Summer People [NOOK Book]

Overview


Every summer the Newton family retreats to their beloved home on Nantucket for three months of sunshine, cookouts, and bonfires on the beach. But this summer will not be like any other. When Arch Newton, a prominent New York attorney, dies in a plane crash on his way home from a business trip, his beautiful widow, Beth, can barely keep things together. Above all, though, she decides that she must continue the family tradition of going to ...
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Summer People

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Overview


Every summer the Newton family retreats to their beloved home on Nantucket for three months of sunshine, cookouts, and bonfires on the beach. But this summer will not be like any other. When Arch Newton, a prominent New York attorney, dies in a plane crash on his way home from a business trip, his beautiful widow, Beth, can barely keep things together. Above all, though, she decides that she must continue the family tradition of going to Nantucket, and at the same time fulfill a promise that Arch made before he died.

Beth invites Marcus, the son of Arch’s final and most challenging client, to spend the summer with her and her teenage twins, Winnie and Garrett, who have mixed reactions to sharing their special summer place with this stranger. Always a place of peace before, Nantucket becomes the scene of roiling emotions and turbulent passions as Marcus, Winnie, and Garrett learn about loss, first love, and betrayal. And when they stumble upon a shocking secret from Beth’s past, they must keep it from destroying the family they’ve been trying so hard to heal.


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Things get more twisted at every turn, with enough lies and betrayals to fuel a whole season of soap operas...readers will be hooked."—Publishers Weekly

"Hilderbrand's third Nantucket-set novel effectively juxtaposes the surface calm of the season with the turbulence of the characters' lives. More entertaining beach reading from the author of The Beach Club and Nantucket Nights."—Booklist

"Summer People is striking not only for the ingenuity of its riveting plot, but also for the acute sense of character and the finely tuned craftsmanship with which Elin Hilderbrand brings its every nuance to life." —Madison Smartt Bell, author of Charm City

"I find there is so much to admire in this book, from its crystalline prose to the deeply felt and finely rendered emotion of characters younger and older, male and female alike. By the end, the characters feel like good friends. Reading Summer People makes you feel like you've taken a long weekend in Nantucket. Summer People is simply a great read." —Kathleen Hughes, author of Dear Mrs. Lindbergh: A Novel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429905473
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 10,999
  • File size: 269 KB

Meet the Author

Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is the author of The Island, Nantucket Nights, and The Blue Bistro, among others. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in Seventeen, The Massachusetts Review, and The Colorado Review. She lives with her husband, Chip Cunningham, and their two sons in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
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Read an Excerpt


SUMMER PEOPLE (Chapter 1)

Driving off the ferry, they looked like any other family coming to spend the summer on Nantucket—or almost. The car was a 1998 Range Rover in flat forest green, its rear section packed to within inches of the roof with Pierre Deux weekend duffels, boxes of kitchen equipment, four shopping bags from Zabar’s, and a plastic trash bag of linens. (The summer house, Horizon, had its own linens, of course, but Beth remembered those sheets and towels from her childhood—the towels, for example, were chocolate brown and patterned with leaves. Threadbare. Beth wanted plush towels; she took comfort now wherever she could find it.)

Three out of the four passengers in the car were related, as any one of the people milling around Steamship Wharf could tell. Beth, the mother, was forty-four years old and at the end of pretty with blond hair pulled back in a clip, a light tan already (from running in Central Park in the mornings), and green eyes flecked with yellow, which made one think of a meadow. White linen blouse, wrinkled now. A diamond ring, too big to be overlooked. One of Beth’s seventeen-year-old twins, her daughter, Winnie, slumped in the front seat, and the other twin, her son, Garrett, sat in back. That there was no father in the car was hardly unusual—lots of women Beth knew took their kids away for the summer while their husbands toiled on Wall Street or in law firms. So it wasn’t Arch’s absence that set their family apart from the others on this clear, hot day. Rather it was the dark-skinned boy, also seventeen, who shared the backseat with Garrett: Marcus Tyler, living proof of their larger, sadder story.

Beth lifted her ass off the driver’s seat. She’d driven the whole way, even though the twins had their learner’s permits and might have helped. She’d been awake since five o’clock that morning, and after four hours on the highway and two on the ferry, her mind stalled in inconvenient places, like a car dying in a busy intersection. In her side-view mirror, Beth checked on the two mountain bikes hanging off the back of the car. (It had always been Arch’s job to secure them, and this year she did it herself. Miraculously, they were both intact.) When she brought her attention forward again—she couldn’t wait to get off this boat!— her gaze stuck on her diamond ring, perched as it was on top of the steering wheel. This wasn’t the ring that Arch gave her twenty years ago when he proposed, but a really extravagant ring that he presented to her last summer. He called it the “We Made It” ring, because they had made it, financially, at least. They had enough money that a not-insignificant amount could be wasted on this diamond ring. “Wasted” was Beth’s word; she was the frugal one, always worrying that they had two kids headed for college, and what if the car got stolen, what if there were a fire. What if there were some kind of accident.

