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Barefoot: A Novel | [Elin Hilderbrand]

Barefoot: A Novel

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 something, and soon Josh is part of the chaotic household, acting as babysitter, confidant, and, eventually, something more....
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Publisher's Summary

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 something: Melanie, after seven failed in-vitro attempts, discovered her husband's infidelity and then her own pregnancy; Brenda embarked on a passionate affair with an older student that got her fired from her prestigious job as a professor in New York; and her sister Vickie, mother to two small boys, has been diagnosed with cancer. Soon Josh is part of the chaotic household, acting as babysitter, confidant, and, eventually, something more, while the women confront their pasts and map out their futures.

©2007 Elin Hilderbrand (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    L. Calder Fort Bragg, California USA 04-01-13
    L. Calder Fort Bragg, California USA 04-01-13 Member Since 2004

    Gardening Geek

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Barefoot in the sand with blueberry pancakes"

    The breakfasts in this book were so savory! Made buttermilk pancakes for the first time in ages!

    Elin Hilderbrand's Barefoot: A Novel is the tale of three women, two incidental husbands of opposite character and a young guy's Summer of 42 experience, but this time on Nantucket. It sounds like a formula, but Hilderbrand flushes out the women so well you can forgive her that.

    The young dude is Josh, an aspiring writer who grew up on Nantucket but is now on summer break from college. Like the Tarot card The Fool, Josh is instrumental is each woman's quest to survive a sudden upheaval in each of their lives, (that makes your problems seem like mole hills. Though moles have driven me to distraction at times.)

    Barefoot in the sand is indeed a cliché but it's spot on for how calming it truly can be. This is how Hilderbrand writes, gently pushing along a plot of oh so human foibles and life's really bad breaks by leaning on friends and family and being there for each other, even if it's awkwardly done. Whether it's grappling with a cheating husband, tossed from one's prestigious academic career because of a sex scandal or enduring the horrifics one must endure with a diagnosis of lung cancer, walking around with sand in one's shoes and pancakes for breakfast do help, although of course it's the people around, and you yourself who have to do most of the heavy lifting. Hilderbrand deftly reminds us why we soldier on, even if the odds suck.

    In writing this review I realize I really have no idea why I got so immersed in this story. Perhaps, it was how much all the characters screwed up, but seem to still emerge in one piece, with the strength and wisdom to ignore the ignorant opinions of others. I've always loved listening to other's life tales, and these were exceptionally juicy and ingeniously worked out.

    Another reviewer had a hard time with Rachael Warren's narration. But I found her voice very appropriate for the often sharp tongues of the women in the novel and very easy on the ears.

    Barefoot is a light read, but a sweet one. I's always a pleasure when everything basically works out. Good grief, life is tough enough; this book provided a lovely reprieve.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah Ebensburg, PA, United States 06-04-14
    Leah Ebensburg, PA, United States 06-04-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exceeded my expectations!!"
    Would you listen to Barefoot again? Why?

    Yes, it was a true to life story with a beautiful location Nantucket. I think I could definitely live there. There were many plots to this story. How Josh a young boy who babysat Vickie's children and his interaction with the boys, the sisters and friend was excellent. Basically I would reread Elin's books because of the reality of real life in each of her books and the way her character's interact making it feel quite real. When I can climb into a story and be a part of each character definitely the author is top notch! I never read Elin Hilderbrand prior to audio and now have 7/8's of her books.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the way each person's problem was handled. It could be well used on the outside world.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Vicki at the end how she described herself and her illness. All the scenes with Josh added knowledge and emotion; again finding it difficult to choose one favorite.


    Who was the most memorable character of Barefoot and why?

    Josh and the way he interacted with everyone and how each situation made him grow from the death of his own Mother.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a well rounded storyline. I feel I repeat this with all of Elin's books but she accomplishes this well in her writing. It always feels real. The characters become part of me which gives an enjoyable read. Elin is definitely a superb author!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Waynesville, NC, United States 12-23-13
    Terry Waynesville, NC, United States 12-23-13 Member Since 2009

    TerryRose

    ratings
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    "What happened to Josh?"
    Any additional comments?

    I have enjoyed so many of Elin Hilderbrand's books and was looking forward to this one. It was initially easy to get wrapped up in the characters: Vicky and her cancer, Brenda and her legal troubles, Melanie and her husband's infidelity. But as the story went on, I got tired of Vicky's inability to connect with her husband, Melanie's use of Josh, and Brenda's gagging whining (albeit to herself) about the troubles that she had brought on herself. She was certainly my least favorite character. I really thought Walsh deserved better. But the thing that disturbed me the most was the ending. We are brought up to date about Vicky, Brenda, and Melanie, but what happened to Josh - the most important character in the book? That's what I really want to know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Te.Love Catonsville, MD 09-19-13
    Te.Love Catonsville, MD 09-19-13 Member Since 2013

    TEL

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really like this author!"

    The more books I listen to, the more I like this author...her books have a religious undertone and are comforting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-14-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reader makes it very hard to get I to the book"
    What disappointed you about Barefoot?

    Narrorator


    Has Barefoot turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No but I won't listen to another book by Narrorato


    Any additional comments?

    If it were a paperback I'd return it. So I'm just out a credit which pisses me off because the rise in book prices

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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