Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand
Published: May 30, 2003
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Every summer the Newton family retreats to their beloved home on Nantucket for three months of sunshine, cookouts, and bonfires on the beach. But this summer will not be like any other. When Arch Newton, a prominent New York attorney, dies in a plane crash on his way home from a business trip, his beautiful widow Beth can barely keep things together. Above all, though, she decides that she must continue the family tradition of going to Nantucket, and at the same time fulfill a promise that Arch made before he died.
Beth invites Marcus, the son of Arch's final and most challenging client, to spend the summer with her and her teenage twins Winnie and Garrett, who have mixed reactions to sharing their special summer place with this stranger. Always a place of peace before, Nantucket becomes the scene of roiling emotions and turbulent passions as Marcus, Winnie, and Garrett learn about loss, first love, and betrayal. And when they stumble upon a shocking secret from Beth's past, they must keep it from destroying the family they've been trying so hard to heal.
Summer People has everything that makes up a great summer read. It’s the story of the Newton family who by the looks of it have it all. They are the ideal family, a dad who is a lawyer out there trying to change the world, a mom who stays home and cares for the family and two kids who are nearly perfect. One night while coming back from a meeting Arch dies in a plane crash and it leaves his family in utter shock. Beth tries to pull herself and her kids together knowing that while they must mourn their lost they also have to move on.
Beth decides that the best way might be to move forward and do things that they normally would do. She decides to spend the summer like they always do in Nantucket. In her mind she feels that maybe the isolation and peaceful setting will get them away from the constant reminder of their loss at least for a little while. What she didn’t know was that he husband had invited his lasted client to spend the summer with them. Beth decides to honor her husband and invite the teenager with them. What sets out to be a summer of reflection and healing ends up as series of secrets and revelations that will either pull them further apart or bring them closer than ever. Back in Nantucket Beth is forced to confront her past and answer questions that she never thought she would have to.
I really enjoyed this story, while it lags in some places I really was drawn into Beth’s story. In the beginning I thought the story was more about the father but I was pleasantly surprised that the secrets had to do with the mom. I also liked the sub plot of the kids and how they dealt with things and their experiences in first love and loss. I’ve always been a huge fan of Elin Hiblerbrand; she is the ultimate when it comes to summer reads. Once again she doesn’t disappoint she delivers as always.