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Summer People

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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  15,109 Ratings  ·  596 Reviews
Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand

Every summer the Newton family retreats to their beloved home on Nantucket for three months of sunshine, cookouts, and bonfires on the beach. But this summer will not be like any other. When Arch Newton, a prominent New York attorney, dies in a plane crash on his way home from a business trip, his beautiful widow, Beth, can barely keep thin
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ebook, 368 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published May 30th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marleen
Oh dilemma, because I'm hesitating between a 3 and a 4 stars for this one. I know I’m in for a nice treat when I read a book by Elin Hilderbrand, that's for sure. I may not always like all the characters she puts on paper (as in this one), but I always thoroughly enjoy her writing style and the stories she brings, set on beautiful Nantucket. This one, centering on the Newton family, might well be the most touching I’ve read so far by this author. The parts that revealed what happened in the past ...more
Lori
Jun 06, 2008 Lori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucy
Jul 25, 2012 Lucy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I needed a summer fluff book. This book and its $4 price tag at Costco accommodated me.

It was fluffy. Once I understood the title, that there are wealthy people who spend entire summers doing nothing in their second homes on beautiful and quaint islands, I forgave the shallowness of most of the characters. It is supposed to be about seemingly shallow people albeit shallow people who are grieving for their dead spouse and father. That doesn't forgive the lack of depth Hilderbrand wrote all the o
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Kristin
Jul 02, 2010 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More than anything else, this book is about loss, and the different ways people grieve. You might think that would make a book depressing, but I actually found it to be optimistic and even humorous at times.
It's summer, and the wealthy, upper-East-Side Newton family is headed to their beach house on Nantucket, as they do every year. This year, however, they do it without their father, Arch, who was killed three months earlier in a plane crash. His children, twins Winnie and Garrett, have been un
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Daveia
Jun 12, 2014 Daveia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I were Elin's editor, I would have told her "this so called plot twist? is a BUST"

Wow. The big secret is that the mom was married, twenty-five years ago, for two weeks. Years before she met her long-term spouse, years before she had children, she was married for two weeks. No entanglements, no long-term consequences, just a young girl who made a silly mistake and managed to rectify it before it got ugly. My mom was engaged before she met my father. That didn't work out. Thirty years later I'
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Holly
Sep 10, 2009 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another new author who I have fallen in love with! I love books set in places in New England and along the water front of the East coast so Nantucket during the summer was perfect in my book for a summertime read. A little slow for me at the start, but once I got into it (and past some of the darker parts), I was hooked.
Carol Brill
3.5. You can always count on Elin Hilderbrand for a good beachread. Beth's husband, Arch, was killed in a plane crash just 3 months before she and her teenage twins go to Nantucket for the summer, maintaining a family tradition. Before he died, Arch invited Marcus, the teenage son of a murderer he is representing, to join the family in Nantucket. Out of a respect for Arch, Beth honors Arch's invitation. The first person Beth's sees in Nantucket is her first love, who is recently separated. His t ...more
Lynn
Aug 08, 2016 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reads
A nice light summer read. Just what I was in the mood for. Although it does address some serious topics, it doesn't dwell on them. The ending isn't what you would expect, but it is the right one. Well done.
Jennefer
Oct 14, 2011 Jennefer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will start by saying I am a big fan of Elin Hilderbrand. This is the sixth novel I have read from this author and I think it is one of my top favorites. I have read “Barefoot”, “The Island”, “The Castaways”, “The Love Season”, and “Silver Girl”. I can honestly say that I could not put this book down. There is an ease to her writing style that pulls you in to her story and makes all the characters very relatable.
As proven in her previous books, Hilderbrand is a master at dealing with the famil
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Jules
Jul 18, 2010 Jules rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Holli
Oct 26, 2008 Holli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elin Hilderbrand's books all seem so very real to me. Her characters are all very relatable and their personalities leap off the pages.... they stay with me long after i finish the book.

Sarah
Mar 18, 2017 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
While it is true that all of Elin Hilderbrand's novels share a similar premise (wealthy people living or vacationing on Nantucket, romance woes, beaches) I mud admit I also have throughly enjoyed each book I have read. Summer People is no exception. The characters and story drew me in immediately and, though the circumstances are in no way similar to my own life, it was not at all difficult to imagine myself reacting and making decisions in similar fashion. Beach fare, chick lit, a summer read, ...more
Lynn
Jan 07, 2013 Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reading about the sun, the ocean and the joys of summer at the beach is exactly what I needed as winter started. What I didn't need was the sappy, lack of depth story that I found in this book.

