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