Friday, November 13, 2009

The Castaways

Publisher's Summary. Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed.

Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life.

Review. The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand reads like a modern day Big Chill set on Nantucket. The novel follows the unraveling lives of six friends after one couple in the group, Greg and Tess, drown. The friends: Andrea, the Chef, Phoebe, Addison, Delilah, and Jeffrey individually cope with the couple’s deaths as each has a secret from the rest of the group.The chapters are narrated by alternating members of the ensemble cast. This narrative style is fairly confusing in the beginning of the novel, but is ultimately richly rewarding as the reader gains fresh insights into each character.

The individual story lines ranged from the believable to the incredulous (at least in this reader’s opinion). Without giving away spoilers there were passages in the novel that were suitable fodder for tabloids. Other parts of the book were highly engrossing and richly crafted. For example, the passage dealing with Reed’s (the twin brother of Phoebe) actions on 9/11 read like an eyewitness account of that tragic day.

Overall, The Castaways is an enjoyable, but atypical summer novel.

Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (July 7, 2009)
Review Copy Received Through Giveaway Sponsored by the Publisher.


  1. Nice review :) I really should try a book by her

  2. I enjoyed this book, but agree with you - it's perfect for a summer day at the beach.