cover image Summerland


Elin Hilderbrand. Little Brown/Reagan Arthur, $26.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-09983-7

Nantucket Island’s year-round residents are shaken when a car crash claims the life of driver Penny Alistair, a vibrant and popular high school student, and leaves her twin brother, Hobby, in a coma. The other passengers, Penny’s boyfriend Jake and their friend Demeter, each have secrets, and everyone is touched by the tragedy, in fact, practically everyone on the island feels some responsibility for the accident. What did Demeter, who had been drinking, divulge to Penny on the beach that night? Was it Jake’s indiscretion after the cast party for the high school’s production of Grease, or Hobby’s just before prom? Was it the newspaper publisher’s affair, or Penny’s knowledge of his wife’s depression after the loss of her infant son? Each character’s guilt rubs them raw with worry. The sparks that this story throws out becomes a current that circles the agitated kids and their parents, electrifying the atmosphere as they grapple with what happened. Hilderbrand (Silver Girl) has a gift for building tension, and the reader will be willing to do just about anything to discover the real reason why Penny would drive herself, her brother, and her boyfriend over an embankment into oblivion. Agent: Michael Carlisle/David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (June)