Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand

First line: The guilt was like a clump of tar in her hair, warm and sticky, impossible to remove.

Why I read this: I love Elin Hilderbrand's books and have had this one sitting on my shelf for a while - now that it's summer, it was the perfect read! I also read this for the Reading From My Shelves Project.

From the inside cover: Claire Danner Crispin has a problem with setting limits. All her life she has taken on every responsibility, assumed every burden, and granted every request. Claire wants it all, and in the eyes of her friends, she has it: a hardworking, devoted husband, four beautiful children, even a successful career as an artist. So when Claire is asked to chair the committee for the social event of the year, the Nantucket's Children Summer Gala, what else can she say but yes? Especially when she can persuade her high school sweetheart - and world-famous rock star - Max West to play the gala for free. Especially when she is the woman, mother, friend, and artist who can handle everything.

As preparations for the gala begin, Claire discovers that everything may be too much when billionaire Lockhart Dixon enters her life. As director of Nantucket's Children, Lock insists on working personally with Claire - often over a bottle of wine - and before long Claire can't ignore the subtle touches and lingering looks. To her surprise, she can't ignore how they make her feel, either. When her passion for Lock grows, Claire finds the gala, her life, and herself spinning out of control: she pledges the auction a piece of art she hasn't created, promises her best friend a job she can't deliver, and perpetually disagrees with her Manhattan socialite chair, Isabelle French. Summer soon approaches and Claire's affair with Lock consumes her. Will she be able to reclaim her old life and make everything - anything - all right?

Capturing the love, loss, and limbo of unexpected romance and unchecked passion, A Summer Affair is a brave and breathless journey into the heart of one modern woman, written only as New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand can.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this love story. When Claire Danner Crispin - wife, mother and artist - agrees to chair the Summer Gala on Nantucket, she doesn't realize that she is turning her life upside down. But then, as Claire describes herself, she is a person with "no boundaries" - she can't say no, and she allows others to use her. Claire is a retired glass-blowing mom of four living full time in Nantucket. She is asked by the richest man on Nantucket, Lock Dixon, to co-chair the committee for Nantucket's Children charity, begin glass-blowing again to make the auction piece, and call in a favor from her ex-boyfriend who is a huge rock star for the entertainment. Claire feels the need to agree to it all and puts her family life on hold for the next year. What seems like an ordinary social event becomes a trip into obsession. She starts spending way too much time with Lock, spending less time with her husband, and starts pushing herself way too hard in her hothouse trying to create the auction piece. What could have been just an ordinary beach read is turned into an exploration of the human needs, flaws and urges that plague all of us at one time or another. Elin Hilderbrand skillfully leads us down a path of discovery...not just of the characters in the story, but of our own human frailties.

(I purchased this book.)


  1. I have had this book on my bookshelf for a year, I think it's time I read it. I just read her "Silver Girl" book and enjoyed it.

  2. @Gigi Ann I always enjoy her books. I have Silver Girl on audio and will be listening to it later this summer.

  3. I read this last summer and agree that it is the perfect beach read. I definitely need to pick up another of her books this summer!


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