cover image Beautiful Day

Beautiful Day

Elin Hilderbrand. Little, Brown, $27.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-09978-3

Hilderbrand's latest (after Summerland) is the perfect beach read%E2%80%94down to its Nantucket setting. The Carmichaels and Grahams arrive on the island for the wedding of golden girl Jenna Carmichael to eth-ical banker Stuart Graham. Jenna's mother Beth, before dying seven years ago, prepared a wedding notebook, a guide that approaches sanctity to Jenna, her cynical older sister, Margot, and Douglas, the still-grieving and unhappily re-married Carmichael patriarch. While the notebook gives solace to these three, it also threatens to break apart Douglas's second marriage. As for the groom, his parents Ann and Jim divorced two decades earlier only to happily remarry, but his mother can't resist tempting fate. She invites Helen, the woman her husband left her for back then, to the wedding, and her behav-ior threatens everyone's happiness. The narrative unfolds through Margot, Doug, and Ann's perspec-tives and is aided by entries from Beth's notebook and "outtakes" from family and friends that read like unusually personal wedding video confessionals. The author's straightforward style pulls the reader into the minds of her characters, and all the secrets and sorrows that create the universal messi-ness of major family events. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management. (June 25)