Since the Christmas season is fast approaching, I enjoyed the new Elin Hilderbrand novel today. Like her other “beach reads” set in Nantucket it is an easy read filled with drama. The story takes place for three days over Christmas. Despite the fact that each family member is dealing with their own challenges everyone comes together to celebrate the holidays.
The drama begins when the owner, Kelly, finds his wife in the arms of the Santa Claus that has been attending their Christmas Eve party for the last 12 years. Their son, the only character not home for the holidays is a marine fighting in Afghanistan and everyone is worried about his well-being. Kelly’s original ex-wife ends up visiting and helping their 3 adult children deal with missing their step-brother and with their own issues which include a break up, a baby and insider trading. Despite all the drama, the family enjoy carolling, good food and drink as they work through their issues.
Winter Street can be read quickly and has inspired me to get some Christmas decorations out as the holidays approach. Like Hildebrand’s other novels, it makes the reader want to explore Nantucket – or better yet to be enjoying a beach read, on a beach!
Set on the Australian coast, the characters are dealing with complicated past life events, which continue to impact their lives. Life comes full circle as the story unfolds revealing a sordid tale of both past and present. Like Moriarty’s previous book, The Husband’s Secret, the past comes back to haunt the main characters and the truth eventually emerges. The story revolves around the families of the new kindergarten class and leads up to the announcement of which parent ends up dead at the school trivia night.
This is another light read and the tale is mixed with clips from witnesses telling their own version of what happened that fateful night. These snippets are reminiscent of the ‘telephone game’ as each witness has a different understanding of the events. These reflections add the perspective of how gossip can get out of control and that we never really understand the private lives that others may lead.
If you like to read a book prior to watching the movie, read Big Little Lies now as it has been reported that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are working on this movie.
The Vacationers has been included on many 2014 summer reading lists and has been mentioned on the CBC as a “story of forgiveness”. This novel tells the tale of the Post family – a long-married couple, their adult son and his partner from Miami, their daughter who will be going to university in the fall and the wife’s long-term gay friend and his partner – who travel together to Mallorca for a vacation. They have rented a house and vacation together, each with dealing with their own form of “baggage”.
The story unfolds one day at a time and the reader learns more about each character and their challenges. The story includes infidelity, new beginnings, love and understanding as each individual works through their issues. This book is another light, beach read, perfect for a summer day!
If you are looking for another easy, summer read, The Hurricane Sisters is one to bring to the beach. It is set near Charleston, South Carolina and tells the story of a family struggling with baggage of the past and current issues of infidelity and abuse.
It would be difficult not to like, Maisie, the eccentric matriarch of the family who is having a relationship with a much younger man. She has a strained relationship with her remaining daughter, Liz, who is experiencing issues with her stagnant marriage. She adores her granddaughter, Ashley, a starving artist working in an art gallery but is worried about her relationship with a state senator. The women’s lives spin out of control in the midst of hurricane season. They come to appreciate their relationship and support of each other as they work through their issues and find forgiveness at the end of the storm.
Grab yourself a box of tissues if this is your next read! Hildebrand tells the tale of Dabney, a matchmaker who sees a pink aura around perfect couples yet struggles with her own love story. She is married to a steady, kind but distant man yet her heart belongs to a man that she fell in love with, as a teenager, Clendenin.
Dabney’s story is told as Clen returns to the island with baggage of his own. In between her tale a number of her “matches” describe their experience with her matchmaking and share their history.
This is a quick summer read for a day at the beach!