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Summer People (2004)

Summer People (2004)

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3.91 of 5 Votes: 1
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0312997191 (ISBN13: 9780312997199)
st. martin's paperbacks

About book Summer People (2004)

As in other books by Elin Hildebrand, what drew me into this book is her picturesque description of Nantucket Island, as well as an authentic inside view on how people live their lives there. Summer People touches upon the disparity between year-round Islanders and wealthy "Summer People" who reclaim their summer homes for a season of high-life social reveling. The story unfolds as the main characters David and Elizabeth, who once eloped in secret, meet after decades of going their separate ways and raising their families. Their romance rekindles once Elizabeth, whose husband Archer dies in a plane accident, runs into David while grocery shopping. David and Elizabeth's teenage children also pair up, starting a romance of their own. The plot also involves Elizabeth's summer guest Marcus, the son of her late husband's client, who was commissioned to write a true crimes book about his mother's murder conviction. As in several other books, the author touches upon the subject of interracial relationships when her own daughter Winnie develops strong feelings for Marcus, with whom she has much in common, specifically swim team. Winnie's brother Garrett, however, resents Marcus' involvement with his sister, as well as his mother's attention. I felt that Garrett's violence toward Marcus in this story was a bit overdone--beating him bloody in his sister's bedroom, despite his sister's protests.In the end, year-rounder David and Summer person Elizabeth share a grandson in common, as a result of Garrett's relationship with David's daughter Piper. The baby, who becomes adopted, to me symbolizes the resolution between David and Elizabeth one generation removed, and is a wonderful, but a bit unsettling end to a compelling story. I highly recommend this book as a summer story, especially for those who want to get away during those summer "dog days."Summer People

Oh dilemma, because I'm hesitating between a 3 and a 4 stars for this one. I know I’m in for a nice treat when I read a book by Elin Hilderbrand, that's for sure. I may not always like all the characters she puts on paper (as in this one), but I always thoroughly enjoy her writing style and the stories she brings, set on beautiful Nantucket. This one, centering on the Newton family, might well be the most touching I’ve read so far by this author. The parts that revealed what happened in the past were extremely vital to the story. They were heartfelt and made the story very appealing. This read kept me entertained and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.Admittedly, (and without wanting to reveal spoilers) there were things that made my blood boil a little, like the extreme self-absorbed attitude of the twins, Garrett and Minnie, but then they are teenagers, and, in the end, they are genuinely good kids. I also had the feeling while reading that I wished the author had fleshed out a few of the characters more, especially Beth, the Mom. I didn’t like how David was portrayed. Right from the first sentences when he appeared in this story, he came across as quite selfish, and sadly, he remained rather self-centered. At times it felt that the book went over certain events occurring on the island that summer a little quickly.By far my favorite characters were Marcus, and yes, Arch. The dynamics they created – in the past and the present - were in essence, the soul of this story.

Do You like book Summer People (2004)?

If I were Elin's editor, I would have told her "this so called plot twist? is a BUST" Wow. The big secret is that the mom was married, twenty-five years ago, for two weeks. Years before she met her long-term spouse, years before she had children, she was married for two weeks. No entanglements, no long-term consequences, just a young girl who made a silly mistake and managed to rectify it before it got ugly. My mom was engaged before she met my father. That didn't work out. Thirty years later I'm not mad at her about it, I don't even care. It was before she knew my dad, before I was even a thought in her brain, let alone a fetus in her belly. Yet this character's kids feel so BETRAYED. They don't know their mother anymore. They take their father's ashes and scatter them without her. Her kids are hideously selfish and shameful. The plot is snooze-worthy and honestly regrettable. I feel like I wasted a day reading this. I keep reading this author's books because so many people think they are great. I hope it improves soon.

3.5. You can always count on Elin Hilderbrand for a good beachread. Beth's husband, Arch, was killed in a plane crash just 3 months before she and her teenage twins go to Nantucket for the summer, maintaining a family tradition. Before he died, Arch invited Marcus, the teenage son of a murderer he is representing, to join the family in Nantucket. Out of a respect for Arch, Beth honors Arch's invitation. The first person Beth's sees in Nantucket is her first love, who is recently separated. His two teenage daughters live with him. As the summer unfolds emotions run rampant as everyone try's to heal from loss, old love and secrets surface, and first love grows. An easy read. One quibble, a point of view change in the last chapter felt contrived and didn't work for me.
—Carol Brill

I think this is one of EH's earlier books, and the writing is really good for an early book. Yes, the "secret" is blown way out of proportion. But, what I found unbelievable is (view spoiler)[ how easily the relationship went on hiatus between Marcus and the daughter. This girl is supposedly obsessed with him long before they really got to know each other, then they "go all the way," then at the end of summer, they both mutually decide it would be too hard to keep things going in NYC, so they happily decide to cool their jets. HUH? Has this writer ever meet a teen girl? It's never that easy with teen romances. (hide spoiler)]

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