"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Review #48: The Castaways, by Elin Hilderbrand

I read this a few months ago, but I, like so many of you, am woefully behind on my reviews, so I'm not 100% sure I'm remembering the story accurately.

The Castaways introduces the reader to a close-knit group of six friends - three couples - who are reeling from the sudden and mysterious deaths of the other two members of their circle of eight, Tess and Greg MacAvoy. The group consists of Eddie, the local police chief, and his wife Andrea, who was Tess' older cousin, Jeffrey, a farmer, and his party girl wife Delilah, and the very wealthy Addison and his secretly pill-addicted wife Phoebe, who lost a brother in New York on September 11th. Also left behind are Tess and Greg's twins - a boy and girl - who wind up with Eddie and Andrea.

During the investigation into their deaths, secrets are uncovered, affairs are revealed, and long-harbored resentments are brought to light. 

This is vintage Hilderbrand: a beach read with some heft to it. I have to say, I'm pretty neutral about the story. I can't quite remember any of the scandals, except someone was secretly having an affair, someone else was not-so-secretly having an affair, and nobody appeared all that happy. Hildebrand is pretty good at capturing the mundaneness of life, of the daily grind, the feelings of being trapped and bored even though your life is much better than most people's. In other words, first world problems kind of stuff, but the kinds of issues I think we can all identify with.

Download this when it's $1.99 or grab it at the airport bookstore this holiday season.

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