You worry too much, Arch said.

A rotund man wearing a Day-Glo vest, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt in industrial blue, even on this sweltering day in June, motioned for Beth to drive off the ramp, following, though not too closely, the car in front of her. Seconds later Beth was not on the ferry anymore—not on the ferry, not on I-95, not in a parking garage on East Eighty-second Street. She was on Nantucket Island. The rotund steamship man waved at her (she could see him mouthing, “Come on, lady, come on,” as if she were just another elegant housewife from Chappaqua), but he didn’t know what had happened to her. He didn’t know that, along with the Pierre Deux bags and the expensive mountain bikes, they’d brought along the urn that held her husband’s ashes.

Beth’s forehead grew hot, her nose tingled. Here, again, were the tears. It was the new way she evaluated her day: On a good day she cried only twice, in the morning shower and before her Valium kicked in at night. On a bad day, a stressful day, it was like this—without warning, in front of the kids, while she was driving, in traffic. Tears assaulting her like a migraine.

“Mom,” Winnie said. She’d slept for most of the drive and the ferry ride, and now she gazed out the window as they cruised past the bike shops, the ice cream parlor, the Sunken Ship on the corner. The whaling museum. The Dreamland Theater. People were everywhere—on the sidewalks, in the stores, riding bikes, eating ice cream cones. As if nothing bad could happen. As if nothing could hurt them. Meanwhile, Beth negotiated the traffic surprisingly well at full sob.

“Mom,” Winnie said again, touching her mother’s leg. But what else could she say? Winnie pulled the neck of her sweatshirt up over her nose and inhaled. It was her father’s old, raggedy Princeton sweatshirt, which he’d worn often, sometimes to the gym in their building, and it smelled like him. Of all their father’s clothes, the sweatshirt had smelled the most like him and so that was what Winnie took. She’d worn it every day since he died, ninety-three days ago. Winnie tried to convince herself that it still smelled like him, but his smell was fading, much the way her father’s vivid, everyday presence in her mind was fading. She couldn’t remember the whole of him, only bits and pieces: the way he loosened his tie when he walked into the apartment at the end of the day, the way he ate a piece of pizza folded in half, the way he’d fidgeted with a twig when he told her and Garrett the facts of life one warm and very embarrassing autumn afternoon in Strawberry Fields. (Why hadn’t her mother done “the talk?” Winnie had asked her mother that question a few weeks after the memorial service—now that Daddy was dead, certain topics could be broached—and Beth said simply, “Your father wanted to do it. He considered it one of the joys of parenting.”) A whole life lived and all Winnie would be left with were snippets, a box of snapshots. She breathed in, listening to the atonality of her mother’s sobs as if it were bad music. The sweatshirt no longer smelled like her father. Now it smelled like Winnie.

The Rover bounced up Main Street, which was paved with cobblestones. Garrett shifted uneasily in his seat and checked for the hundredth time on the urn, which was a solid, silent presence between him and Marcus. It was embarrassing to have his mom losing it with a stranger in the car. Beth kept Garrett awake at night with her crying and he had a weird sense of role reversal, like she was the kid and he was the parent. The Man of the House, now. And Winnie—well, Winnie was even worse than his mother, wearing that sweatshirt every day since March sixteenth—every day: to school over her uniform, to sleep, even. And Winnie refused to eat. She looked like a Holocaust victim, a person with anorexia. And yet these two loonies were far preferable company to the individual sitting next to him. Garrett couldn’t believe their bad luck. The last thing Arch had done, practically, before his plane went down, was to invite Marcus Tyler to Nantucket—not for a week, not for a month—but for the entire summer. And since a dead man’s words were as good as law, they were stuck with Marcus.

Your father invited him to come along, Beth said. We can’t exactly back out.

Yeah, Winnie said

SUMMER PEOPLE Copyright © 2003 by Elin Hilderbrand.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 296 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(91)

4 Star

(107)

3 Star

(57)

2 Star

(23)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 299 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2004

    Boring Summer People

    I can never resist a book whose 'blurb' promises a shocking secret. The only shock was that the composer of the blurb considered the secret in this book shocking. I did not like the characters at all - found them one-dimensional and the plot simplistic. My suggestion is that you find better beach reading.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    an enjoyable tale starring a grieving family in crisis

    Attorney Arch Newton died in a plane crash. His grief-stricken widow Beth decides to go ahead with their summer plans leaving Manhattan for Nantucket accompanied by their twin children Garrett and Winnie. Also joining the Newton trio is seventeen year old Marcus; the son of a client accused of killing her sister-in-law and niece Arch was defending before he died; Arch invited Marcus.

    Grieving Garrett is angry with Marcus being with them as he blames the latter's mom for his dad's death. Nantucket native David, separated from his wife, wants a second chance with Beth who seems receptive foe a fling with her first love, but hides something from her wannabe lover and her offspring. Garrett and David's older daughter form a relationship as does Winnie with Marcus.

