Wednesday 26 August 2020

Book ~ "28 Summers" (2020) Elin Hilderbrand

From Goodreads ~ When Mallory Blessing's son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he's not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It's the late spring of 2020 and Jake's wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.

There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt and she agrees to host her brother's bachelor party. Cooper's friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere - through marriage, children, and Ursula's stratospheric political rise - until Mallory learns she's dying.

Based on the classic film "Same Time Next Year" (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), "28 Summers" explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.

It's 1993 and 24-year-old Mallory inherits a cottage she loves on Nantucket Island and some money from an aunt and moves there from New York City where she was going nowhere.  Her brother, Cooper is getting married that fall so he invites himself and Jake and Fray, two buddies, to the cottage for Labour Day weekend for a bachelor to celebrate.  Mallory knows Jake and Fray and is okay with that.  In fact, she's always had a crush on Jake.  Cooper and Fray end up bailing during the weekend so that leaves Jake and Mallory alone.  Jake has been on-again-off-again with Ursula since high school and this is during one of their off-agains.  Mallory doesn't want to have a long distance relationship so doesn't want to commit to Jake but they do promise that they'll get together at the cottage every Labour Day weekend ... and there will be no contact during the year.  When he gets back home, he and Ursula get back together and eventually marry and have a child.  Mallory and Jake continue to have their secret long weekend every year ... and this goes on until the summer of 2019.

I didn't like this story.  I found it hard to believe that Mallory and Jake were apparently so in love yet neither loved each other enough to compromise so they could be together.  Mallory wouldn't tolerate a long distance relationship or leave her beloved cottage.  Jake stayed with Ursula because of some weird loyalty to her because she was nice to his twin sister who passed away when they were 13.  It was unrealistic that he would stay with her when she was always so nasty and focused on her career.  Mallory did date over the years and even got pregnant and had a son.  She had some great prospects but she always kicked them to the curb because they couldn't measure up to her love of Jake.  At one point, a good friend and co-worker is getting married over Labour Day weekend and Mallory pathetically tries to get out of it because it's cutting into her weekend with Jake.  Really?

Cooper wasn't that much of a prize.  He got married four (or maybe five?) times to poor choices and the first weddings were an excuse for the author to bring Mallory and Jake together when they couldn't be together (Ursula was always there).  Leland was Mallory's best friend since school but treated Mallory like crap ... and Mallory put up with it.

I was okay with the writing style.  It seemed to be in a conversational manner, like we were being told the story.  The book is over 400 pages, though, and a lot of the useless information and asides could have been cut out as it seemed to drag at times.  It is written in third person perspective with the focus on the different characters including Mallory, Jake, Cooper, Leland and others.

No happy ending, either.  The book starts in present day with Mallory on her death bed with cancer.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Her books are light and entertaining.