Monday, August 20, 2012

The Beach Club (Elin Hilderbrand)

Elin Hilderbrand was an author I knew nothing about until I discovered she grew up in a neighboring town.  I started off reading Silver Girl last year and then continued with Summerland this year.  Even though she is a great summer read, she is by no means a frivolous one.  Her stories revolve around characters you truly grow to care about.  More than possibly any other author I’ve read, you can get completely lost in her books, with hours passing before you realize you read half of the novel already.

The Beach Club is an older novel, and, while not quite as good as Silver Girl and Summerland, still an intriguing story.  Mack is the manager of Bill and Therese’s Nantucket hotel/beach club.  Having lost his parents in a tragedy, he must decide what to do with the family farm and with his relationship with his girlfriend, Maribel.  Lacey is an 88-year-old fixture at the hotel, spending every summer there.  Jem, who quickly falls in love with Maribel, is happy to get a job as a bellman under Vance’s watch.  Love comes to the island from Aspen, after Bill offers her a job as a front desk clerk, but she has an ulterior motive.  Each character interweaves seamlessly with the others, creating a story that is summer breezy at times, but has real heart always.

With the exception of a line involving Cecily (Bill and Therese’s daughter) that could have come straight out of a romance novel with Fabio on the cover, I found myself hanging on every word.  I’m reading Barefoot right now and loving it, and I can’t wait to read Hilderbrand’s others.  She is a gifted storyteller whose novels are just right for the beach or a nice summer escape in the dreary cold winter.