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3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  40,272 Ratings  ·  2,494 Reviews
It's summer on Nantucket, and as the season begins, three women arrive at the local airport, observed by Josh, a local boy, home from college. Burdened with small children, unwieldy straw hats, and some obvious emotional issues, the women--two sisters and one friend--make their way to the sisters' tiny cottage, inherited from an aunt. They're all trying to escape from some ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published July 2nd 2007 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2007)
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Kelly Ballard
Don’t do it. I bought this book after returning from the beach in Martha’s Vineyard this past summer. I thought it was about girlfriends at the beach…What I didn’t know was that none of the female characters were likable. I think this is an important hook for any book – likable characters…instead we are presented with the worst of feminine traits – martyr, hysteria, anxiety, selfish…Ughh.

Honestly I couldn’t get over the beginning when they head to the beach and all hell breaks lose – a child go
Mar 18, 2010 Myra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for good summer reading
Shelves: adult-lit-2009
I'd like to begin by stating that once I started this book, I truly did not want to put it down. The lives of Brenda, Vicki, Melanie, and Josh are so captivating and genuine, making it hard not to become invested. The setting is summer on Nantucket, and Hilderbrand's artful use of descriptive language truly made me feel as if I was there, providing yet another reason for why I couldn't put this novel down.

While there is a certain, underlying thread of sadness that runs through the story, there a
Carrie Runnals
BAREFOOT ~ A beach house, two sisters, and a girlfriend...Sounds heavenly--relaxing, even with a couple kids in tow…

Now, I can handle a bit of vomit and lost luggage, but Hilderbrand mercilessly tugs at all of my feminine heartstrings; marriage, motherhood, sisterhood, and friendship…oh, and that pesky fear-of-death thing.

Meet the Girls:

Melanie deals with infertility overshadowed by infidelity, and then further complicated with pregnancy — “POW!”
Brenda’s promising academic career hangs in jeopa
Kira Solomon
Mar 19, 2015 Kira Solomon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give it a half a star if that was possible. In fact, I'm contemplating taking the one star away but I figured I had to give it something. This book disappointed me. (**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**) First, the book was all over the place. One minute I'm following Viki, then Brenda, then Melanie, and then Josh... oh and then there are flash backs too, so it just gets confusing most of the time. Second, it didn't end at all the way I wanted it to and that upset me. I thought the story of everyone ...more
Aug 07, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Looking for something light and summery, I took the front cover and read the back and thought it'd be perfect for a weekend at the lake. What the back of the book doesn't tell you is that from the very first chapter, the 3 main characters are annoying and never get any better.

There is a martyr sister with lung cancer, a selfish professor sister and a poor-miserable-me friend who escapes because her husband cheated on her then ends up cheating on him. The children are brats, the husbands alternat
Alissa Patrick
Sep 15, 2015 Alissa Patrick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
On a summer vacation in Nantucket, three women arrive at the local airport- two sisters and one friend-- They're all trying to escape from their real life problems.

Melanie, after several failed attempted to conceive, discovers she is pregnant. Right after her husband tells her he is cheating on her with his co-worker.

Brenda , a prominent professor, has a scandalous affair with an older student that got her fired from her job

Vickie, mother to two small boys, has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Maybe I don't like "chick lit" or a "great beach read" but Barefoot doesn't even come remotely close to either of these. There are "chicks" and a "beach", but just getting to the beach is a simple task that almost defeats these three women. None of the characters were very likeable, and Melanie was just plain pathetic. I realize this is fiction, but I personally like fiction to have a story line that at least makes sense. Sadly, Barefoot fails there also. Not many lung cancer patients are out di ...more
Kathy McC
This is the story of three women and the trials that life brings to them. It is a bittersweet novel depicting the importance of family and friends when life hits a rough patch. It also demonstrates that one never knows where help might come from. This was a well written fluff novel. It dragged slowly by in certain parts. I felt the end wrapped up too nicely and too neatly for all of the characters. It would be great if life worked in such wonderful ways, but alas I found the ending unrealistic.
Alright, if you would delete all pages from about 30% to 75% this book might have gotten 4 stars.

