Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand

In Summer People, Beth Newton and her children retreat to the home on Nantucket after the death of her husband, Arch. She insisted that the family tradition of vacationing in Nantucket must continue and Arch's promise must be fulfilled. Before he died, Arch had invited the son of one of his clients to visit that summer. Now, Beth feels like she should honor that invite. So, she's taken her teenagers, Winnie and Garret, along with Marcus to the island for 3 months. When the kids learn about a secret from Beth's, they are desperate to keep the family together and carry on with the healing process.

I really enjoyed this story. There's just something about Nantucket and Hilderbrand's writing that draws me in every time. In this one, her characters are flawed and real; the storylines are accessible and relatable. The characters' grief about Arch's death and the return to Nantucket was palpable and accurate. It brought up lots of sad memories of my lost loved ones.

I love Elin's books, but I occasionally have a complaint about something that happened in the book that doesn't sit right with me. This one is no exception. First, there was a little too much teenage puppy love. There's a reason I don't read romance or young adult books. It's all a bit to sappy for me. Second, I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but the big shocking secret that the kids discover just wasn't that big or that least to me. There's no reason for Beth to reveal her entire life story to her children. Their reaction after discovering the secret was a bit over the top. I realize that these are my criticisms and others, no doubt, will feel differently. Having said all of that, neither of these things stopped me from enjoying this book immensely.

Highly recommended. I love Hilderbrand's books and hope to read many more.

For more information about this book, please visit the St. Martin's Press website.

I picked up this book at a used book sale.

Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand, St. Martin's Griffin (St. Martin's Press), ©2003. ISBN 9780312283679(Trade paperback), 337p.

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