Friday, May 8, 2009

(37) The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand - On Sale July 7, 2009



There is something about Nantucket that seems magical to me. Maybe it is just because I have read about it so often. Maybe it is because Elin Hilderbrand makes Nantucket seem like such a magical place.

The Castaways is a little different. Instead of longing for the island, this book makes you long for the friendships. The friendships that have formed between eight people, four couples dubbed The Castaways.

There is The Chief & Andrea. Eddie is the chief of police for Nantucket & Andrea is his lovely wife. They are like the parents of the group. Always the levelheaded ones.

Tess & Greg McAvoy are the free-spirited ones. They are both teachers & draw people to them like moths to flames. They make every party fun, they make every outing special. Tess is also Andrea's younger cousin.

Phoebe & Addison are the rich ones. Addison is "THE" real estate agent on the island. He closes multi-million dollar deals on a weekly basis. Phoebe is his, wife. Her twin brother's death on 9/11 has sent her into a chemically induced descent into hell.

Jeffrey & Delilah are the odd pair of the group. They are complete opposites. Jeffrey is salt of the earth. A farmer. Delilah is the free spirit.

The group is shattered when Greg & Tess are found dead after they went for a sail to celebrate their anniversary. And that is how the story is told. The book is written in alternating viewpoints from all of the survivors. With each chapter, you realize that The Castaways all had secrets. Dark secrets. Some darker than others. Infidelity, drug abuse, accusations by one of Greg's students. Not all of their memories are good ones. But was their death really an accident? That is what The Chief has to figure out. Why was traces of heroin found in Tess's tox screen? Can they ever get past the death of their friends? Will The Castaways live on?




The Castaways was a bit hard to read at first. Each chapter is told from a different person's point of view. It took about a third of the book before I was able to keep everyone straight. A flow chart is almost necessary. Once the couples become defined, the grief is plapable. But for different reasons. The book is a great read. Even though the couples all have problems, their friendship, their bond, their love is strong. And even with the death of Greg & Tess. They survive.

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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