Title: Silver Girl
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Beach Read
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Meredith Delinn has lost everything because of her husband Freddy. Freddy, convicted of running a Ponzi scheme, has been sentenced to 125 years in prison. Meredith herself is under investigation, as no one believes that she was unaware of Freddy’s activities. To make matters worse, Meredith is not allowed to contact her sons because it might look like conspiring. With no place to stay, no family, and no friends, Meredith is desperate. She contacts the one person who knows her best, the one person who can’t say no despite all they have been through – her friend, Connie. Together, Connie and Meredith travel to Nantucket, where they both face their hopes and fears together.
Silver Girl is a timely and important novel cloaked in the unassuming guise of a beach read. At the beginning of this book, the main character Meredith is numb with shock and horror. She is in disbelief that her husband would steal from his clients, but also feels horribly guilty that the money that she has been using to live her fabulous life wasn’t honestly earned. The fact that America seems to believe Meredith was colluding with Freddie makes things even worse. From the beginning, Meredith is a complex and layered character. She is so dejected when the book begins that it’s difficult to imagine what things were once like. But as she spends time on Nantucket, coming to terms with what’s happened, accepting responsibility where she needs to and realizing the extent of Freddie’s deception, readers begin to see sparks of the old Meredith come forth.
Connie is also an engaging character. Recovering from the death of her husband, Wolf, this is Connie’s time to heal as well. Both Connie and Meredith are in strikingly similar positions. Wolf and Freddie were very different, it’s true, but both women have difficult things they need to accept about their husbands. Both Connie and Meredith are estranged from their children, and the separation is not of either of their making, and both need to learn to live life on their own terms. It’s wonderful to see how each of these women help each other, and how they work through their problems with one another.
The importance of love (in all its forms) is a crucial theme that runs through Silver Girl, highlighted by the fact of how alone Meredith is at the beginning of the book. The fact that Connie – someone Meredith had previously wronged – is willing to take a chance on Meredith means everything. For every person who reviles her, there is another who offers an unexpected kindness. These simple actions force Meredith to begin reevaluating her life, to understand that Freddy’s and her relationship was not as rosy as she thought it was. She begins to understand she fell in love with Freddy in order to escape, and as a result he kept her from some of the things she held most dear.
Hilderbrand makes Meredith’s pain real, at the same time she successfully highlights the feelings of those Freddie stole from. Meredith never stops internalizing that hurt, that betrayal, and the emotions feel real. Readers will become completely invested in this novel as they hope for a happy conclusion for all, as dim as that prospect might be at times. As a result, Silver Girl makes the perfect beach read – it has a lot of heart, mixed with a gripping story and impressively real and deep characters. Hilderbrand has written a real winner with this book, and readers will enjoy immersing themselves in the beautiful island of Nantucket.