Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review: The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

Summer's coming - must be time for a new Elin Hilderbrand novel.

Full disclosure: a few years back, I wrote an article about Hilderbrand. She's lovely, writes the first drafts of her novels in long hand, loves Bruce Springsteen and Philadelphia. Part of that interview is blurbed on one of her book jackets. Small thrill since I like and her books so much.

But I didn't jump to read The Island: A Novel when I got a preview copy in the mail (or three - yes, they sent me three). Why? I'm a little tired of reading about Nantucket, which is where Hilderbrand bases her novels. I had a "can you hear my eyes rolling from all the way over here" moment. It sounds like a great place, but really? Another one?

Turns out I was wrong. Sort of. The book doesn't take place on Nantucket proper but on Tuckernut, a small island off the coast of Nantucket that is all privately owned. No shops or restaurants. No electricity, either, other than what you can get from your generator. No hot water, no phone, no cell phone reception. If you want supplies, you have to hire someone from the island to come to your house via boat.

The Island is about four women who go to the family's ancestral house on Tuckernut for the summer. They're two sets of sisters: India and Birdie, then Birdie's two daughters, Chess and Tate. Each woman has suffered a romantic loss, except for Tate. She comes to Tuckernut looking not only help her sister recover from a tragedy but maybe to finally catch the attention of Barrett, whose father was the guy who brought them supplies on the boat when Tate was a teenager.

The book's great - my second favorite written by Hilderbrand. Her best, I think, is still The Love Season. If you've never read it, please do. It's fantastic.

One reader said she's excited to read reviews of all these summer books but that I'm KILLING her by talking about great books that aren't out yet. Sorry, Sarah. Summer will be here soon enough - this one comes out in July 6.

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