A Novel

Book - 2012
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The "queen of the summer novel" explores the power of community, family, and honesty-and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow new love can take flight ( Kirkus Reviews ).

A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. What begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny's boyfriend, Jake, and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt--but the emotional damage is overwhelming. Questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel.

As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors and their parents, the secrets kept, promises broken, and hearts betrayed.
ISBN: 9780316099837
Characteristics: 392 pages ;,25 cm.


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LaughingOne Mar 25, 2014

Didn't like this one nearly as much as I've liked her other books. I pretty much had to force myself to finish it.

JCLHelenH Oct 09, 2013

In the vein of Laura Moriarity’s The Rest of Her Life or Chris Bojhalian’s The Buffalo Soldier, Hilderbrand puts normal, everyday people under a microscope after throwing a terrible tragedy at them.

In Summerland, Twins Hobby and Penny Alistair are shining stars at Nantucket High School. But on graduation night their junior year they are involved in a car accident that leaves Penny dead and Hobby in a coma for seven days. Portrayals are authentic with each family of the four students in the car getting their share of the scrutiny. The town also has a voice and collective reaction.

I picked Summerland up in the airport when I found myself with a backpack full of books I wasn’t in mood to read. I expected it to be uber-light. Not much to think about. But I find myself wishing I had read it for a book club, or at least know someone who has read it so I can discuss the situations and characters.

Nov 19, 2012

I have read all of Elin Hilderbrand's books and have enjoyed them thoroughly. However, this book was utterly depressing. The subject matter is depressing - car accident with four highschool student, one dies, others suffering as a result. The parents of all the teenagers suffer. There can't be any happy resolution to this. I'm really surprised by Hilderbrand's approach. She's tackled difficult subject matter in other books and offered an optimist perspective. There is no optimism here. Pass on this.

mrsgail5756 Sep 18, 2012

The book was okay – but not one of my favorites.

Aug 11, 2012

can't wait to see it!

Aug 11, 2012

Elin Hiderbrand writes good, easy summery fiction. Although after reading all her books, they are getting too formula driven-But I still want to go to Nantucket!

KayleeFoster Aug 08, 2012

Great read... kept me turning the pages!

Jul 14, 2012

I agree great summer read.

Jul 13, 2012

Great summer read! Elin Hilderbrand is great at writing complex realistic characters while leaving the reader with hope, not sap.

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