Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Format: Advanced galley 400 pages, and audio 13 hrs 40 mins
Narrator: Katie Hale
Characters: 4 couples: Phoebe & Addison; Eddie & Andrea; Jeff & Delilah; Tess & Greg,
Subject: friendship, secrets
Source: ARC from Hachette with expectation of review and hosting giveaway
Challenge: ARC completed
The perfect beach read! Chick Lit with some substance, but with a reasonably happily ever after ending. Four couples have been friends for years. They vacation together, they have a 'no gifts' rule to keep those with less money from feeling out of sync from the wealthier couples. They call themselves "The Castaways." They have different talents, different jobs, but their pasts as well as their present relationships are intertwined beyond what is visible up front. Tess and Greg drown while sailing on their 12th wedding anniversary. How each of the remaining members of the group deals with the puzzle of the death, and the grief and guilt each is feeling forms the basis of the story.
Hilderbrand tells the story from the point of view of each of the six remaining. It could have been complicated, but the technique works really well. We get to meet each member of the group, we see what motivates them, and we are led inexorably to the conclusion that forms the climax of the book. It's not great literature, but it's a pleasant read sure to appeal to those who like realistic characters, some mystery, some romance set in a great beach area.
I both read and listened to this one. I had a chance to pick up the audio before my ARC arrived, and I had begun listening to it. I found this was one book that worked well in both formats...I was able to go back and forth between the two, and I think it actually helped me keep the players straight (they were a bit hard to follow at the beginning, but Hilderbrand did a good job of fleshing them out quickly.)