The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

Title: The Island
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Audio CD's: 13
Genre: Woman's Fiction

Elin Hilderbrand's, The Island, is told in the voices of four women.

Birdie -after thirty years of marriage has finally left her husband and is in the process of re-finding herself.  She just met a new man who she has begun dating and, along with that, her new hobbies and the preparations for her eldest daughter's (Chess) wedding, she keeps herself busy.  She has this great idea of taking Chess out of the city and to their ancestral summer home on Tuckernuck Island (a private island near Nantucket) where they can spend some time relaxing and not having to worry about jobs, weddings and their daily to-do's.  There are no phones, no electricity (only a small generator), and that's the way they like it. 

India (Birdie's sister) -has mourned the loss of her famous sculptor, husband for a decade now.  After his suicide she had to raise her children on her own, deal with her husband's untimely death, his art, his fame, and through all that still landed a job in a prominent art department in a university that with her connections has thrived.  She has no idea what to do when she begins to feel attracted to a young art student - the first stirrings of love since her husband's loss.

Chess (Birdie's eldest daughter) - After the wedding preparations have been going on for months - she cancels the impending nuptials, leaving Michael, her perfect fiancé, and the rest of their family's in shock.  She refuses to tell anyone why.  But things only get worse when disaster strikes and Michael dies - the guilt takes a massive toll on her.  She quits her job, sublets her apartment and even shaves off her hair.  She agrees to still go with her mother to Tuckernuck just to get away from it all.

Tate (Birdie's youngest daughter) - Is a computer guru.  She spends most of her days working, traveling and what little time is left she spends working out and sleeping.  She has always felt that she lives in her sister, Chess's, shadow.  If she ever liked a boy, he most likely already loved Chess.  Chess with the perfect job.  Chess with the perfect fiancé. When her mother tells her about going out to Tuckernuck to be with Chess, she jumps at the opportunity.  Not only does this mean helping Chess out of her depression, but in turn she'll get a much needed vacation - with beach and relaxation; and this also means that she'll see her childhood crush who is to be their caretaker for the summer.

The four women will spend a month together in search of healing, sisterhood, peace, and self-discovery. You can guess what that means, there will be laughter, joy, tears and plenty of sisterly and motherly fighting.  All four are in different stages of love.  The big mystery that drove the story was Chess's downfall.  What happened that she would break up with Michael?  This was what appealed the most to me in the story and what, at first, kept the pages turning for me.  But little by little, these women, their relationships (love and familial) and their interactions with one another really grew on me.  I not only wanted to learn more about Chess, but Birdie, India and Tate also had their own stories to tell.  And I wanted to hear those stories - whether they be stories of divorce, complicated relationships, suicide and loss.

Not only were the characters appealing in this novel, but Ms. Hilderbrand's depictions of Tuckernuck were ideal.  I absolutely loved reading about the island, its inhabitants, the rituals: "Life is Good", the whole setting just makes you happy.  I want to go there so bad now!  Her descriptions of food and wine were exquisite, mouth watering and on more than one occasion made me jump up and grab my own glass of wine to sip while reading it.  

This is a lovely story about mothers, daughters, sisters and, of course, love -many different facets of it.  I fell in love with this book and found myself fully immersed in these women's lives.  This is one to lay back and enjoy while relaxing at the beach or by the pool.  A perfect summer read!

My version of this book was an audiobook and the reader - Denice Hicks' voice was perfect for it.  She was soothing and had the perfect intonation and accents when reading the different woman's chapters.   She was very charming.

My Rating:


Mary (Bookfan) said...

I listened to this book too. I really enjoyed it! Nice review, Nely :)

Mystica said...

I've only read reviews all over of this book. I like the sound of Tuckermuck! could you get more evocative than that.

Booksnyc said...

Thanks for the review - I read my first Elin Hilderbrand book earlier this summer and really enjoyed it. Good to know this one is good in audio too!

Veens said...

I so want to read this book! Sounds great!

Unknown said...

Thank you for doing this review, and a great review at that! I've been wanting to get this book, but I have yet to finish "The Castaways".

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

This is a really thought out review. I think this book sounds really great!

Michele said...

I've been wanting to read this book....your review is very, very compelling!

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