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Summerland: A Novel Hardcover – June 26, 2012

307 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Can't afford to get away this summer? Travel without moving with this book set on the stunning American island of Nantucket ... The well planned voices, perspectives and plot twists means it keeps your interest until the final page. Best on SUMMERLAND 'A sensitive, human chronicle of the work it takes to move forward in deep grief, SUMMERLAND is as readable as any beach book, but with a much bigger heart.' Boston Globe 'Hilderbrand explores the power of community, family and honesty, and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow, new love can still take flight.' Examiner on SUMMERLAND It provides a pacey read, with colourful characters that have fascinating motivations. I couldn't get them out of my head for days Sunday Express on SILVER GIRL So deliciously addictive that it will be the 'It' beach book of the summer Kirkus Review on THE ISLAND An honest, raw tale of friendship and love Cosmopolitan on THE CASTAWAYS 'Perfect holiday reading. I didn't want to put it down' Candis on BAREFOOT 'A gem of a summer read with a glamorous location, elite lifestyle, and Hilderbrand's appealing take on the constant stress that fills the lives of women everywhere' Booklist on A SUMMER AFFAIR --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand: novelist, mother of three, sports enthusiast, avid fan of Bruce Springsteen, Veuve Clicquot, and four-inch heels. She sits on the Board of Directors at the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club and Nantucket Little League. Her resting pulse is 65.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316099837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316099837
  • ASIN: 031609983X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jane on August 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've loved all of Elin Hilderbrand's books. Except this one. The characters show no real warmth. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own angst/pain that they don't connect with eachother. It was just depressing from start to finish. If you're new to Ms. Hilderbrand, I highly recommend Blue Bistro as a starting point. In that book, she handles some very sad and tender topics with heart.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Silver's Reviews on June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Someone knew why the accident that killed Penny Alistair happened, and that someone was Demeter Castle. Demeter knew exactly why Penny flew into a rage and drove so fast that she killed herself and seriously injured her brother, but she wouldn't divulge the information. She just couldn't tell the police what she knew.

Ms. Hilderbrand created another marvelous book with wonderful characters and amazing descriptions of Nantucket Island. The descriptions of the landscape and the town will provide a mini vacation. The characters in SUMMERLAND definitely carried the plot, and they definitely had issues....some issues that some folks may be able to identify with. As the small town of wealthy residents carried on and dealt with the most recent tragedy you will find out that Demeter had drinking issues that went undetected by her parents, Zoe and Jordan were having an affair, and that Ava never recovered from her infant son's death and withdrew from the world.

The feelings and emotions expressed by the main characters will make you flinch as well as having you feel sorry for will actually feel as though you are experiencing the grief and pain along with the characters. You will also want to shake a few of them so they open their eyes and see what is happening right under their noses.

Through Ms. Hilderbrand's outstanding writing style, you will find out how each character became the person they were today, what made them tick, and why they did what they did. The book flowed so seamlessly from one character to another and from one situation to the next, that you didn't even know you were switching gears.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A compelling, heartfelt story about reclaimed friendship, tragedy, loss and love! On one particular evening in June, the Nantucket high school students gathered for a bonfire on the beach as a celebration to graduation, which ended in tragedy. A terrible car crash left the driver of the car dead and her brother in a coma, with two passengers as survivors. What happened before Penny took the wheel? As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors, along with secrets, broken promises and broken hearts. Elin Hilderbrand delivers an emotional, captivating story about reclaimed friendship as she portrays that even after sorrow, love can still be found. This interesting novel has colorful characters, a powerful story with a good message, and picture-perfect scenery. Beautifully written, and Highly Recommended!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V. on January 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Hilderbrand was the first author who made me reconsider the idea of "chick lit" - in The Blue Bistro and The Island she managed to combine levity and deeper topics. I also liked Barefoot and Silver Girl. Right now I look for books that will entertain without being too light, and she seemed to fit the bill. The beach setting offers a pleasant escapism, the characters are flawed but most seek some kind of redemption. It's all fairly predictable but enjoyable. But now I've read a string of sub-par novels by her that make me wonder if maybe she needs to take a break from trying to crank out one a year. I'll be honest, I don't expect Literature reading her books, but I'd like the plot lines to be a little less repetitive (car crashes, adultery, teen pregnancy) and the characters to be more engaging. Not more crazy, more adulterous, more alcoholic, more irresponsible... just more interesting. More real? Sometimes I laugh reading her novels because of how closely the 40-something parents' lives resemble that of teenagers, and the teens seem like precocious adults. And everyone is So Beautiful and eats Such Delicious Food and Drinks Champagne... it's a little silly. I also try to ignore all the yacht-clubby references to men wearing loafers without socks, because that above all things makes me want to toss the book out the window. But that's just me.

Maybe it's time for her to let an idea simmer longer, and take more time to show us what she can do. I think other readers may agree. I would look forward to reading what she came up with.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cyntelligence on August 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy Ms. Hilderbrand's books in the "summer guilty pleasure reading" category.Her obvious love of Nantucket is evident in her teleporting descriptions of all corners of the idyllic island. In addition, as a foodie, her delectable menu and wine and cocktail descriptions will make your mouth water. And all the above with a formulaic but interesting story, including summer and year round Nantucketers. Summerland, however, was not my favorite. I felt the subject matter was at once too sad, and at the same time, the characters seemed not sad enough when dealing with the tragedy. I think the author should stick to some slightly lighter conflicts, and get back to some humour, and the beauty of the island. Read instead Silvergirl, The Island, or The Blue Bistro.
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