The Island: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand, Audiobook (CD) | Barnes & Noble
The Island

The Island

3.9 483
by Elin Hilderbrand, Denice Hicks
     
 

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Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility,

Overview

Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she's cancelled her engagement.

It's only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store - a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles.

But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known. It's a summertime story only Elin Hilderbrand can tell, filled with the heartache, laughter, and surprises that have made her engrossing, bestselling novels as much a part of summer as a long afternoon on a sunny beach.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Denice Hicks effectively sets the tone for Hilderbrand’s latest crowd-pleasing beach tale exploring the ups and downs of sibling rivalry, divorce, and the rekindling of long-dormant romantic passions. Admittedly, keeping track of the back-and-forth flow of dialogue between protagonist Birdie Cousins and her sister India and also between Birdie’s two young-adult daughters, Chess and Tate, may not always be easy for the listener; however, Hicks does bring distinctive touches into her vocal depictions when specific plot points or scenes allow. In particular, she excels in her portrayal of the villainous--and generally inebriated--socialite Anita Fullin, Tate’s rival for the affections of hunky young widower and vacation-home caretaker Barrett Lee. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, May 17). (July)
From the Publisher
"The story flows as gently as a summer breeze, carrying the listener to its refreshing conclusion."—AudioFile Magazine on A Summer Affair
Library Journal
Two generations of women come together off the coast of Nantucket as they spend the summer in the family beach cottage. They're all there for different reasons: Chess is trying to mend her broken heart after her ex-fiancé dies in a tragic accident; her sister, Tate, is eager to escape boredom and figure out what she really wants from life; their mother, Birdie, is still coming to terms with her divorce; and Birdie's sister, India, is trying to help them all—while dealing with her own secret pain. VERDICT For those looking for a slower-paced novel to savor, this latest by Hilderbrand (The Castaways) will fit the bill. [See Prepub Alert, LJ2/15/10.]
Kirkus Reviews
Queen of the summer novel-how could she not be, with all her stories set on an island-Hilderbrand delivers a beguiling ninth (The Castaways, 2009, etc.), featuring romance and mystery on isolated Tuckernuck Island. The Tate family has had a house on Tuckernuck (just off the coast of swanky Nantucket) for generations. It has been empty for years, but now Birdie wants to spend a quiet mother-daughter week there with Chess before Chess's wedding to Michael Morgan. Then the unthinkable happens-perfect Chess (beautiful, rich, well-bred food editor of Glamorous Home) dumps the equally perfect Michael. She quits her job, leaves her New York apartment for Birdie's home in New Canaan, and all without explanation. Then the unraveling continues: Michael dies in a rock-climbing accident, leaving Chess not quite a widow, but devastated, guilty, unreachable in the shell of herself. Birdie invites her younger daughter Tate (a pretty, naive computer genius) and her own bohemian sister India, whose husband, world-renowned sculptor Bill Bishop, killed himself years ago, to Tuckernuck for the month of July, in the hopes that the three of them can break through to Chess. Hunky Barrett Lee is their caretaker, coming from Nantucket twice a day to bring groceries and take away laundry (idyllic Tuckernuck is remote-no phone, no hot water, no ferry) as he's also inspiring renewed lust in Tate, who has had a crush on him since she was a kid. The author jumps between the four women-Tate and her blossoming relationship with Barrett, India and her relationship with Lula Simpson, a painter at the Academy where India is a curator, Birdie, who is surprised by the recent kindnesses of ex-husband Grant, and finally Chess, who in her journal is uncoiling the sordid, sad circumstances of her break with normal life and Michael's death. Hilderbrand's portrait of the upper-crust Tate clan through the years is so deliciously addictive that it will be the "It" beach book of the summer.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781607882404
Publisher:
Hachette Audio
Publication date:
07/06/2010
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Island

A Novel
By Hilderbrand, Elin

Reagan Arthur Books

Copyright © 2010 Hilderbrand, Elin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316043878

THE TATE HOUSE

It had sat abandoned for thirteen years. This had happened without warning.

It was a summer house, a cottage, though it had been built well, with high-quality lumber and square-headed steel nails. This was back in 1935, during the Depression. The carpenters had been eager for work; they were careful when aligning the shingles, they sanded, swept, then sanded again with high-grit paper. The banister was as smooth as a satin dress. The carpenters—brought in from Fall River—stood at the upstairs windows and whistled at the views: one bedroom looked out over the mighty ocean, and one bedroom looked out over the bucolic pastures and wide ponds of this, Tuckernuck Island.

The house was occupied only in July and sometimes August. In the other months, there was a caretaker—poking his head in, checking that the windows were tight, removing the small brown carcasses from the mousetraps.

The house had been witness to a wide range of behavior from the members of the family that owned it. They ate and they slept like everyone else; they drank and they danced to music picked up off the shortwave radio. They made love and they fought (yes, the Tates were screamers, one and all; it must have been genetic). They got pregnant and they gave birth; there were children in the house, crying and laughing, drawing on the plaster with crayons, chipping a shingle with a well-hit croquet ball, extinguishing a sneaked cigarette on the railing of the deck.

The house had never caught fire, thank God.

And then, for thirteen years, nobody came. But that wasn’t entirely true. There were field mice and an army of daddy longlegs. There were three bats that flew in through the open attic window, which the family had forgotten to close when they left and which the caretaker had overlooked. The window faced southwest so it deflected the worst of the wind and the rain; it served as an aperture that allowed the house to breathe.

A quartet of mischievous kids broke in through the weak door on the screened-in porch, and for a moment, the house felt optimistic. Humans! Youngsters! But these were trespassers. Though not, thankfully, vandals. They hunted around—finding no food except one can of pork and beans and a cylindrical carton of Quaker oats, rife with weevils (which frightened the girl holding the carton so badly that she dropped it and the oats scattered across the linoleum floor). The kids prodded one another to venture upstairs. Around the island, word was the house was haunted.

Nobody here but me, the house would have said if the house could talk. Well, me and the bats. And the mice. And the spiders!

In one of the bedrooms, the kids found a foot-high sculpture of a man, made from driftwood and shells and beach glass. The man had seaweed hair.

Cool! one of the kids, a boy with red hair and freckles, said. I’m taking this!

That’s stealing, the girl who had dropped the oatmeal said.

The boy set the sculpture down. It’s stupid anyway. Let’s get out of here.

The others agreed. They left, finding nothing more of interest. The toilet didn’t even have water in it.

Again, silence. Emptiness.

Until one day the caretaker used his old key and the front door swung open, groaning on its hinges. It wasn’t the caretaker, but the caretaker’s son, grown up now. He inhaled—the house knew it couldn’t smell terribly good—and patted the door frame with affection.

“They’re coming back,” he said. “They’re coming back.”



Continues...

Excerpted from The Island by Hilderbrand, Elin Copyright © 2010 by Hilderbrand, Elin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, PA, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her eight previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

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