Monday, May 28, 2012

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

Read while home alone? yes
Tissues needed? probably a few
Overall rating: 4 stars

Brenda, Melanie, and Vicki along with Vicki’s two young children decide to spend the summer on Nantucket. The three women are each experiencing a personal drama: Brenda recently lost her job teaching at a university in a spectacular fall from grace, Melanie’s husband has been cheating on her and she just found out that she’s pregnant, and Vicki will spend her summer getting chemotherapy at the small hospital in Nantucket. Josh, a young writing student who is an island native, also becomes a thread in their story. The summer includes many ups and downs in everyone’s lives and by the end of the summer each has grown and learned from the others.

The book cover captured my attention as I perused the library shelves: it shows a beach, ocean, and sky—a perfect summer read! I enjoyed the stories of the women in Barefoot—each had her challenges and handled them in her own way. The story drew me in and I finished it pretty quickly. However, I was slightly disappointed in the ending (thus the “4” rating). All the major issues were resolved and it gave a snapshot of where lives went following the summer, but it wasn’t quite enough for me. I wanted just a little more detail. Overall, though, I devoured the book and would definitely read other titles by Elin Hilderbrand.

Discussion Questions:
  • With which character did you most identify? Who would you most/least want as a friend?
  • Have you had experiences with a friend of a friend that were similar to Brenda and Melanie’s relationship?
  • If you were in Brenda, Melanie, or Vicki’s situation, how would you have handled it differently?
  • What place most reminds you of your childhood?
What do you like in a summer read?

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