Want a good beach read – a.k.a. weekend read, vacation read, or fireplace read? Here’s one. Elin Hilderbrand has made a name for herself penning novels set on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Several years ago, I read one of hers, Summerland, and, while it was scenic, it was also thought-provoking.
I enjoyed The Rumor, but more for fun than thought. It is filled with sympathetic characters – teens, parents, friends – who make bad choices until they get caught, at which point they atone. Tying it all together, more as a gimmick than a consequence, are rumors. Nantucket is, after all, an island. Its communities are insular, and Hilderbrand, a local, knows them well.
This book gives island flavor. It gives you the angst of a writer trying to find a blockbuster next-book idea, twinship temporarily gone awry, beautiful gardens, and drama reminiscent of a mid-day soap opera. It was a little heavy with repetition, as in gossip spreading the same stories from character to character. And the ending was perhaps too speedy for the slower pace of the rest. But The Rumor is well written. Nothing deep here. Just enjoyment.
I give it four stars because of that enjoyment factor. The Rumor is what it is – makes no pretense of being otherwise – and whereas I expect more from the “literary” writers so highly touted by professional reviewers, I felt that this one delivered what it promised. It’s a good beach read set at the beach. Period.