In the vein of Laura Moriarity’s The Rest of Her Life or Chris Bojhalian’s The Buffalo Soldier, Hilderbrand puts normal, everyday people under a microscope after throwing a terrible tragedy at them.

In Summerland, Twins Hobby and Penny Alistair are shining stars at Nantucket High School. But on graduation night their junior year they are involved in a car accident that leaves Penny dead and Hobby in a coma for seven days. Portrayals are authentic with each family of the four students in the car getting their share of the scrutiny. The town also has a voice and collective reaction.

I picked Summerland up in the airport when I found myself with a backpack full of books I wasn’t in mood to read. I expected it to be uber-light. Not much to think about. But I find myself wishing I had read it for a book club, or at least know someone who has read it so I can discuss the situations and characters.

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