Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Summer Affair - Hubba Hubba!

Hooray! It's been awhile since I've been able to do a book review for MotherTalk, so I was happy to be included on this tour.

Since the title sort of gives it away, I don't think it's a spoiler when I tell you that A Summer Affair by NY Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand is about exactly that very thing.

I'm actually of two minds about this book - and keep in mind this is ALL ABOUT MY PERSONAL TASTES. 'Kay?

Claire is really the central figure - a professional & renown glassblower who's sort of given up her career for her family - she didn't want to miss anything in her kids' growing up years. Her husband is successful (but sort of a jerk - like the boys in high school used to act), they have a relatively happy and secure family unit. Claire's best friend is married to her (Claire's, that is) brother-in-law, they have a nice life on Nantucket Island.

There is drama. There is romance. There is hot steamy sex (on tables, even!). There is -you guessed it - a summer affair.
Yeah, baby.

A Summer Affair is well written and engaging... I won't say I couldn't put it down -- but it was definitely entertaining.

The problem I had was that to me, none of the characters were really very likeable. What I mean is that Claire seemed weak and easily swayed, and in my eyes she seemed to be portrayed as a ...victim. Or martyr, maybe. You know, giving up the successful & lucrative career to be with the kids, being unappreciated, boo hoo.
I guess she is a little like me: I tend to feel guilty over things all the time, whether the things were really my fault or not, like Claire's guilt over not doing ENOUGH to keep a friend from driving drunk resulted in an accident - for which Claire feels responsible.

And her best friend? DID.NOT.LIKE. She was a judgmental hypocrite & something of a control freak, I think.

The husband? Every guy I dated in college.

If those were the impressions that I was meant to get - then the author was completely successful in portraying her characters! I guess I just prefer a stronger central figure. JUST MY TASTE, OKAY?
I know that many people will strongly identify with the characters - it's a real-life situation with some real-life issues and problems.

And just because I didn't find the characters likeable doesn't mean that I didn't like the book.
It's PERFECT for a day at the beach.

Wanna know who has the affair? If they fall in love, run away and live happily ever after? Or not?
Go get your own copy, because everyone knows that I'll lend you my toothbrush, my kids, even my underpants...but never my books.
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