Review: The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

10 Jul

This is my first blog tour! Thank you to Hachette Book Groups for this book and this opportunity.

The Castaways 2rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. I read it in the car, when I should have been interacting with my family on a road trip.  I finished before the trip ended!

From Hachette’s website:

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.

I was impressed from the beginning, when the 8 main characters were introduced in a way that allowed me to keep track of them. This is usually a challenge for me. All 8 of them were real people to me, with strengths and flaws. I was very frustrated with some of the them at times, which shows the writing drew me in enough to care.

Although the books is not a mystery novel, there were two mysteries in the book– what happened to Greg and Tess, of course, but also why each of the members of the group reacted the way they did.  I was particularly drawn in by the issues around Greg and Tess’s 2 children.

I liked the way the story built and unfolded. I learned more about each person in the story, and the picture of what happened to Greg and Tess continued to be revealed a little at a time, until we had the full story at the end.

I did have some minor problems as the book wrapped up, but they don’t seem to be what is sticking with me.

I will say the cover led me to expect something a little lighter.  This is not a fun, fluffy book.  These characters were in a bad situation, and having a hard time of it.  There was fun as well, particularly in the flashbacks, and I didn’t find the book dark or gloomy, but it was serious.

Primarily, The Castaways was a book about the characters. I think it succeeded wonderfully at this.

This would make a good book for a book club discussion. It is going on my list of potential nominees.  I’ve also heard that Elin Hilderbrand’s book Summer Affair makes a good book club book.  I’ll be reading it soon!

For more information about The Castaways, you can read an excerpt, explore Elin Hilderbrand’s web site (check out the great contest there!), join the on-line book club (see you there!), and of course check out the other blog tour sites!

(A * represents my favorite reviews.  I haven’t looked at today’s stops yet!)

July 6
* (with giveaway!)
* (with giveaway!)
July 7
* (with giveaway!)
* (with giveaway!)
July 8
July 9 (with giveaway!)
* (with giveaway!)

* (with giveaway!)

July 10


Posted by on July 10, 2009 in books, reviews, tour


Tags: , , ,

5 responses to “Review: The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

  1. nanscorner

    July 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    This book sounds really good. I like how you said the characters (all 8 of them!) were introduced in a way that allowed you keep track of them and get to know them. I often have trouble with that. I’m adding the book to my TBR list!

  2. Elizabeth

    July 11, 2009 at 8:46 am

    My favorite Hilderbrand book is The Blue Bistro.

  3. Diane

    June 23, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    I am reading this book now. I can’t put it down, yet need to sleep late at night.


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