Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Review and Blog Tour: The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

The story...

Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed.

Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life.

The author...

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

Audio and Video

The review...

I am a sucker for any story about the beach and a beach cover gets my attention immediately! I was in luck with this one. This is perfect for a summer read. At first I thought this would be a cozy little story about couples sharing a beach house. I was so wrong. This is much darker and more complex. Four couples vacation together on the island of Nantucket. Their friendships span many years and they have formed close relationships. But tragedy strikes when one of the couples is killed in an accident. Tess and Greg MacAvoy had recently been plagued by scandal but they were working through it. They went sailing to celebrate their anniversary and mysteriously drowned. Now they are gone and have left behind two young children. What happened?

Each chapter of the book is told by a different character. As they tell their own story they also begin to reveal the many layers of the groups relationship. While they have loving, caring friendships they have many secrets as well. As they mourn the loss of Tess and Greg, conflicts begin to arise. The couples seem to remember an idyllic past but now they have troubled marriages. Grief has brought out so many emotions and these people will never be the same.

I enjoyed the way this was written and had to keep turning the pages to find out what would happen next. While these people strive for the "perfect" life as individuals they are far from that. I've read where others have described them as flawed and that is a very fitting description. While some of them aren't very likable the author has done a great job of building them through each chapter and making them real. It makes it so much easier to understand their actions and emotions and how difficult their lives have become. As they struggle with serious issues that include adultry and drug addiction, they do try to redeem themselves. This book is a great escape and will take you away to the island of Nantucket.

I also lucked out this week and found a gently used copy of her last novel Barefoot for sale at my library. I have been wanting to read that one as well so I snagged it!

Previous titles
A Summer Affair
Published on: Jul 01, 2008


Published on: Jul 02, 2007

Author's website and bookgroup
Elin Hilderbrand's Nantucket

Other tour sites
July 10

Thank you to Miriam and Hatchette Books for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Date: 7/7/09
Pages: 368
Format/Type: hardcover/fiction
Price: $24.99


  1. I was expecting this to be a light, fluffy book, too and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered it wasn't. I really enjoyed it.

  2. I like that there's a dark aspect to the story. I can't wait to read it!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  3. I like that "dark and complex." I also think that the flawed characters worked well. Great Review!

  4. Another great review for this book. It's on my list!

  5. I am a subscriber and would like to win this book, the review sounds
    very good. Thank you.


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