Book Review: The Identicals

I just discovered Elin Hilderbrand this year, and have fallen in love! I haven’t read The Identicals yet, but I want to do it soon. I’ve also never been to Nantucket, but now I’m dying to visit.

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Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Pages: 414

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 8.7/10

About the author:

Let me start by saying I am obsessed with Elin Hilderbrand’s novels. Everyone has a go-to author for summer reads and for me it’s her. The setting is always Nantucket, MA, though her novel, The Island, takes place on Tuckernut Island, a small island off the coast. She writes about summertime on the beautiful, historic island (and recently published a winter series, which I also adore).

Her writing style is unique because, instead of using riveting plots, she creates depth in her characters. There’s always drama: affairs, pregnancies, death, bankruptcy, drugs, sex, divorce, etc. However, the her books are page-turners because, as a reader, you fall in love with the characters, you become emotionally invested in their lives. Furthermore, she entwines past characters into her new novels.

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Books Whose Settings Will Take You Away

Lately, I’ve been reading books that are set in exotic locales.  Well, at least to me they’re exotic.  I admire authors who paint pictures with words that make me, the reader, feel as if I’m right there in the middle of things.  Here are a few of my favorites.

27161845Elin Hilderbrand sets her novels on Nantucket Island.  I recently read Here’s to Us, and now I’m desperate to get on a ferry and visit.  She makes Nantucket sound like a summer paradise.  Also, I probably gained twenty pounds just reading her book!  She’s one of those authors who makes her readers’ mouths water when she describes food.

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My next favorite is Cormac McCarthy.  All the Pretty Horses didn’t exactly make me want to ride off into the Texas sunset, but I did feel like I was right there alongside John Grady Cole as he traveled from TeThunder Storm Receedingxas and into Mexico.469571

Finally, I’m heading to Alaska for The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.  This one is amazing because it not only draws you into the Alaskan wilderness, it also brings you back to the year 1920.  Imagine living in such extreme conditions without benefit of cellphone, electricity, or indoor plumbing!  In winter and summer, Alaska is fascinating.  I highly recommend this addicting fantasy novel.

11250053Winter ski cabins in snow with Chugach Mountains

The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner

29562590Set on a lonely island in the Pacific northwest, The Twilight Wife is a thrilling mystery that will leave readers turning pages.

Kyra Winthrop’s diving accident turns her world upside down. Despite the fact that her loving husband, Jacob, patiently helps her heal, she can’t stop questioning the events of the tragedy. As memories unfold, Kyra grows more and more unsure until everything she thought she knew about her life is called into question.

I won’t lie. The mystery is inventive and leaves you guessing; however, my favorite part of the book is the setting. Banner does an outstanding job of describing the lonely island and its quirky inhabitants. Had this been a travel book, I would have packed my bags and headed straight for Kyra’s cottage.

But I digress. Kyra was a good protagonist – likeable and smart. Although she was, at times, a little too trusting, it was easy to understand why she would be this way given her circumstances. I was meh on her husband, however. I wanted him to have more personality, especially at the beginning of the book.

My only other complaint was that I guessed at what had happened before Kyra did (although, not by much). I would have liked a little more surprise.

All in all, however, this was a very enjoyable read. I like how the author was able to put me directly in the middle of the story. I really felt that I was there. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Thanks to Netgalley and Touchstone Publishing for the review copy.

A Visit to the Catfe

Today, my daughters and I went to a special kind of internet cafe. The Catfe is an extension of the local pet shelter where cats and kittens visit with the public. For a small donation, you can play with the kittens, drink some coffee, and surf the web (all under the watchful eye of several volunteers.)

I had a gray tabby kitten sleeping in my lap for nearly twenty minutes.  It was hard to leave her behind!  Since I already have a cat and a dog, I’m reluctant to bring another pet into my house, but it was so much fun getting to know the kittens at the Catfe.IMG_1705