Kathleen's Reviews > Silver Girl

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
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Nov 07, 11

bookshelves: favorite-contemporary-authors
Read in November, 2011

I have never been able to get my head around the breadth of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the wide net cast over so many victims, the far reaching consequences. I have also never spent a moment thinking about the man or his family.
Yet, such a scheme and the family involved are what drive the plot of Hilderbrand’s latest novel, and I was immediately drawn in to the felon’s wife’s character and believe in her innocence from the beginning. Meredith asks her long-time best friend, Connie, from whom she has recently been estranged, for refuge in her summer home on Nantucket while she is investigated by the feds.
What Hilderbrand weaves for the reader so slowly and skillfully is a tale of friendship among women, the fragile threads holding even the closest of families together, a mystery filled with deceit, and forgiveness. The story of their lives is shared alternately by a third person narrator over a 30+ year span. The details about music, clothing and the angst of each decade support the poignancy and the humor of the memories. I have learned from reading Hilderbrand’s previous novels that details come only when she is ready to share. So it was not until page 99 that the importance of the title is explained. Not until page 357 can the friends, after spending the summer together, apologize to one another. The important characters in this book are complex as is the plot. While the reader may understand the grief of Connie, a widow, Meredith’s grief and loyalty are more perplexing. The two friends are challenged by their history and supported by the strength they have discovered as adults. Resolution and even redemption come slowly and awkwardly, just as in real life.

“Sail on Silver Girl.
Sail on by,
Your time has come to shine,
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
Oh, if you need a friend, I’m sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled waters
I will ease your mind.”


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