Book Review: A Summer Affair.

a-summer-affair-elin-hilderbrand-goodreads
Image designed by the author of Creator & Curator via Canva.

First, I’d like to extend my gratitude and relief for the introduction of Canva into my blogging life. With this free content software tool, I can now create and design just about anything for my blog. And never again do I have to “borrow” images from other websites. Though, I still do that from time to time… Sorry, it can’t be helped.

Without further ado, I’m proud, glad and relieved to say that I have finally completed ‘A Summer Affair‘ by Elin Hilderbrand. It was a painful journey which began after I read a few chapters into the book. It started out fine, but it quickly went sour when I realised how annoying the characters were!

Synopsis by Goodreads:

Claire Danner Crispin, mother of four young children and nationally renowned glassblower, bites off more than she can chew when she agrees to co-chair a huge benefit concert on Nantucket. Claire is asked to chair the Nantucket Children Summer Gala, at least in part, because she is the former high school sweetheart of world famous rock star, Max West. Max agrees to play the benefit and it looks like smooth sailing for Claireβ€”until she agrees to create a “museum-quality” piece of glass for the auction, pre-emptorily offers her best friend the catering job, goes nose-to-nose with her Manhattan socialite co-chair, and begins a “good-hearted” affair with the charity’s Executive Director, Lockhart Dixon.

Hearts break and emotions stretch to the point of snapping in this in-depth look at one woman’s attempt to deal with loves past and present, raise a family, run a business, and pull of a charity event unlike any the island of Nantucket has ever seen. Claire discovers that doing good and being bad are not mutually exclusiveβ€”and that nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

Blog Author’s Words:

Alright, here goes nothing. I found the characters wildly annoying! There, I said it. Oh, and the ending was an anti-climax too. The tiff between Carter and Siobhan seems to be unsolved. Where did he go? Will they ever kiss and make up? I suppose I can only assume that the marriage is broken now. The only closure to the whole thing was Gavin and his little thieving ways. Now we know for sure that he will end up in prison for his actions.

The plot centred on the notion of marriage, and how the smallest things can affect one’s holy matrimony. All it needs is a little passion and some interest, and everything will blow completely out of proportion. It gets worse if the parties involved in extramarital affairs don’t have a strong sense of self to put a stop to it. Although it is easier said than done, yet, it is a gross fact if the parties involved KNOW that they are committing a sin in the first place!

When I said I was annoyed at the characters, I doubt there was a character whom I wasn’t annoyed at, except maybe Zack Crispin, the youngest child of Jason and Claire Crispin. Being just a baby, he is incapable of committing sins of any kind until he is old enough to understand the consequences of his actions. Oh, and Pan is also out of my annoyance-detecting radar.

I think my negative feelings are directed more at Claire Danner than anyone else. She was jealous of Isabelle French being rich and flirtatious with Lock Dixon. She was jealous of Lock for his marriage to his wife, Daphne, and for the fact that he rarely ever stood up for her when Isabelle took poisonous jabs at her. She was jealous of Daphne for being married to Lock. She was jealous of her best friend and sister-in-law, Siobhan Crispin, who was capable of being strong and independent. She was also jealous of her own husband Jason when he had conversations with other women! Was there anyone whom she was NOT jealous of? That’s a lot of pent-up jealousy in one character!

Also, wasn’t it Claire’s idea to encourage the affair and go along with it? She would have known that there will be limits to the affair, and that there will be some things that she won’t get out of the affair. She would have understood that she definitely won’t be getting the man entirely all to herself. And going to the church to confess isn’t going to help if you refuse to acknowledge the damage an affair will have on your life.

Somehow, the moral of the story is that extramarital affairs aren’t the only ones that can make or break a marriage. There is the issue of a gambling addiction. There is the issue of alcoholism. There is the issue of a drug addiction. And then there is something called ‘a car accident‘. Nobody is spared from having an affair, suffering from drug, alcohol or gambling addiction, and nobody is especially spared from car accidents, which happen so frequently it might as well be a part of our lives.

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