"We would all of us persevere. We would keep going. We would move in the only direction we could move, and that was forward." (pg. 388, c.2012 Summerland)
"....we were all of us finished with trying to predict the future" (pg 380, c.2012 Summerland)
"We had learned that when we looked upon our children, the young heroes and goddesses of Nantucket Island, all we could do was hope. We knew they would struggle; we knew they would fall prey to the same temptations we did, they would have lonely and sad moments as we did, they would eat too much and drink too much and cheat at golf and slander their neighbors and fail to recycle assiduously and speed on the Milestone Road and do the wrong thing when the right thing was smack in front of their faces, just as we did. But what we could see as the team filed off the field---some of the kids smiling even in defeat, some of the kids hopping in their cleats because they were so eager to play again next week---was that they had survived with their spirits intact." (pg.387, c.2012 Summerland)
These quotes are taken from the novel I just finished reading this morning.
What an excellent book. I didn't want this story to end!!
The above quotes were taken from the end of the story and made tears come to my eyes and I got choked up. I am not kidding when I tell you that it is a RARE book/author that can make me do that. The only book I remember getting teary-eyed from is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (historical fiction) when I read it years ago one summer in college. And more recently, when I read Steve and Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to See. ( Christian, non-fiction)
It's a warm June evening and many students from Nantucket High are on the beach for the traditional graduation bonfire. The celebration ends in tragedy. There is a horrible car accident and soon-to-be senior and talented vocalist Penny Alistair is killed. She was the driver. Her twin brother, a star athlete and very popular, is in a coma. The other 2 friends, Jake Randolph from a prominent Nantucket family, and Demeter, an overweight, introverted girl are unhurt but badly shaken.
What happened in the car??
What happened in the dunes before Penny drove the car??
Zoe, the twins' widowed mother (husband and father of the twins died before the twins were born) is devastated by the death of her beloved daughter Penny. They were like close friends and told each other everything. But apparently, Penny had some secrets from Zoe. And Zoe certainly had some secrets from Penny.
Zoe must face some difficult truths about her children. About Penny, now gone from her arms, and about Hobby who faces a long recovery and the end of his athletic career.
And she must face her own part in all that has happened.
As the summer continues on, Zoe and the other parents (Lynn and Al Castle, Demeter's parents; Jordan and Ava Randolph, Jake's parents, and other parents in the community must ask themselves if protecting their children from the realities of life have left them more vulnerable to those harsh realities.
The key to understanding the car accident stems from what Penny learned that night on the beach. Will that news destroy the survivors peace??
I give this novel a huge thumbs up! I enjoy every single book I've read of Elin Hilderbrand. She writes family saga type books or books that take place within an entire community and I love them. I haven't read all of them, but I have read many. She is very gifted at character development and with describing the setting to a point where you feel like you know the place and people she is writing about.
This book talks about the disease of alcoholism and the issues that teens face with weight struggles, peer pressure or the pressure to conform socially. It talks about the contemporary parent and the busyness we find ourselves in and perhaps the missing intimacy (emotionally) with our teenagers.
It teaches us about the bonds of family and a small community and how we all have choices......and the consequences of those choices.
It teaches about love and forgiveness and the sanctity of life. (That was a nice surprise....to read a secular novel that was pro-life rather than pro abortion and the reasons WHY!)
I highly recommend this book.
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 15 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.