The Castaways is a keeper…
One book, four couples, eight lives intertwined, six of them–in grief after losing two of their own.
Did you get that? Sounds like my daughter’s word problems from math homework, but in reality–it’s the Castaways, by Elin Hilderbrand. One wonders if an author of this caliber takes time to read or scan every review of her work. If so, I’m offering a hearty hello! and bravo! You’ve gone and made a fan for life. Expect a spike in back-list sales!
In The Castaways, I identified most with Delilah–a dreamer, a steadfast lover, wife, and mother with her feet on the plot of land tended by her stoic, farmer husband and her head in the clouds. She knows at any moment she can take flight, run away, and yet she remains. Driven. Caring. Loving fiercely. Grieving even fiercer for her friends, lost. And love, unrequited. Okay, so I don’t identify with that part–but I have, in the past, and that’s why Delilah (who is VERY close to being a proverbs 31 style wife except for the fact that she doesn’t believe in anything but her friends and family) is easiest to identify with. At least, for me. I fell in love equally with the emotionally bound Phoebe, the two-sides of Andrea, and the men in their lives. Ed–who could be my own husband in his and Andrea’s relationship. Jeffrey–who loves so deeply just in his being there. Addison, sweet, flawed Addison. And of course, Greg and Tess, remembered by all. They are caricatures of us all in the microcosm of Nantucket.
As for the place, it is obvious this is the heart of the author’s home, as much as the octet’s wanderlust shows her love of travel. Nantucket, in its beaches, it’s quaint town square, it’s dunes and isolation. Suddenly, it is someplace I must visit someday.
A wonderful study of personality, friends, relationships, parenting, and forgiveness, The Castaways is not to be missed. Each page should be savored like fine wine, like exotic flavors, like times remembered. It reminds me that too often we live on the surface. There is so much below, beneath us all, that has made us into the people we are. The Castaways reminds us of that. Of failed expectations, secret hopes, hidden dreams, and in the end, that love is all that matters.
Thanks, Elin! and I look forward to following you out of The Castaways, and into The Island.