Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand (Review and Giveaway)

Title: Summerland
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

About the Book: A perfect summer's night ends in a deadly crash -- and four lives are changed forever.

On a warm June evening, a local tradition continues: the students of Nantucket High gather for a bonfire on the beach.  But the celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother, Hobby, in a coma.  Penny's boyfriend, Jake, and her friend Demeter are unhurt but haunted by the events of that night, and by the questions that linger about what happened in the car -- and in the dunes before Penny took the wheel.

For Zoe, the twins' mother, the unthinkable awaits: life without her daughter, and an agonizing recovery for the son who had been a star athlete with infinite prospects.  Free-spirited Zoe has been as much friend as mother to her children, but now she has to face devastating truths about them, and about her own role in all that happened.

As summer unfolds, Zoe and the other parents ask whether their efforts to protect their children from life's realities have only left them more vulnerable.  The key to understanding the accident lies in what Penny learned that evening on the beach -- but will it also destroy the survivors' fragile peace?

My thoughts: This was only my second Elin Hilderbrand book and I enjoyed it even more than the first one.  Her characters are very human and easy to relate to.  The story is told by revolving around all of those involved - Hobby and his mom,  Zoe; Demeter and her parents, Al and Lynne; Jake and his parents, Jordan and Ava.  Each of their lives is touched by this tragedy and the surviving three kids each spend part of the summer wondering what set Penny off on her crash course that night, and dealing with the guilt because they each think they know what it was. Somehow they all have to learn to start living again.

For Hobby, he first must recover physically and that is a long road.  He is also more worried about his mom's acceptance of Penny's death than his own.  Jake is hauled off to Australia by his parents and while there watches his parents reverse roles.  To him it is just more of the same though and all he wants is to get back home to Nantucket.  Demeter never really felt accepted by any of them and starts to drown her loneliness and guilt more and more in the bottle. Little do they know that their parents have secrets, too.  

I would really recommend you add this book to your summer reading list!  And to help you out with that - please sign up for the giveaway below!  This giveaway is open to U.S./Canada only and will end on July 11 at midnight. 

Publisher/Publication Date: Little, Brown and Company, June 26, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-316-09983-7
385 pages

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hachette in exchange for my review.~


bermudaonion said...

This book sounds deeper than a typical Hilderbrand novel. I can't wait to read it!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

This sounds like another winner from Hilderbrand. I enjoy her books and this one sounds even better than the last one! Thanks for offering the giveaway!

Howard Sherman said...

Reading your review of Summerland really moved me. What family doesn't have its share of personal tragedy, the Sherman family being no exception.

I've often engaged in deep soul-searching and introspection and can relate to the general theme of making peace with an unsettling reality.

A part of me wants to really read Summerland as another part of me wants to avoid it at costs.

The conflict is the interest in a truly good story against how that book might stir up my own pot.

GoGreen said...

Thanks, Kristi.

I will email you as soon as I can with my address. Having email problems today.



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