    The third Nantucket family drama (see The Beach Club and Nantucket Nights) is an enjoyable tale starring a grieving family in crisis. The cast is solid just not as deep as should be with each one dealing with the summer of his or her discontent. Although not profound, Summer People is a fine tale of three interlocking families struggling to move on.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

    Not one of her best

    I have read several of Elin Hilderbrand's and this was definitely not her best.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2006

    Fast, fun read

    Like another of the readers said, the 'shocking' revelation at the end wasn't all that shocking at all, but that didn't take away any of the pleasure of reading this book, which was a perfect book to take on a cruise (which I did). The author is a natural born storyteller and that comes across in every book she writes. So sometimes the plot has holes. Or sometimes the characters do things that stretch credibility or that you don't agree with. If the story is well-written, engrossing and entertaining, who cares? Lighten up, people! The author isn't pretending to be a literary giant. She's writing to give us a few hours of pleasure, and she succeeded with this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Harriet klausner

    Of course ole harriet klausner is number one to ruin the book with her cliff note book report. Please bn, cant you PLEASE ban this obnoxious poster and delete her plot spoiling posts? She ruins every book she supposedly reviews.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Steamy Romances...

    You want to become a guest at the summer home and try to help the characters through each of their ordeals. This book packed not one but three steamy romances.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Summer People is a Graet Summer Read!

    Loved it. Very touching and another page turner. Elin Hilderbrand is a natural story teller who can make you fall in love with any character!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2004

    Best yet!

    Loved this book! Perfect summer read, could not keep my hands off it. Hilderbrand gets better with every book. Hope she's working on something new, can't wait to read more of her work.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2010

    Liked it very much.

    Lost in the pages~~Summer People good read for any season.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2004

    Enjoyable !

    This was a very believable book...i was sad that it ended also. I wanted to keep reading about what was to continue in their lives. Very quick read because i kept wanting to see what was going to happen next.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Oreo

    I do not have feet that look like Spongebob -_- Just arms and animated eyes

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    another great book

    Not the ending I expected, but wonderfully written, as always!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Another Good Read

    Typical Elin Hilderbrand book. A great summer read or for when you don't want to "think too much".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Pjh

    Khgup rer

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    CJ

    So, my descriptions for everyone. // Alice: A pale girl with waist-length golden-brown, wavy hair and hazel eyes. // Acacia: A girl with summery brown hair, brown eyes, and tan skin. // Batu: Basically Link but with thicker brown hair. // Candace: A tall girl with a fair complexion, light brown hair with brown lowlights, blue eyes, and freckles. // Luna: A fair girl with shining blonde hair and light green eyes. // Swag: A shortish girl with shoulder-length dark brown hair and brown eyes. // Fang: Flowing, layered, dirty blonde hair that falls below her shoulders and hazel eyes with gold flecks. // Storm: An average sized girl with thin, milky brown hair that falls below her shoulderblades and grey-blue eyes. /// Ryan: A tall boy with honey hair that goes below his ears and grey eyes. /// Xav: A tall boy with shaggy black hair and turquoise eyes. /// Rose: Rose Tyler, but with shorter hair. /// Meh, if I was a different dude: A wiry girl with blond hair that has reddish tinges and blue eyes.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Swaggeh

    HOW I IMAGINED PEOPLE BEFORE I KNEW WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE: ///Voss: small scrawny kid with shaggy-ish dark brown hair who always wore slightly too-big tees. e.e xD///Sammie: long black hair and dark eyes tannish skin and always wearing neon sneakers. ///Chris: Gale Hawthorne with glasses. xD ///Rose: like Rose off the Titanic but then like Rose Tyler. e.e ///Storm: like Sammie but with dark green eyes. ///Greece: tall and athletically built, with light brown army cut hair and tan skin, dark green eyes. ///Alice: shoulder ngth auburnish reddish hair and green eyes flecked with gold, average sized and skinny, always a v neck tee and blue skinny jeans and converse. ///Sparrow: At first, a bird, then an average sized skinny girl with short brown hair with the bangs pinned up, always wearing a mossy green tee. ///CJ: short and skinny, dirty blonde hair and either brown eyes or bluish green ones. ///Fang: as a wolf at first xD then as a tall thin girl with ripped up jeans and combat boots, dirty blonde hair in layers just past your shoulders, and hazel eyes. Always like a baggy graphic tee with the sleeves cut off tucked in tat was usually black. And always a belt with a giant decorative buckle. e.e ///Oreo: o.o as a talking cookie with mini eyes, mini hands, and feet like spongebob xD ///errrrrm if i forgot anyone yell at me and ill post it in the next result.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    Hooked on a nook

    ELIN did it again Another great story Worth reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    Violet

    Nada

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Johnna

    Hey!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    To Feather

    A different toms starts fuqin her hard.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 299 Customer Reviews

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