Book Review: Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand.


A lot has happened over the past week, with yours truly putting pen to paper and signing the release of my employment and termination of my contract at my current job. That was no easy feat (mentally and emotionally, that is). Not that I wanted it to happen, though. I was clearly and very much attached to the job and company. By agreeing to the “mutual terms” and “agreement” to let me go was merely a courtesy call.

But hey, life still goes on. And all the reading and reviewing will still be here. So here I am, back again on my blogging platform with more reviews for you to read. I have completed a few days ago but didn’t have the time to sit down and carve out something substantial for you.

Synopsis by Goodreads:

It’s June 15th, the night of Nantucket High School graduation. Four juniors are driving home from a party when something goes horribly wrong and there is a crash. The driver of the car, Penny Alistair, is killed, and her twin brother, Hobby Alistair, is left in a coma. Penny’s boyfriend, Jake Randolph, and Penny’s friend Demeter Castle are unhurt–but suffer tremendous emotional damage. Jake and his family move to the other side of the globe–to the west coast of Australia–in order to escape the horrors of the accident. Demeter falls prey to alcohol abuse and other self-destructive behaviors that nearly lead to her destroying her own life.

SUMMERLAND delves into the circumstances surrounding this accident, the roots of which lie deep in the past, with the first interactions between these four friends and their parents. It’s a novel about how tragedy affects individuals, families, and the island community as a whole, and how healing can happen, in even the most devastating circumstances.

Summerland‘ by Elin Hilderbrand had similar cues and contents to the previous book I read, ‘A Summer Affair‘. Who can ignore the fact that both titles have the word ‘Summer’ in them? Quite obvious, no? Also, both titles were based on a little cosy island of the United States called Nantucket, where tight-knit communities did almost everything together and knew just about almost anyone and everyone. Whatever happens, everyone will get wind of it. It was a huge coincidence that both plots had an extramarital affair going on which at first nobody knew about, but when it spiralled out of control, it became just as bad as a car accident. In a sense that it affected just about everyone who came in contact with both parties committing the affair.

To be fair, ‘Summerland‘ was a book that I didn’t hate nor got annoyed with the characters. Or maybe just one this time. Jordan Randolph, father to Jake and husband to Ava. He was more of a girl than anyone I know in the book! He was worse than a pregnant woman on period. Although, pregnant women don’t normally have their periods, so you sir, are a special case. No doubt breaking a marriage off is easier said than done but he couldn’t bring himself to “puff out his chest and beat it like a male gorilla”, to put it mildly. Now that I think about it, Lockhart Dixon from ‘A Summer Affair’ sounds a bit like Jordan Randolph… And it seems as though both books had something of a connection between them. As if Lockhart Dixon and Jordan Randolph are brothers-in-affairs, and have similar characteristics when it came to extramarital affairs. Both were just as weak.

Upon completing the book, it dawned on me that the impact of one’s death, especially one that is near and dear to you, affects not just one person or party (family members, relatives and close friends), but it affects the entire community as well! Whoever has come into contact with the deceased prior to the person’s time of death would have been known to the person, whether for awhile or forever, will mourn the loss as well.

It was a good book, much better than ‘A Summer Affair‘. When I finished reading the book, it felt like it was only the day before when I learnt that Penelope ‘Penny’ Alistair drove herself off the cliff and killed herself. That action alone left her twin brother Hobson ‘Hobby’ Alistair in a coma while her boyfriend Jake Randolph and friend Demeter Castle escaped unhurt. The accident alone destroyed the bright and promisinng futures of the Alistair twins, unravelled many friendships, unearthed many secrets and caused everyone to question one another. And while there were those who were quick to judge based on the accident alone, there was also another sinister act of an affair brewing in the background. Don’t mistake an accident for another.

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