Audio Review: The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

27 Aug

The Island: A NovelMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this book.

From the Hachette web site:

Birdie Cousins has planned a getaway with her daughter Chess on rustic, charming Tuckernuck Island off the coast of Nantucket, a chance to bond before Chess’s upcoming marriage. Birdie’s been through a difficult divorce herself, so she knows the big commitment that marriage entails. She’s only recently dared to tiptoe back into the waters of romance.

When Chess abruptly breaks off the wedding and her fiancé shockingly dies in a rock climbing accident, it leaves Chess feeling guilty and deeply depressed. Birdie circles the wagons, convincing her younger daughter Tate, and her own sister India to join them on Tuckernuck for the month of July. Secrets and intrigue soon make their way to the surface, as Elin Hilderbrand once again weaves a masterful story of summer suspense.

The strength of The Island was in the characters, 4 interesting, complex women. Although they had very different personalities, each had some part of them I could identify with, whether it was Tate’s teenage nerdiness or Birdie’s life as a stay at home mom, Chess’s obsessing over what went wrong (and unwillingness to talk about it) or India’s wanting to do the right thing, and being afraid to take a very radical chance with her life.

But even more than their individual quirks, I enjoyed their relationships– with their respective love interests, and especially with each other. The two generations of sisters interacting with each other, the different way each daughter related with her mother, all these added the texture to the book that made it work for me. The love and the tension between them all seemed very real.

Sure, I also loved the thought of an island getaway (I kept thinking back to my grandparents’ mountain cabin that we’d visit most summers when I was a kid.  That had much better electricity and plumbing, and was much less isolated, though) and the glimpses of life with a lot more money than I’ll ever have.

My only real problem with this book was with the ending. This is my biggest challenge as a reviewer– I’d like to give you information to decide if my issue with a book is going to be a problem for you, but I don’t want to spoil the book. I’ll just say that if you like happy endings, you’ll love The Island.

Audio Notes

Narrator:  Denice Hicks does a fine job.  She has a pleasant voice.  She doesn’t differentiate significantly between the characters.

Production:  There were no significant issues with the production.  When a book shifts viewpoints between chapters like this one does, I like it when there are multiple narrators, which The Island doesn’t have.  However, this didn’t cause any real issues with my enjoyment.

Audio vs. Print:  Whatever works for your schedule.  I don’t  think the audio version adds or detracts from the story.

My copy of The Island was provided by Hachette Book Group for review.  Thank you for this opportunity.


Posted by on August 27, 2010 in books, reviews


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5 responses to “Audio Review: The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

  1. Sue Jackson

    August 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    This is the second review of The Island I’ve seen today! I’ve never read a Hilderbrand novel – looks like I’ll need to add one to next summer’s reading list!

    Your grandparents’ cabin sounds wonderful – what a nice family tradition! Do you still go there with your kids now?


    • Laura

      August 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm

      No, we don’t go there. When I was in college, my grandmother decided she couldn’t handle the upkeep, and passed it on to one of her children. He decided to keep it for his immediate family, and I haven’t been there since. Such is life.

      I also enjoyed Hilderbrand’s The Castaways, but had some trouble with the subject matter in A Summer Affair.

  2. Tina

    August 28, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Just started listening to this one this morning. I’m planning to spend the day at the beach watching the granddaughter dig a sand fort, so I think it will be a perfect ‘read’ for the day.

  3. Lisa

    August 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Ack–that ending that disappoints does make for such a problem in reviewing, doesn’t it?! It does sound like this would be worth reading anyway, but that I should go in knowing that the ending may not work for me.


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