Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review of "Summerland" by Elin Hilderbrand

The evening of the high school graduation in Nantucket is a time for celebration. But the night ends tragically when sweet, talented Penny Alistair - a rising high school senior - takes the wheel of a Jeep containing her sports-phenom brother Hobby, her friend Demeter, and her boyfriend Jake. Penny seemingly purposely crashes the Jeep, killing herself and horribly injuring Hobby, while leaving Jake and Demeter physically unscathed.

What did Demeter tell Penny that set off this event?  That's the central mystery in this character driven story. Hildebrand presents a realistic picture of troubled families in a small community. We see adultery, unresolved grief, teens in crisis, young love, lax mothering, mental illness and more.

I didn't find the climax very believable or satisfying but all in all the book contains a touching portrayal of how the people of a community try to deal with a tragedy of this magnitude.

Rating: 3 stars

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