The story is about a family that has recently lost their father, Arch Newton, who was on his way home from a work trip. They seek solice in their summer tradition-going to Nantucket Island. Despite needing time for them to heal as a family, mom Beth and her twins, Winnie and Garrett, aren't making the trip
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Liz
Jul 21, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great, quick summer read. Typical of Elin Hilderbrand, the story is based in Nantucket on the beach which always makes me want a summer cottage. The usual characters that arrive to the beach, with some sort of a conflict to resolve, and emotional breakthrough and a little romance. Even though it was predictable, still a book I could not put down! Good change of pace of reading.
Beth
Jul 02, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another light vacation read by Elin Hilderbrand. There were a lot of different stories going on along with the main story, however they all told stories of people, their family, their "vacation home", all which had progressed over the years visiting the island. It was very easy to connect with the characters.
Candice
Jul 29, 2011 Candice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2011
Easy weekend beach read. Although the subject matter would lend itself to a story with depth, overall it does not dive much below the surface. This was my first Elin Hilderbrand book, and I'll probably give her one more chance, but it's not looking like she'll be listed among my favourite authors. Too fluffy.
Shari
Oct 14, 2010 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Nothing earth shattering but a nice light read. I would definitely recommend it. I will be looking for more books from this author.

The story is about a family struggling with life altering changes and their summer on Nantucket. The author describes the island in such a way that it makes you want to experience it for yourself.
Mary Seely
Sep 28, 2011 Mary Seely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was amazed at how calm the mother was about her teenagers being sexually active. Especially since they were so open about it. The book had a nice tidy ending. Not much like real life in my opinion. There were so many obstacles to overcome.
Erin
Aug 06, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first half of this book was a light, summer read with some less than light subject matter (getting over the death of a spouse/parent). The second half made little to no sense. The mother's secret, and kids subsequent reaction, was ridiculous, and the final climax was just silly. Bleh.
Erica
Aug 21, 2016 Erica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I could not bring myself to finish this book. And that is not something I often do. There was nothing in this book to draw me in. I was bored throughout reading it and after reading spoilers, decided there was no reason to finish it.
Kristen
This would be a good beach read. It has some heavy subject matter, but the way the story is told, it makes it pretty light. The big revelation that the main character tries to hide is not that shocking.
Megan
Jul 09, 2011 Megan rated it it was ok
The secret that the book aluded to was such a non issue that I wondered why the author thought she could revolve a book around the whole thing.

It was an easy beach read, where is actually where I read it. I read another one of her books and liked it but this one was slow and anticlimactic.
Allison Castle
Jul 30, 2012 Allison Castle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


All her books are great. Nice easy reads that transport you to Nantucket
Josie
Jul 05, 2012 Josie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More juvenile than the others, a book I would have been even more obsessed with as a teenager.
Tammi
Jun 30, 2011 Tammi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites of hers
Jean
Jul 30, 2016 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great summer read from one of my favorite authors.
Paula
Jul 24, 2010 Paula rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring and depressing! Don't bother/
Sherrie
Dec 19, 2016 Sherrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Awful, awful characters. The only tolerable one is Marcus. Beth, the mother, is quite simply an immature tease who borders on the psychotic. Her husband dies suddenly, then she teases her first love all summer even though she doesn't really love him, then decides she should move on with him because she doesn't want to be alone (but she still doesn't really love him) then is disappointed that he didn't wait for her and got back with his wife. Seriously, that happened. Garrett is a complete prick ...more
Pat Steinkuehler
Mar 21, 2017 Pat Steinkuehler rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yuck. Sticky sweet and silly plot.
stacie
Feb 24, 2017 stacie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that the main characters (Beth, Garrett, Winnie, Marcus) were in general weak, though I think that Marcus probably came across as the most mature of them all. This book tells about the summer these 4 individuals spend together and how they handle Arch's death (Beth's husband; Winnie/Garrett's dad). The writing style kept me interested throughout the book but the plot in general was not optimal. An OK beach read.
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Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

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“Summer does something to the brain, " Beth said. "It's intoxicating. Everything shimmers ” 1 likes
“saying so regardless, for the kids’ sake. Was it possible that Arch’s spirit resided here, that his soul” 0 likes
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