Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Nantucket writer Madeline King couldn't have picked a worse time to have writer's block. Her deadline is looming, her bills are piling up, and inspiration is in short supply. Madeline's best friend Grace, is hard at work transforming her garden into the envy of the island with the help of a ruggedly handsome landscape architect. Before she realizes it, Grace is on the verge of a decision that will irrevocably change her life. Could Grace's crisis be Madeline's salvation? As the gossip escalates, and the summer's explosive events come to a head, Grace and Madeline try desperately to set the record straight--but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it. -- Hachette Audio
Summer wouldn't be summer with a novel by Elin Hildebrand -- although I suspect I might be saying the same thing about the holiday season if she continues to write Christmas books. I was a little late to the Hildebrand party this summer because I only had an audio version of her latest novel THE RUMOR. I just can't read audiobooks at the same pace as print ones. So it's now fall and pumpkin spice season and I'm just getting around to reviewing THE RUMOR.
THE RUMOR takes place in Nantucket (no surprise there!) and shows the impact that rumors can have on a small town. Madeline is writer who once had success but is now experience writer's block. She's under a strict deadline from her publisher and has her fair share of bills that need to be paid. Meanwhile her best friend Grace is working a little too closely with her handsome landscape architect whose bill is being footed by none other than her husband.
Grace is confiding in her best friend Madeline about her affair, and when Madeline can find absolutely nothing to write about, she turns to her best friend's story. When the manuscript gets into the wrong hands, rumors start flying about Grace. However, Madeline also finds that her actions result in some rumors being spread across the island. As the gossip escalates about these women and their families, Grace and Madeline try to do damage control but ultimately find that the truth just might even worse than the rumors.
THE RUMOR is an entertaining story that fans of Ms. Hildebrand will enjoy. It has the gorgeous setting of Nantucket which Ms. Hildebrand brings vividly to life... as she always does. And once again, her characters and their lives are complex. I found the way she wrote this book to be very clever, and I especially appreciated how the tension between the characters escalated throughout the story.
THE RUMOR is a fun story with some memorable characters. I found it interesting that I didn't actually love any of the characters. Of course, some are more likable than others, but for the most part, Grace and her husband Eddie (and even Madeline at times) weren't characters that resonated with me. That's not to say that I didn't find them interesting. Grace was having an affair and was pretty much obsessed with her gardener -- so much so that she was willing to give up her family for him, while her husband Eddie was having major financial problems that "forced" him to start a small prostitution ring. I really didn't "like" either one of them, but what was interesting is that I cared very much about their stories. By the end of the novel, I almost felt bad for Eddie and Grace despite some of their actions.
Even though I only mentioned Grace, Madeline, and Eddie's actions that caused rumors, there were also side stories about their teen-age children. Grace and Eddie were the parents of twins girls while Madeline and her husband had a teenage son who just happened to be dating one of Grace and Eddie's girls. There was lots of teenage drama in the story with a good twin/bad twin storyline, and as a mother to a daughter close to their ages, I found it interesting albeit a little scary!
One thing's for sure in THE RUMOR -- the main characters all learned valuable lessons. I actually thing that's one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much. There were plenty of secrets and lots of gossip, but those involved in these actions paid a price. The toll on the relationships was pretty severe but eventually the characters' love for each other persevered. It was a satisfying ending, and in many ways, justice was served -- both good and bad.
As I mentioned earlier, I listened to the audiobook version of THE RUMOR. It was read by Kathleen McInerney, Erin Bennett, and Rick Zieff. I enjoyed having the variety of narrators for the different characters, and I thought they all did a great job. I've listed to quite a few books read by Kathleen McInerney and she's always a treat!
As a big fan of Elin Hildebrand, I really enjoyed THE RUMOR. Definitely recommended to fans of women's fiction and fans of Hildebrand's other novels.
Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this audiobook.