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Summer People

A Novel
Narrated by: Beth MacDonald
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4 out of 5 stars (469 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Every summer the Newton family retreats to their beloved home on Nantucket for three months of sunshine, cookouts, and bonfires on the beach. But this summer will not be like any other. When Arch Newton, a prominent New York attorney, dies in a plane crash on his way home from a business trip, his beautiful widow, Beth, can barely keep things together. Above all, though, she decides that she must continue the family tradition of going to Nantucket, and at the same time fulfill a promise that Arch made before he died.

Beth invites Marcus, the son of Arch’s final and most challenging client, to spend the summer with her and her teenage twins, Winnie and Garrett, who have mixed reactions to sharing their special summer place with this stranger. Always a place of peace before, Nantucket becomes the scene of roiling emotions and turbulent passions as Marcus, Winnie, and Garrett learn about loss, first love, and betrayal. And when they stumble upon a shocking secret from Beth’s past, they must keep it from destroying the family they’ve been trying so hard to heal.

©2003 Elin Hilderbrand (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JessR
  • Canadian in Chicago
  • 07-30-18

A good listen

I enjoyed this book and listened to it as often as I could over a few days. The only thing that bothered me was the narrator trying to do accents. It was weird and out of place when she did an odd accent for most of the male characters. Her regular voice was fine but the accents were annoying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent and relaxing read!

What did you love best about Summer People?

Real life situations in a beautiful scenery of Nantucket. Elin Hilderbrand gives a beautiful setting but with all the books I have read they are true to life situations. This one I thought each character played his/ her part with excellence. Always she grabs my attention from chapter 1!!

What other book might you compare Summer People to and why?

I can't compare it to any other book. Elin has a way of writing each of her books with a fresh storyline.

Which scene was your favorite?

It's difficult to choose one scene since I enjoyed the entire audio. I think Pipers explanation of babies compared to Beth's was surprising to me. Beth being a Mother I would have thought she would know the facts of real life growing inside of you but Piper was much more mature about this. That was impressive. The ending was excellent and complete not leaving me dangle to finish my own ending!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I think all and all it was a serious book not one with laughter. Bringing Beth's husband's ashes to Nantucket and getting through his death along with Marcus whose Mother was being defended in a murder trial by Archer; Beth's husband and the way the family did not blame Marcus's Mother for the death was a touching element of surprise.

Any additional comments?

I liked the way the relationships continued even after their leaving Nantucket at the end of the summer; it provided depth to the storyline.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Danielle
  • st paul, MN, United States
  • 02-15-13

Elin Hilderbrand is fantastic!

I usually prefer not to get books that are not "hot off the press" but this does not disappoint! It is lovely, sweet, painful, and touches the heart!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty interesting but a bit boring too...

Always a fan of Hildebrand and in this one she gets in the minds of coming of age teens, as well as adult reflections of first love; props on all that! Good plot setting of murder, loss and love, but execution was slow and I felt like the story was a bit isolated. For me at least- it had more potential than delivered. I want to see the first draft or the final written story, this was somewhere in between. It seems like the story cut character interaction until the end it finally got interesting and I actually wanted the story to keep going. Spurts of intense dramatic moments may have fallen flat where the narration was concerned. I wonder if I were reading it myself, that my mind would have made it more interesting for me.
and-Were all of them the antagonist until the end when (ending) and they all find an internal peace of purpose?
Maybe if I were on the beach somewhere instead of waiting for the summer to come I'd have enjoyed it more...

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

I have read/listened to eight books by Elin Hilderbrand and really enjoy her work. However, I found this book to fall short of what I expect. I found Beth annoying and the story lines to be cliched. This was written in 2003, perhaps Elin hadn't hit her groove yet.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen.

Very good listen as it keeps you interested through the entire story and I would recommend.

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    2 out of 5 stars

Summer People Review

The story was ok-ish but had a quite vague ending.
The narrator did not seem to have captured the emotions of the characters in an adequate manner, which made the whole listening experience quite monotonous and blend. Therefore, I’d only give it 1 star.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed except for the ending...

This book was over all good. Besides for the mother not actually being a mother. The ending was no ending at all.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty good book

For me, and I've liked several of Elin Hilderbrand books a lot, this was just ok.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dianne
  • Dallas, TX, United States
  • 07-31-18

Just ok

I didn’t care for the ending...the writing was good but if you don’t care for the ending it isn’t worth it. The narrator was just ok.