Elin Hilderbrand

The author of The Island recommends fiction from far and near.

Elin Hilderbrand In novels such as The Castaways, The Blue Bistro, and Summer People, Elin Hilderbrand draws on the unique atmosphere of the secluded island community of Nantucket to tell engrossing stories of the lives of those who come to visit, and those who make the edge of the ocean a year-round home. In her latest, The Island, Hildebrand conjures a bittersweet family story, in which four women’s sojourn in the family’s summer cottage yields both confrontation and renewal. The author spoke with us about three of her favorite books.

Books by Elin Hilderbrand


Franny and Zooey

By J.D. Salinger

“Every word is perfect. This was my introduction to the Glass family, who remain my favorite clan in all of literature. When I graduated from high school and was asked to give a speech at the ceremony, I quoted liberally from this book. It is, in many ways, my Bible. It’s very spiritual without being preachy. My favorite scene is where Mrs. Glass interrupts Zooey in the bath. Classic.”


A Thousand Acres

By Jane Smiley

“It’s King Lear rewritten, but it is also a meditation on love and loss, family and land. It’s about the scars we hide and the way we heal. Brilliant and beautiful.”


Cloudstreet

By Tim Winton

“Tim Winton is the premier novelist in Western Australia, certainly, and perhaps all of Australia. My husband Chip and our three kids and I vacation in Fremantle and Perth, which is where this breathtaking novel is set. It follows the trials and tribulations of the Lamb family and the Pickle family, who are forced to board together in the same house. For anyone who has never read Tim Winton, you are in for a treat. Move on to The Riders and Dirt Music once you finish this one!”