Monday, July 1, 2013

(54) Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

Beautiful Day
by Elin Hilderbrand

Pages: 404
Publication Date:  June 25, 2013


Like Nancy Thayer, Nantucket in Summertime Elin Hilderbrand's specialty.   This year she introduces us to the Carmichaels and the Grahams.   Two families that are coming together to celebrate the wedding of Jenna and Stuart.   The Carmichael's have had a Summer house on Nantucket for as long as anyone can remember.   When the matriarch of the Carmichael clan, Beth, took ill and passed away she left a notebook, "The Notebook" full of suggestions and instructions for Jenna's wedding day.

Several years have passed since Beth's passing, her husband has remarried a, um, difficult woman.  Her kids, her daughters especially, seem to have a hole in their lives and The Notebook has turned into a holy document, something Jenna and her older sister in high regards.  But as the wedding day draws near, Margot, the Maid of Honor finds herself juggling the Bride, her children, and her older "secret" lover all the while struggling to find some balance in her life.  But Bride's  family is not the only one with some drama, the Groom's parents have a unique history as well.  For a brief time nearly twenty years ago Stuart's father was married to and had a child with another woman.  The Graham's repaired their marriage, but the reminder of his transgression is always present with Chance, Stuart's brother.   With Chance's mother attending the wedding old wounds resurface and cause major problems.  Will Jenna & Stuart's wedding day be the "Beautiful Day"  that Beth had planned all those years ago?

No wedding happens without it's own kind of drama, it's just a fact of life.  But with wealth and privilege comes it's own kind of drama.  Elin Hilderbrand has a way of just making the drama flow in a way that leaves you feeling as if you are part of what is going on with her characters.  I felt like I was a part of the wedding weekend and it made me feel as if I were on Nantucket with Margot struggling to hold it all together for her baby sister's wedding.  From the bridesmaids & groomsmen pairing off, to worrying about the beloved tree and Her branches, to trying to keep the Bride from giving it all up, Margot is a very unique character.  Very tightly wound and as the weekend continues you can see her unraveling in a way that is obviously not normal for her.  It really made the whole thing seem so real. 

Bottom line, it is not summertime without Elin Hilderbrand.  Her Nantucket novels leave me longing for yacht clubs, clam bakes, and beach front homes.  If you are looking for a good "Beach read" you must had Beautiful Day to the list.  You won't be disappointed, I promise.

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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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