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June 18, 2012 / Leslie

Review & Giveaway: Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

Summerland by Elin HilderbrandSummerland
by Elin Hilderbrand

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books, Little Brown
Publish Date: June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover | 400 pages
Rating: 5 of 5

For parents of teenagers, a phone ringing in the middle of the night can be a terrifying sound. When it’s a call from the police saying there has been an accident, a parent’s worst nightmare is realized.

On a June evening following a Nantucket High graduation party, a Jeep driven by Penny Alistair crashed on Cisco Beach traveling at speeds in excess of 80 mph. Penny was killed and the three other students in the vehicle were injured. Penny’s brother, Hobby, is in a coma, and her boyfriend, Jake, and another friend, Demeter, were shaken up but unhurt.

What happened that night on the beach? The Jeep belonged to Penny’s boyfriend, Jake, but she grabbed the keys and insisted on driving. What caused her to crash? Penny was upset by something she heard that evening, but the entire story is far more complex than one conversation.

The story unfolds from multiple points of view alternating between the teens in the vehicle the night of the crash and their parents. The narrative is multi-layered with richly developed characters with depth and feeling. We see that life in a small community is not immune to the problems of the big city as each character reveals secrets, both past and present. Gradually their stories become woven together and answers emerge.

Elin Hilderbrand not only grants us varying points of view but also provides it from both the teens and the adults providing a unique perspective on some very timely and relevant subjects. Alcoholism, depression, infidelity, loneliness and grief are problems that affect people of all ages. Although this was an emotional read covering many heavy topics, they were handled in an uplifting, positive manner.

The writing is fluid and the story moves at a fast pace. While the subject matter was a little heavier than the typical summer read, overall it was enjoyable, a book I found difficult to put down and is highly recommended.

The Giveaway

The publisher has generously offered three finished, hardcover copies of Summerland for giveaway.

  • Contest is open to those with an address in the US or Canada, one winner per household.
  • To enter, fill out the form below.
  • The deadline for entry is Wednesday, June 27th. Winners will be chosen by They will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond with a mailing address, no PO Boxes.

[Contest has ended]

Source: Review copy.
© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.


Leave a Comment
  1. sagustocox / Jun 18 2012 4:53 am

    I just love these summer reads.


    • Leslie / Jun 18 2012 10:28 am

      It’s a good one! It was such a pleasure to pick up a book and immediately become immersed in the story.


      • sagustocox / Jun 18 2012 10:40 am

        I find a lot of her books are that way for most readers…or so I’ve heard. I haven’t read one of her book yet…so my fingers are crossed I get this one.


      • Leslie / Jun 18 2012 10:57 am

        I should have mentioned that my review is part of a tour and there will be more chances to win on other blogs all week. Check Elin Hilderbrand’s Facebook page for links.


  2. Mary / Jun 18 2012 5:44 am

    I’m a fan of Elin Hilderbrand so I’d love to read this. So glad you can recommend it!


    • Leslie / Jun 18 2012 10:26 am

      I think you’ll enjoy this one.


  3. Elizabeth / Jun 18 2012 7:11 am

    It is another great book of hers.

    Loved it…my tour date is June 26. Stop by if you like.

    Silver’s Reviews


    • Leslie / Jun 18 2012 10:27 am

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be sure to visit next week.


  4. BermudaOnion / Jun 18 2012 7:42 am

    This sounds a little deeper than the typical Hilderbrand book. I can’t wait to read it. I’ll add your review to the Reagan Arthur Books Challenge blog.


    • Leslie / Jun 18 2012 10:24 am

      Yes, I think so. What we tend to think of as adult problems are affecting today’s teenagers and Hilderbrand is bringing awareness to the problems young people are facing.


  5. Marisa Aversa / Jun 18 2012 9:43 am

    Elin Hilderbrand has provided me an “escape” during some difficult times in my life. I love her books and I enjoy rereading them. I actually feel as if I there with the charachters watching the scenes unfold. Thanks Elin for great books!


    • Leslie / Jun 18 2012 10:22 am

      Yes, that’s a good way to put it. And I wasn’t just reading about them, I felt like I knew them. I was sorry to see the story end and would like to know what the future holds for the teens as they become young adults.


  6. anovelreview1 / Jun 18 2012 11:13 am

    Thanks for the giveaway! I just love Elin’s books! They are such great reads and fantastic for summer!


  7. Kim V / Jun 18 2012 1:12 pm

    I love Elin Hildebrand! This sounds like another terrific one from her!


  8. Sheila (Book Journey) / Jun 18 2012 5:44 pm

    I am so excited about this one!!!! I picked it up at BEA.



  1. 2012 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up « Under My Apple Tree

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