hotel mysteriously burned to the ground.

“My novels are often called atmospheric and I think this one is in particular,” said Lea Foster. “I hope (readers) feel transported to the Hamptons in a different era and take away a strong sense of place. I hope readers put down the book and think ‘That was a fun ride.’”


Brooke Lea Foster is an award-winning journalist whose debut novel Summer Darlings was a People Magazine Summer Pick in 2020. On Gin Lane has just been named a 2022 summer must-read by People Magazine and The Skimm. She will be doing a book signing at Finley’s Fiction on Shelter Island later in June and will also be part of the East Hampton Library Author’s Night on August 13.