Posted in Reviews 2012

Review: Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

Summerland: A Novel
Reagan Arthur Books
Little Brown & Company
Hachette Book Group
Available Now


It’s graduation day at Nantucket High. On the warm June evening the parties have moved to a bonfire at the beach. Four teens decide to leave the party and tragedy strikes when the driver of the Jeep floors the gas pedal and the vehicle goes airborne then comes to rest on a beach. Penny Alistair is dead, her twin brother Hobby is in a coma with 16 broken bones. Penny’s boyfriend, Jake and their friend Demeter are unhurt physically. They had on their seat belts. They are so many questions and the survivors will continue to be haunted by what happened.

Zoe, Penny and Hobby’s mother has raised these kids alone. She would be called a “free spirit” who raised two wonderful and talented children. Hobby was a star athlete and Penny had the voce of an angel. How can she survive without her daughter and does she have enough strength to help Hobby recover?

The summer is spent trying to figure out why the accident happened and parents doing everything they can to protect their children. For some that means really seeing their children for the first time in years and realizing they have not been the parent their children needed them to be. They key to understanding the accident means finding out what happened at that bonfire. Will all the secrets be revealed?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Told from several points of view this story gives honest portrayal of lives changed in a split second. For one there is no turning back but for the rest of individuals involved it is a chance to make better choices, to reach out for help, to reflect, to be honest with themselves, and to try to move forward in a better direction.

There is so much happening in this story. The characters and the situations they find themselves in are very complex. It reads almost like a mystery as you follow the clues to try to figure out what happened in the dunes on the beach and what made certain characters fall so far. Emotions run the gambit as we try to empathize with each and every character.

This is a wonderful beach read but not my favorite my this author. Silver Girl still holds that spot. Just one note to the author, people can be paralyzed side to side. My right side is paralyzed, but not the left.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author*
Elin Hilderbrand: novelist, mother of three, sports enthusiast, avid fan of Bruce Springsteen, Veuve Clicquot, and four-inch heels. She sits on the Board of Directors at the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club and Nantucket Little League. Her resting pulse is 65.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Review: Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

This review originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts June 21, 2011.

Reagan Arthur Books/
Little Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group

ISBN-10: 031609966X
ISBN-13: 978-0316099660
Meredith Martin Delinn’s world is crashing around her. She has been living the “high life” since her children were small. Her husband, Freddy, was one of those wonderful guys on Wall Street that got caught by the SEC (think Bernie Madoff) making off with his clients money and wonderful guy that he was, he dragged his wife and family down with him.

Freddy is now sitting in prison while Meredith and their son Leo are under investigation and filled with questions. Their son Carver never got into the family business so he is not facing the heat, but Leo has moved in with him and they can have no contact with their mother.

Meredith has lost everything except for some money she had of her own before she was married, but she has no home, no friends, can’t talk to or see her sons, no social standing at all.  She contacts her friend since childhood, Constance Flute.  Their friendship fizzled out when they took all the money they had invested with Freddy out a couple of years ago. Connie’s husband, Wolf, was dying and he just didn’t think Freddy’s numbers added up and thought he was doing something shady.  But Meredith stood  by her man and blamed Wolf’s cancer for his poor judgement.

Connie is headed to Nantucket for the summer to try to heal from the devastating loss of not only her husband, but her daughter who is blaming her for not making her dad fight harder against the cancer that had returned.  He chose his work over the treatments.  He was an architect and he felt the work he was committed to needed to be completed and would be his legacy.  Connie has called and left a voice mail every Sunday hoping that just once her daughter will pick up the phone or call her back.

Connie decides to take Meredith with her to Nantucket so they may also heal their friendship, but once the people of the island find out that Meredith is there, the friends become plagued with old and new troubles, adding even more stress in their lives at a place that was supposed to be healing, relaxing and full of happy memories. Can their friendship be restored?  What kind of lives will they after when the summer ends?
This is the quintessential summer beach read.  It takes on the power of friendship, love, loss, forgiveness, trust, happiness, prosperity, misery, and bliss, along with an element of suspense.  It is also very current due to the scandal that happened in New York with Bernie Madoff recently, like I said above, but it shows the other side, that maybe some of the spouses of the Wall Street Execs really could be oblivious to what was really happening.  When they are bringing home that much money it is kind of taken for granted and the how and why is not always questioned. Unfortunately most of us are not in that position so I didn’t trust Meredith for a good part of this story, which made it more of a mystery for me as the clues were uncovered and linked together.

I also loved the special ways history was remembered and tied to some very beautiful music.  It made the story so much more real as they were songs I loved from my past.  Just added a wonderful element that set the back stories and much more.

I had the privilege to read an review Hilderbrand’s The Island last summer and declared it my Best General Fiction Read of 2010. Elin Hilderbrand has become one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read her entire back list and anything she writes in the future.

The tagline of this blog is “Escape With A Good Book”.  This is the perfect “escape” book!! I did over the weekend and am so glad I did. Get yours today, fix a nice pitcher of lemonade, splash on a little sunscreen and hit the beach, deck chair, or porch swing and sit back and enjoy this wonderful story.
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Reagan Arthur Books, Little Brown and Company, a division  of Hachette Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”