Books, Gardens, Dogs
Summerland - Elin Hilderbrand MY THOUGHTSABSOLUTELY LOVED ITIn an isolated part of the country, Nantucket seems like paradise to most outsiders and the families that live there year round agree. This story about four teens in an accident that leaves one dead, one injured and the other two safe is just the beginning of a mystery in the island community of Nantucket and what is really is revealed will make you wonder if any community is safe from angst. The secrets that come to light make this whole community reel with their revelations. Penny and Hobby are twins, each with their own spectacular gifts and while their father has died before their birth, their mother, Zoe, has carved out a life for them trying to give them everything possible in order to succeed. Penny's boyfriend, Jake comes from a well established island family and his father runs the local newspaper. Jake's parents, Jordan and Ava have their own devastating secrets that are coming to light after the death of their youngest from SIDS. Demeter, overweight and lonely, has given up trying to fit in and while she comes from a wealthy home, there isn't much love for her that she can feel. Her parents, politician and car dealer, Al, and Lynne, who runs a title business from home, seem remote and clueless to Demeter. As the story unfolds through flashbacks and different points of view from each character, we learn exactly what happened the night of the accident and the aftermath. There is an affair uncovered, an alcohol problem revealed, teenage romances abound and depression. Of course it is like the car accident that happens in the first chapter, you don't want to look, but you can't help but look and try to figure out what happened. This book was one of those that you can't put down. I read this very quickly and I think it was one of my favorite reads from Hilderbrand. She was a very popular choice in our book group and there is so much to discuss because of the many layers in her work. I think this story should also appeal to older teens because of the youth angle. I have read many young adult books recently that cover similar topics such as alcohol abuse, trying to fit in and the pressure of teens in society today. This is a very realistic take on these situations and the consequences of both the teen and the parents involved. The way the story is revealed in also a plus since you get both the parents and teens viewpoints. This is another perfect summer read from Elin Hilderbrand.

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