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