Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Island (Elin Hilderbrand)

As I’m gradually making my way through Elin Hilderbrand’s books, one thing is for certain.  Because her novels are set on Nantucket, her current home, the beautiful setting is almost always as integral a part of her books as the main characters are.  The Island is set on nearby Tuckernuck, the ultra-exclusive, privately owned island with no shops or restaurants to speak of.  In fact, the characters summering there need to give a grocery list to their caretaker, who goes back and forth from Nantucket.  While I probably will never see Tuckernuck’s light of day, Nantucket is definitely on my must-do list.

The Island revolves around four women, each harboring secrets and/or pain.  Chess has just cancelled her wedding to a guy deemed perfect because she’s in love with his brother.  That “perfect guy” is soon found dead, but what are the circumstances surrounding it?  Tate, Chess’s sister, is trying to find a life outside of work.  Birdie, their mother, is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after her divorce, while her sister, India, is still coming to terms with her artist husband’s suicide.  The four converge on Tuckernuck for a month’s respite, with only themselves and their caretaker, Barrett, for company.  The ins and outs of their day, filled with drama after drama (no surprise), then ensue.

The Island is the perfect summer read, as there’s really not much substance to it.  As opposed to Hilderbrand’s later novels, Summerland and Silver Girl, I wasn’t that enthralled with any of the characters.  In fact, some attempts at garnering sympathy went out the window because the characters just weren’t that likeable.  However, Hilderbrand has a huge fan base for a reason.  Even her breeziest of books are still fun and great to take on vacation.