The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
Okay, I love my Kindle, but there is just one little problem with it that only major snobs like yours truly will appreciate: it doesn’t really let you see the covers, so you can’t exactly figure out what genre you are considering.
Thus me purchasing The Island.
Yes, I did read the sample, and that should have delivered a healthy dose of caveat emptor. But it didn’t (my brain was addled by vacation; I was trying to find something light; the sample mentioned weddings; I just went for it). And then I was stuck with incredibly lengthy chick lit that I was too, er, tenacious to stop reading.
Let me be clear, though: this isn’t a bad book. It’s just kind of a pointless one, and very long for a book that has neither a thrills-a-minute plot nor thematic depth. I thought chick lit was supposed to be short and sweet, maybe even funny and charming, but The Island is fairly serious. To me it’s lying in limbo, somewhere between a beach read and a literary novel.
Setting: Modern-day Tuckernuck, an ultra-rustic island off of Nantucket.
Story: Mom, two daughters, and aunt spend a month together at their family’s vacation home on a remote island. Each is dealing with a relationship issue: a divorce; a broken engagement; a dead husband and potential lesbian lover; and a lifelong crush that hasn’t materialized. Each woman must work through her issues, past and present, with her love interest(s) and her female relations.
Themes: Sibling rivalry; the nature of love; guilt and forgiveness.
Writing: It’s fine. Nothing that will knock your socks off, but nothing bad either. It’s just really long. (Have I mentioned that?)
Best thing about it: Lesbians?
Worst thing about it: It’s just doesn’t have enough depth for a novel that is all about feelings and relationships. And it has a ridiculously unbelievable stepmom sub-plot that had me rolling my eyes.
Final thoughts: The Island would probably make a satisfying beach read for many women, but I just wasn’t one of them.