First off, no one can identify with these characters. The women are all totally pessimistic and broken, the children are your typical American kids: spoiled brats and all the men have macho-man issues (with the exception of John Walsh, but we don't get to know him well enough). I understand that sometimes life gets you down and occasionally you might feel like there's nothing left except despair, bu
Sep 16, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I've read by Elin Hilderbrand, and I really enjoyed it. While I would initially classify it as a chick lit beach read, it deals with some serious issues that make it a little less fluff. There's the gorgeous "Sconset setting, the women and the beach house, marital and family issues. But there's also cancer. The characters are really well developed, all different and compelling in their own ways. Hilderbrand's writing is flawless and easy, I couldn't put this book down.
Jun 30, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-read
Let me start by saying I was expecting this to be a throw-away book. Something I could start, put down if something else caught my attention, and/or never pick back up (and never regret missing out on if I didn't return to it). I think that impression was the fault of the editors, or whoever put the front cover together. With the tagline, "Three women. Three Secrets. One long, hot summer." and a quote reading, "Summer reading fun. ... Twenty pages in, you'll be ready to drop everything and head ...more
Arlene Hayman
As I delved into this book, it occurred to me that our book club has enjoyed some amazing books this year, and so by comparison, this novel seems rather trite or ordinary. The tale is entertaining enough, but I think that the author has failed to fully develop the characters in the story. Josh was not portrayed in depth, and as a result, I had difficulty in understanding his attraction or interest in these three older women. I think that I would have become significantly involved as a reader if ...more
Feb 08, 2008 Keris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of three women and their young, male babysitter unfurls during the hot summer in Nantucket. All of them have a story. Vicki has lung cancer, Brenda, Vicki’s younger sister is in disgrace after having an affair with one of her students and Melanie, Vicki’s friend, is newly pregnant with a long fought for baby, only to discover her husband is having an affair. Josh is a twenty one year old writing student on his summer holidays in the right place at the right time.

Vicki and Brenda have i
Sep 07, 2009 Bambi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was horrible. One star is really too many. This was my first Elin Hilderbrand novel and frankly, I will never read another one. Can someone please tell me why this book was a national bestseller? It read like a soap opera would if it were a novel. The characters were one dimensional, at best. I kept waiting for a climax to the book and there never was one. These women supposedly were to experience this summer that would change their lives, but they never changed. Vicki beat cancer, Mel ...more
May 30, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, chick-lit
It's summer, and even lovers of YA books need a beach read sometimes! I picked this up at my local public library because the cover was about worn out--proof it has been loved!

Three women arrive on Nantucket for the summer. Vicki needs to get away from home because she has lung cancer and needs to begin chemotherapy. She doesn't know how to handle it--but at least her two boys can play at the beach if she's at the family cabin. Brenda is running away--she was just fired as a university professor
Feb 16, 2013 Julianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Not my favorite of this author's beachy books (but not my least favorite either), but still very readable. I did really identify with one of the characters (Brenda), who was regrouping from a situation in which she had been judged for making a decision that was deemed inappropriate and this resulted in irreparable injury to the life she had worked for years to build for herself. A reminder that, no matter what other obstacles you are facing personally at the time and no matter how well you may h ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit, own-copy
A supposed light summer read about three woman who spend the summer on Nantucket except one sister has been banned from academia for having an affair with a student; the other is starting chemo for lung cancer and has her two small children in tow, and the third has escaped her cheating husband and now finds herself pregnant. All of them are self-centered and it was difficult to determine if any one of them had any redeeming qualities amidst all the whining and kvetching. The girls finally manag ...more
Ann Wood
Sep 21, 2015 Ann Wood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good summer reading. The three women all had their individual problems to work on over the summer in beautiful Nantucket. The author did a nice job making it feel real, and having these women become individuals the reader wants to follow through their summer experiences. I enjoyed this book, and suggest it to others for sheer entertainment.
Aug 17, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The criticisms of this book may be true but Hilderbrand writes beach books that are like candy. I love them!
Apr 04, 2010 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
Recommended to Marilyn by: My friend Lou-who gave me the book
This is about 3 friends that have had catastrophic recent events in their lives, who escape for the summer to Nantucket. Very good character/relationship study.
Susan Crowe
Lovely book. Heart wrenching at times. Definitely deals with real life situations.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Manuela Santos
Jun 03, 2015 Manuela Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A capa deste livro despertou-me logo a atenção e quando li a sinopse pensei logo para mim, quero este livro!

