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Summer People

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3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,530 Ratings  ·  535 Reviews
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 things together. Above all, though, s ...more
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published May 30th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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 14, 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
...more
Kristin
Jul 12, 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
...more
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.
Daveia
Sep 10, 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'
...more
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
Jennefer
Oct 31, 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
...more
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.
Lynn
Jan 20, 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
...more
Jennifer Harrell Scott
I adore most Elin Hilderbrand books, and this one is no exception. She does such an incredible job with conveying atmosphere and making the reader understand the various sides to complicated situations.

In this case, I simply loved Marcus, and I liked Beth and Winnie. David was... meh. I loved him at times, but he annoyed me at other times. As for Garrett and Piper - omg, I hated them so much. I don't hold that against the author, as I don't think she was trying to make them likable as much as r
...more
Carla
Mar 27, 2016 Carla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: la-2
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
False Millennium
The library delivered the last two of the Hilderbrand books I was waiting for. I have about 10-11 left to read. I finally realized her books are peopled with the wealthy, because money predominates on Nantucket. The year rounders who provide the resort services are the ones struggling, perhaps even leaving off season to find other work. The other issue is that rich people don't want to read about poor people's problems while they are at the beach, and that is her readership: beach people. There ...more
Lori Loper
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth
Sep 08, 2014 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because I enjoy Hilderbrand's books and this was one that I haven't read already. Her books all take place on Nantucket and this was no exception.

The Newton family is devastated by the death of their husband/father. He has died in a plane crash while he was traveling to meet with a fellow attorney concerning a case that he is working on. He is representing a black woman who attended Princeton when he was there. For some reason, he feels that he needs to do this although crimina
...more
Chiara Kelly
Aug 10, 2014 Chiara Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As in other books by Elin Hildebrand, what drew me into this book is her picturesque description of Nantucket Island, as well as an authentic inside view on how people live their lives there. Summer People touches upon the disparity between year-round Islanders and wealthy "Summer People" who reclaim their summer homes for a season of high-life social reveling. The story unfolds as the main characters David and Elizabeth, who once eloped in secret, meet after decades of going their separate ways ...more
Sarah
Jan 20, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
On the one hand, I really enjoyed Elin Hilderbrand's "Summer People". On the other hand, I was more than a little disturbed by her portrayal of "white versus black." Marcus didn't have nearly as many automatic stereotypes about white people as Beth, Garrett, and Winnie had about black people, but here's a line that stuck with me (toward the end of the book): "Colgate was a white person's school." Um, Hilderbrand, I'm pretty sure Colgate is a university, not a white person's school. It may have a ...more
Bobbi Woods
This represents my annual Elin Hilderbrand summer "beach read"--although this time I was a little more impressed with the depth of both the story and the characters.

Park Avenue's Beth Newton brings her twin 17-year-olds to Nantucket for the summer--but this summer is like no other. Beth's husband, Arch, died in a plane crash two months earlier and honoring a promise Arch made before he died, Beth brings along Marcus Taylor. Marcus is the 17-year-old son of a woman from Queens who had been Arch's
...more
mandyfujita
One of Elin Hilderbrand's earlier books about people who spend the summer in Nantucket and the rest of the year on the continent. This story centers around Elizabeth "Beth" Newton. Every summer since she was 5 years old, her family has vacationed in Nantucket. When she was 16 years old, she met Dave and for 5 years they were in love. Dave lived on the island all year round so they would be communicating long distance during the rest of the year.

The story is about Beth 20 years after breaking u
...more
Liz
Jul 25, 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.
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.
Beth
Sep 11, 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.
Alice
Dec 23, 2015 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites by this author. I liked that it had a little bit of a murder mystery element to it, and the juxtaposition of the two young love stories, the unrequited, nostalgia love, and the missed love storylines flowed perfectly. The characters - for the most part - were likeable, and more relatable than in some of the other books I've read by this author.

I have now read all of Hildebrand's books to date. Consistently, they delight because while they tend to be lighter reads, they also
...more
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.
Erin
Aug 07, 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.
Megan
Jul 09, 2011 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Emily
Nov 01, 2015 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only character I was interested in was Marcus. The rest of the characters weren't incredibly like able. I give it 2 stars because I did actually want to keep reading.

There were some racial undertones that made me quite uncomfortable throughout the book. It was a bit white vs black cliche. And the author didn't really delve deep enough into Marcus's story for my liking. The storyline was a bit predictable at times and a bit unrealistic at times. The story line about the "secret" was ridiculo
...more
K
May 17, 2015 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt like I was reading the screenplay for a Lifetime for TV movie! So much drama packed in 330 pages; but then the drama was very thinly fleshed out. Beth's "big secret" was such a nothing and then the big deal was glossed over...I guess the biggest criticism is that the issues that seemed most important were sort of shrugged off casually and others that were seemingly inconsequential were made out to be huge life changing facts. (Sounds vague, but no spoilers!)
The characters were not engagin
...more
Monica
Mar 01, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summer People has everything that makes up a great summer read. It’s the story of the Newton family who by the looks of it have it all. They are the ideal family, a dad who is a lawyer out there trying to change the world, a mom who stays home and cares for the family and two kids who are nearly perfect. One night while coming back from a meeting Arch dies in a plane crash and it leaves his family in utter shock. Beth tries to pull herself and her kids together knowing that while they must mourn ...more
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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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