#BookReview: 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

28 Summers

by Elin Hilderbrand

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Book Release Date: June 16, 2020
My Review: ★★★★★

Publisher’s Description:

A “captivating and bittersweet” novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Summer of ’69: Their secret love affair has lasted for decades — but this could be the summer that changes everything (People).

When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.

There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere — through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise — until Mallory learns she’s dying.

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.


My Thoughts

28 Summers28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I knew early on as I began to read this book that it was going to destroy me. I was right.

This story is so, so good. It’s feeling like these characters are family, like you’re actually visiting the beaches, the cottages, the scenery of Nantucket.

As the saying goes, it’s not about the destination but the journey, and in this book, we get quite a journey, indeed. We have Mallory and Jake who meet in their twenties and it’s instant chemistry, though the relationship takes time to build.

One thing I really enjoyed in this book (there are so many things I enjoyed) was that even though the story we get takes place over decades, we get to see glimpses of what’s happening year to year like we’re right there alongside them, there in the 3 days a year they spend together and also in the 362 days in between, until you really feel like you know these people, like they’re in your bones.

Another thing I enjoyed was the beginning of each chapter that gave a list of what the world was talking about that particular year. You’ll know them, and some will make you laugh out loud. It gave the story that much more depth, putting yourself back into that time, that year.

Another thing I liked was this sort of parallel of their lives apart. Jake with his extremely self-centered wife and Mallory with her extremely self-centered best friend. Both of them having children around the same times and the circumstances surrounding those situations. But “no matter what,” they both made sure, same time next year. A promise, a commitment.

Man, and then there were the side characters. Cooper, Fray, Leland, Apple, even good old Bayer Burkhart (I couldn’t not like him, darn-it!), even JD the cop, and don’t forget Senior and Kitty! I hope Uncle Coop finally finds “the one,” bless his heart.

Now let’s be really honest here because you’re going to know how this story ends right out of the gate, and at some point you’ll start doing the math like I did, and your heart will start breaking little by little, and make no mistake, by the time you get to that final chapter, it won’t be the first time this book will have made you cry, but it will be the worst. But by goodness, this book gave me all the feels, and I could not put it down. I simply didn’t want to leave that world or the people in it.

I fully expect a major book hangover. And I need someone I know to read this so I can talk to them about all the stuff I can’t say here because spoilers.

View all my reviews

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