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Summer Reads Luncheon Ticket: Elin Hilderbrand, "Summerland" and Joshua Henkin, "The World Without You"
Jul 30 2012 12:00 pm
Enjoy a distinctive lunch at the newly renovated Madison Beach Hotel, and lose yourself as you listen to two of our favorite summer reads authors discuss their novels’ inspirations and summertime settings. Two great stories of summer and secrets…
Elin Hilderbrand’s, Summerland is set on a warm June
evening, during a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered
for a bonfire on the beach. But what begins as a graduation night celebration
ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver of the car, Penny
Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny's
boyfriend Jake and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt - but the
emotional damage is overwhelming, and questions linger about what happened before
Penny took the wheel.
As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors and their parents - secrets kept, promises broken, hearts betrayed. Elin Hilderbrand explores the power of community, family, and honesty, and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow, new love can still take flight.
Joshua Henkin's, The World Without You, set on the 4th of July, 2005, has the Frankel family descending upon their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. But this is no ordinary holiday. The family has gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings, an intrepid journalist and adventurer who was killed on that day in 2004, while on assignment in Iraq. Set against the backdrop of Independence Day and the Iraq War, The World Without You is a novel about sibling rivalries and marital feuds, about volatile women and silent men, and, ultimately, about the true meaning of family.
The parents, Marilyn and David, are adrift in grief. Their forty-year marriage is falling apart. Clarissa, the eldest sibling and a former cello prodigy, has settled into an ambivalent domesticity and is struggling at age thirty-nine to become pregnant. Lily, a fiery-tempered lawyer and the family contrarian, is angry at everyone. And Noelle, whose teenage years were shadowed by promiscuity and school expulsions, has moved to Jerusalem and become a born-again Orthodox Jew. The last person to see Leo alive, Noelle has flown back for the memorial with her husband and four children, but she feels entirely out of place. And Thisbe —Leo’s widow and mother of their three-year-old son—has come from California bearing her own secret.
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