Book Review: The Island – Elin Hilderbrand

Title: The Island: A Novel
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
ISBN: 9780316043878
Pages: 416
Release Date: July 6, 2010
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Genre: Beach Read. Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

In order to reconnect with her daughter Chess before Chess’ wedding, Birdie decides that she will take her to their vacation home on the small island of Tuckernuck.  Just a few weeks later, Chess breaks off the engagement with no explanation, then finds out a few days later that her ex-fiancé was killed in a rock climbing accident.  Worried about Chess, her sister Tate and their aunt India join the two on Tuckernuck, trying to help Chess and face their own problems.

Review:

While I really enjoyed Elin Hilderbrand’s Barefoot, I have been somewhat disappointed by the soap opera nature of her last two novels A Summer Affair and The Castaways.  Still, I was eager to pick up The Island to see if it measured up to Barefoot, and I’m really happy to say that it did.  The Island was a fun, breezy beach read with a lot of heart.

Don’t get me wrong, The Island has plenty of drama.  Each woman is dealing with her own issues.  Though they are all aware of Chess’s problems, they keep their own hidden, trying to sort through them on their own.  I personally liked Tate the most – she was smart and successful, but her life was lacking in the romance category.  Returning to Tuckernuck gave her the opportunity to pursue Barrett, her teen crush who only seemed to have eyes for Chess. 

The Tate-Chess sister relationship was extremely complicated.  They certainly loved one another, but Chess was lashing out at everyone around her in her grief.  Tate wanted to help, but at the same time resented her sister for having such an easy life.  Chess certainly had her share of hardships, but through Tate’s eyes, her life was golden.  Everything came easily to her, including Barrett, and Tate was always left behind.  It’s interesting to see Tate work through those childhood feelings and come to a place of respect for Chess.

The Island was a perfect beach read.  There was a great balance of drama, relationships, bonding, men, and just figuring things out.  Additionally, Hilderbrand’s descriptions of Tuckernuck (no electricity?) definitely piqued my interest and made me sad that it’s a private, invitation-only island (yet I understand this – how else would they keep up their charm?)  It’s a fun read with some interesting characters, and I definitely recommend it for a quiet summer day.

Comments

  1. I was intrigued by the idea of Tuckernuck too. But I think that kind of life might get old for me pretty quickly.

  2. I was intrigued by the idea of Tuckernuck too. But I think that kind of life might get old for me pretty quickly.

  3. Wow, an island that is invitation only? How charming and strange! I know what you mean about the quality of the writing in dramatic books tending to veer towards melodrama. It has happened to me several times, and it makes me a little frustrated. I am glad this book avoided that trap. Great review! I am glad you liked it!

  4. Wow, an island that is invitation only? How charming and strange! I know what you mean about the quality of the writing in dramatic books tending to veer towards melodrama. It has happened to me several times, and it makes me a little frustrated. I am glad this book avoided that trap. Great review! I am glad you liked it!

  5. I agree! THE ISLAND is perfect for a beach book!

  6. I agree! THE ISLAND is perfect for a beach book!

  7. This book sounds fun, and I have never read anything by this author, but the names of the characters seem a little annoying. Does she always do this?

  8. This book sounds fun, and I have never read anything by this author, but the names of the characters seem a little annoying. Does she always do this?

  9. I have this book saved and really need to read it before September…

  10. I have this book saved and really need to read it before September…

  11. I’m not sure if I’d want an invitation if there is no electricity! But it is intriguing. I’ve got a couple of her books on my shelves, but I’ve never read them. And I need to mention that I’ve noticed a recent trend in book covers with legs and water. Last year it was headless women with cleavage. Do these publishers all drink the same koolaid?

  12. I’m not sure if I’d want an invitation if there is no electricity! But it is intriguing. I’ve got a couple of her books on my shelves, but I’ve never read them. And I need to mention that I’ve noticed a recent trend in book covers with legs and water. Last year it was headless women with cleavage. Do these publishers all drink the same koolaid?

  13. My sister really liked this one too. Julie added your review to the Reagan Arthur Books Blog Challenge.

  14. My sister really liked this one too. Julie added your review to the Reagan Arthur Books Blog Challenge.

  15. After reading many glowing reviews about this author, I was disappointed with this book. Maybe it wasn’t the best choice to read as my first book by her. Still, she has been recommended to me repeatedly. I want to read another book of hers to see what I am missing.

  16. After reading many glowing reviews about this author, I was disappointed with this book. Maybe it wasn’t the best choice to read as my first book by her. Still, she has been recommended to me repeatedly. I want to read another book of hers to see what I am missing.

  17. Definitely agree that A Summer Affair was a bit over-the-top with the dramatics and didn’t match it’s care-free cover, but I did enjoy it! I’ve been thinking about grabbing The Island for a little while, and am definitely adding it to my wishlist now!

  18. Definitely agree that A Summer Affair was a bit over-the-top with the dramatics and didn’t match it’s care-free cover, but I did enjoy it! I’ve been thinking about grabbing The Island for a little while, and am definitely adding it to my wishlist now!

  19. I love the cover! I will definitely want to read this 🙂

  20. I love the cover! I will definitely want to read this 🙂

  21. Sounds like a good book. I wish I was going to be visiting a beach to read it on!

  22. Sounds like a good book. I wish I was going to be visiting a beach to read it on!

  23. I loved this one too. Gobbled it up in a day!

  24. I loved this one too. Gobbled it up in a day!

  25. I wouldn’t have any problem with the no electricity. I didn’t love Castaways, but maybe this would be a better match for me.

  26. I wouldn’t have any problem with the no electricity. I didn’t love Castaways, but maybe this would be a better match for me.

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