Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Beautiful Day," by Elin Hilderbrand

A novel about a wedding on Nantucket (regular readers know I love Nantucket novels), with lots of family and romantic complications and crises that all get resolved by the last page…what’s not to like? I don’t remember which review or friend steered me toward Elin Hilderbrand’s “Beautiful Day” (Little, Brown, 2013) but I know my current interest in weddings (because, as I wrote on 8/29/13, my daughter is engaged and we are planning the wedding) was partly responsible for my putting this title on my library request list, and reading it. The novel describes a wedding weekend on Nantucket, where the bride’s family has long owned a second home, and where there is much family history. The plot hook is that the mother of the bride died several years before of cancer, and during her last few months, wrote down in “The Notebook” all her advice for her youngest daughter’s future wedding – everything from location to food to invitations to d├ęcor to…well, you get the idea. She did so not to be controlling, but so her daughter would feel she had her mother’s loving guidance. There are of course many sidetrips into the past, and we learn about several of the main characters’ romances, marriages, divorces, affairs, and other personal matters. Although only competently written, the novel offers plenty of reading pleasure. Does the dreaded term “chick lit” apply? Probably. And once in a while, that is just fine with me.

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