Customer Reviews for

A Summer Affair: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A Good Escape

I almost stopped reading after the first few chapters when I realized where the main character was headed. But by the 4th or 5th chapter I was sucked in like a high-powered vacuum and couldn't stop reading! More than anything, I enjoy Elin's writing style. She lead m...
I almost stopped reading after the first few chapters when I realized where the main character was headed. But by the 4th or 5th chapter I was sucked in like a high-powered vacuum and couldn't stop reading! More than anything, I enjoy Elin's writing style. She lead me through the ups and downs of the main character, even though I couldn't relate to her situation.

posted by tina1234 on August 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

not my favorite

This book doesn't have the breeziness of the previous novels, and I found the main character, Claire, unlikeable. She has it all-lives in a beautiful place, has a husband, four small kids, even a live-in au pair, and is a respected glass artist. She has an affair with a...
This book doesn't have the breeziness of the previous novels, and I found the main character, Claire, unlikeable. She has it all-lives in a beautiful place, has a husband, four small kids, even a live-in au pair, and is a respected glass artist. She has an affair with a billionaire, give me a break, while also serving as chairperson for a summer gala which takes up so much of her time that her husband resents it. I skipped a large part of the book because I wasn't interested in the progress of the affair, and found that I didn't miss anything. The ending was unsatisfying, and I think Hilderbrand is asking too much of the reader to pity Claire and admire her. This is a ponderous beach book that has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, and I was more interested in Siobhan, the less-fortunate sister-in-law, who had problems I could better relate to. I prefer it when Hilderbrand writes about realistic people who work to get what they want in life.

posted by Anonymous on July 21, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    not my favorite

    This book doesn't have the breeziness of the previous novels, and I found the main character, Claire, unlikeable. She has it all-lives in a beautiful place, has a husband, four small kids, even a live-in au pair, and is a respected glass artist. She has an affair with a billionaire, give me a break, while also serving as chairperson for a summer gala which takes up so much of her time that her husband resents it. I skipped a large part of the book because I wasn't interested in the progress of the affair, and found that I didn't miss anything. The ending was unsatisfying, and I think Hilderbrand is asking too much of the reader to pity Claire and admire her. This is a ponderous beach book that has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, and I was more interested in Siobhan, the less-fortunate sister-in-law, who had problems I could better relate to. I prefer it when Hilderbrand writes about realistic people who work to get what they want in life.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    delightful narration gives this plot a boost

    Take A Summer Affair to the beach and take it with a grain of salt. It's a tad difficult to believe how or why an intelligent, caring woman who has it all - good husband, four fine children, a career as an acclaimed artist - would risk throwing it all away for a summer spin in the sand? However, credulity can be easy to suspend when a narrative is filled with pretty people, dreamy scenes, and pulsing passion. So, forget the how's and why's if you've a mind to, and join the fray. Fray is precisely what it turns out to be when Claire Danner Crispin agrees to chair the Nantucket's Children summer Gala. Not only will she serve as chair but she'll also create an original art piece - a gorgeous glass chandelier. It's not that Claire doesn't already have her plate piled high with house, husband, and kids, as most everyone can see save for Claire. But we're told she suffers from an inability to say no or even not now. Billionaire Lockhart Dixon directs Nantucket's Children (why are these fellows always millionaires, billionaires or zillionaires?) Whatever the case he and Claire are soon having an affair. Lock's wife was involved in a tragic auto accident which left her mentally impaired. Problems? What else? Claire has husband problems, lover problems , best friend problems, and problems with her New York co-chair. How did a rational woman ever get herself into such a mess? One cannot help but wonder. The one thing this listener didn't wonder about is the reading by Tony Award nominee Isabel Keating. Her delightful performance makes a lighter than a cumulus cloud plot seem almost plausible. Once again star quality narration gives a boost to an unremarkable story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2012

    This book was good enough to keep me reading, but it¿s not one w

    This book was good enough to keep me reading, but it’s not one where the characters will stick out in my mind, other than probably Max West. He’s the quintessential troubled artist, and despite his level of fame, he seemed surprisingly human. Other than Max, many of the characters appeared like they were wrapped in nice packages and tied with bows, but none of them ever tried to break out of the box, fight the herd, and certainly none of them bothered to scream “Look at me. I’m different.”

    Not to say that the writing isn’t done effectively, because it is. Something appeared slightly off throughout most of the novel, though, like I was peering through a distorted lens, or a pair of sunglasses that had been dropped on the asphalt, and I couldn’t seem to turn either of them just enough to have them properly come into focus. What that something was revolved around words and phrases that just seemed, like the lens, or the sunglasses, distorted, both in the dialogue and with the characters’ inner monologues.

    The setting was done well. The author knows Nantucket with the same conviction that a mother would know her first child, and conveyed the scenes flawlessly and with what appeared to be little effort on her part. Even though I’ve never been to Nantucket, I felt like I was walking the streets holding Claire’s hand.

    A SUMMER AFFAIR carries the same light breeze, as if the novel had swept in from the middle of the ocean, yet I had hoped for something just a bit more. This, however, is my fault, not the author’s. Like other reviewers, this novel did end a bit too abruptly for my taste. If you prefer your novels to capture the sand at your feet, holding a drink in one hand and a book in the other, you may find yourself enjoying this one.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    Good Rainy Day or Beach Read

    This book touches on many emotions that Claire, the main character, experiences. I think the author did an outstanding job in conveying that decisions in life are not always easy. This was not the "light" "feel good" book that I thought it would be given the cover. I actually found some of the subject matter to be very thought provoking and "dark".

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  • Posted August 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    All right.

    I had a hard time sympathizing with the characters in this book. It just seemed like they were suddenly together, without any preamble of why they even started to like each other. It was just okay.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    NOT HER BEST WRITING

    I have read all of Ms. Hilderbrand's books and by far this is not her best work. I thought it was very slow moving for most of the book. The plot just didn't hold my interest and I couldn't wait for it to end. Then at the end of the book I was disappointed that it wasn't tied up and left it open.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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