A história de três mulheres que poderiam ser quaisquer de nós. Todas estas mulheres estavam a passar uma má fase nas suas vidas. Vicki tem uma doença grave, mas não quer aceitar a doença, Brenda a irmã, foi despedida por estar acusada de se ter envolvido com um aluno e a amiga Melanie descobre que está grávida, depois de saber do envolvimento do marido com outra pessoa. Todas elas perturba
Nov 08, 2010 Jennefer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barefoot is a book that was recommended to me (Thanks Lani) because I really enjoyed The Castaways by this author and I wanted to read more of her books. I actually started out not liking any of the characters, and surprisingly by the middle to end, I ended up loving them all! Each character had their own reason for being who they were, and I was endeared to each of them. However, it wasn't until halfway through the book that I became involved enough with the characters that it became a page tur ...more
Jul 04, 2008 Spudsie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: summer beach "bums"
“Barefoot” is a terrific light summer read. (Of course, just to go against the grain I actually read it in November I believe.) The story is well written and the characters are likeable.

Did “Barefoot” cause me to do any soul-searching, or reveal hidden truths in a startling way? No. But that isn’t the purpose of this book. (At least not in my opinion.) It tells a wonderful heart-warming (I know it’s an overused cliché, but in this case it’s accurate) story of three sisters, each caught up in th
Mar 21, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three women arrive at the local airport, observed by Josh, a Nantucket native home from college for the summer. Burdened with small children, unwieldy straw hats, and some obvious emotional issues, the women-- two sisters and one friend--make their way to the sisters' tiny cottage, inherited from an aunt. They're all trying to escape from something: Melanie, after seven failed in-vitro attempts, learned her husband was having an affair, and then discovered she's pregnant; Brenda embarked on a pa ...more
Dec 02, 2009 Natasha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The characters were interesting but not particularly likable in the beginning. By the end, they were slightly more likable and definitely not as interesting. It was a good set-up but I felt like the novel really didn't have much to say. What I think is bothering me the most is the pat ending- there is not one negative consequences for any of the character's choices that last longer than the summer. But not because the characters do much to change their circumstances (although there is a little o ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this 5 stars, except I never do that. For 5 stars it would have to be earth-shattering. That said, I loved this book. 3 women step off a plane in Nantucket. Two sisters, Vicky and Brenda and Vicky's friend Melanie.

Vicky has 2 small children and is suffering from lung cancer. Brenda has lost her dream job as a professor for sleeping with a student (no abuse here, he was 31 years old. And Melanie, who after a dozen unsuccessful tries at IVF discovers her husband has been having an aff
Zézinha Rosado
Nov 04, 2014 Zézinha Rosado rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lido-e-trocado
Há uma palavra que poderia traduzir todo este livro: Amizade!!!
A história parece banal - três mulheres, cada qual com os seus problemas e dramas pessoais, que decidem passar o Verão numa casa de praia pertencente à família de duas delas.
Desde um cancro recentemente descoberto e todo o drama e medo inerente à doença e aos tratamentos, a uma traição recentemente descoberta juntamente com uma gravidez inesperada, a um despedimento e uma dívida enorme para pagar, estes são alguns dos problemas que e
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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.
More about Elin Hilderbrand...

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“When you peered into the windows of someone else's life, you could only guess what was going on.” 34 likes
“However, deep down, Brenda suspected that it was the stolen nature of those two hours that transformed them. She was supposed to be somewhere else... She had set aside those two hours - three, if you counted the driving - to be of service to her sister. The fact that Vicki had unexpectedly granted her leave gave those two hours a rarefied quality. What Brenda had thought was, I'd better not waste them. And, like magic, the words had come. The pages had filled.” 1 likes
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