Elin Hildebrand's The Island was supposed to a summer beach read for me. Here it is, October already, and I am just now getting to it. Last night I spent a portion of time when I should have been sleeping, busily devouring over a hundred pages of this book.
The Island was a wonderful family drama that swept me away to island of Tuckernuck, a privately owned island close to Nantucket. Birdie, fifty-seven a divorced mother of two is planning on spending two weeks at her family vacation home with her daughter Chess shortly before Chess' wedding. Things unravel and change quickly as Chess calls off her wedding, Biride invites her younger daughter, Tate, to accompany them and then also includes her sister, India. Instead of just two weeks on vacation, the women now plan on spending an entire month. Chess has a lot to come to terms with as parts of her story are revealed through journal entries she is making at the reqeust of her therapist. Tate, who is an accomplished professional, has still been harboring a crush (one she has had for thirteen years!) for Barrett, the island caretaker. Tate has always felt as though she has come in second to her sister, and still recalls Barrett's interest in Chess back when they were teenagers.
Birdie is trying to help Chess who is severely depressed, while also trying to forge ahead in her own love life. And India, who survived her husband's suicide and managed to raise three sons is now questioning her next relationship.
These characters will stick with me for a long time. I wanted all of them to find happiness and for things to work out. I have read other books by Hildebrand before, and thought they were enjoyable. However, The Island exceeded my expectations - a thoroughly fabulous read.