I have a little notebook that I actually carry around with me, listing specific genres and authors I really shouldn’t forget about. It’s true. My memory for authors, for good books, is so poor that I have to write these things down nowadays and so in my little book, Hilderbrand firmly is listed under ‘Authors you should not forget about,’ ‘America Island Books – NANTUCKET!’ and ‘Summer Reads.’ Even her winter collection (Winter Street Series) is in there under Summer Reads despite the storms! So when I gave one of Hilderbrand’s books a single star on Goodreads…I didn’t do it lightly.
I was really excited to get stuck into this one – another true Hilderbrand summer read. Just what I needed. I was long overdue reading a book in one sitting too. True it had me gripped until the end but only because I couldn’t believe what I was reading and desperately hoped that the author would pull something back towards the end and salvage the whole thing. No. Such. Luck. Hilderbrand is usually a very emotive writer and although part of my dis-taste at this book is because I don’t agree with the actions of the main character, the rest of it is because of how the book is written. For starters the names are ridiculous. Dabney & Clenendin… I just reverted to reading them as Daphne and Clementine in the end because they felt like misspelt mistakes. In fact if you google Dabney the top three results are a surname, a male actors first name and the name of a community college… where on earth did Hilderbrand get these monstrosity’s from? Clenendin is a town, a male actors surname and more disturbingly there is the ‘Clenendin Massacre.’ Seriously. And don’t get me started on the male characters name…Box…Box?!
Hilderbrand can pull the most amazing descriptions, sayings, quotes e.t.c out of the air and weave them into her books. That’s what kept this one alive for me, just.
“Sometimes you regret the things you do, but they’re over and done. Regretting the things you didn’t do is tougher because they’re still out there, haunting you with the what ifs.”
Names aside, Dabney is amazing, everyone loves her, she can do no wrong least of all have an affair – it’s okay though because the man she has an affair with is the true love of her life and she would have been with him today if he hadn’t gone away. So it’s okay. Nevermind she has a husband. Pretty much he says it’s okay too without so many words. Dabney is supposedly great and fantastic at everything but she suffers from emotional problems which mean she can’t leave the tiny Island that she lives on. Oh but she was able to leave to get a degree from Harvard (totally different by the way.)
Dabney is so perfect she wears pearls when she goes jogging, and at all other times as well. The female characters were weak, dull and predictable. Hilderbrand can spin a great story and that’s why I continued through this book until the end but I was sadly disappointed. Especially when Dabney was allowed her husband and her lover by her side when she was dying but it was all okay because they were friends now and totally endorsed her behaviour. Sure.
Hilderbrand, please don’t do this to me. I have a Summer reading list for 2018 FULL of your books, some of which I haven’t even read yet. Say this is a one off… please?