Title: The Castaways
Written by Elin Hilderbrand
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 7, 2009)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Summary: Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy’s closest friends for what will be revealed.
Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life. — Little, Brown & Co.
This is the first book I’ve read by Elin Hilderbrand and I wasn’t sure what to expect. At first glance I thought it was going to be a train wreck. Eight main couples, two of which have died in a boating accident, seemed like a lot of characters and storylines to keep straight. Hilderbrand lets all her characters have their voice in this story and, while at first I was as confused as I feared I would be, once I got to know each character I found I was enjoying this multiple-narrator approach. The transition between characters was, for the most part, smooth and made this book into a much quicker read.
At the first the reader is presented with a mystery and it’s such a great mystery you can’t help but keep reading. The crux of this novel is how the deaths of Tess and Greg have affected them. As each narrator gives their own story, their own clues, it becomes a huge spider-web of lies, love, friendship, guilt, fear, depression, and deceit that is, quite frankly, hard to put down. Each character is searching for their own brand of redemption and healing. Their, at times, raw pain is a tangible thing and it leaves the reader hurting for them as well.
This book would make a fantastic beach read or a book club read. There is so much to absorb and discuss there that it would make for amazing discussion. So toss it in your beach bag along with your sunscreen and sunglasses, kick back and enjoy one hell of a ride.