The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand is a great summer read brimming with drama! It’s an emotional novel about what happens when good friends are lost and secrets and betrayals are lurking in the background. My, my, what it can do to a group of friends is tear them up inside and leave them questioning their every move and wondering how to move on from the devastation.
The Castaways is about a group of eight individuals, four couples. There is Ed and Andrea, Jeffrey and Delilah, Addison and Phoebe and Greg and Tess. Theirs are all complicated relationships in many ways. Some have dated before, some are having affairs and some are contemplating them. There is definitely a lot of drama within this close knit group of friends who have dubbed themselves the Castaways.
The trouble starts when Greg and Tess who have had more than their fair share of marital problems due to some carousing on Greg’s part decide to go out sailing for their anniversary. Mysteriously their boat capsizes and they both drown leaving two small children and a group of friends who are emotionally devastated and at a loss as to how to deal with the aftermath of what has happened. These four couples lived and breathed each other in a sense. They went on vacations together, spent holidays together and just spent day to day life with each other in their lives all the time. Now a huge piece is missing.
Andrea, being Tess’ cousin feels she is the most bereft. She has been taking care of Tess their whole lives. She and her husband Ed take the young children but truthfully Andrea is such a mess that she can’t possibly care for kids. Phoebe, since her brother died in The World Trade Centre, has been a mess. She’s on some serious meds and most of the time hasn’t got a clue. Delilah is different from the rest. I think she is so conflicted with who she is and what she wants. She’s married with children yet still wants to stay out and party every night after work. Yet at the same time she’s kind of the life of the group, she keeps them together in a sense with her home parties where she makes fantastic food and drink.
Ed, Andrea’s hubby is the town Sherrif and seems a pretty serious and upstanding guy who would pretty much do anything for his friends. Jeffrey, ironically, used to date and live with Andrea. He was so busy making sure his farm thrived that he began to lose sight of his relationship and Andrea found Ed instead. Addison is the rich boy of the group. He is quite the talker. On the whole it seems that these people may not have a lot in common yet they have formed an incredibly strong bond with each other.
After the accident everyone falls apart. Secrets being carried by some are eating away at them and many feel to blame for what has happened to Greg and Tess for various reasons. Eventually they all need to come together and discuss what has happened in order to heal and move on. This novel is a passionate story of friendship and forgiveness. Can the bonds of friendship and marriage be strong enough to withstand the secrets and betrayals that have happened? Can people learn to forgive and move on to build even stronger friendships and marriages? Ultimately though, they can never forget the love for the couple lost but they can do their best by the children left.
The Castaways is more than your average beach read or chick-lit. There is a strong story within the pages and taking place on the island of Nantucket adds such a wonderful element. As a note there is some bad language and hanky panky but nothing overwhelming at all. For me, it was a really good read and I enjoyed it. I read The Castaways for the July Blog Tour with Miriam from Hachette and I think it was a wonderful pick for the month! Check out other tour stops here and make sure and check out Elin Hilderbrand’s wonderful website here. Castaways releases July 7, 2009 and you buy it here in the US and here in Canada.