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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

One couple's secrets cast six friends adrift... With rumors of infidelity straining Greg and Tess MacAvoy's marriage, the couple head out on their sailboat one early-summer day to celebrate their wedding anniversay, hoping the roughest waters are behind them. But in an accident off Nantucket, they mysteriously drown, leaving behind two small children as well as the three couples who have long been their closest friends. Tragedy brings to the surface long-simmering conflicts and emotions, and the MacAvoys' six grieving friends find themselves unprepared for the revelation of secret upon secret as they struggle to answer the question: What happened to Greg and Tess? The Castaways probes the boundaries of friendship and forgiveness as it tells a page-turning story of passion, betrayal, and suspense, filled with the perfect details of summer island life that have made Elin Hilderbrand's novels beloved bestsellers.…

The Castaways: A Novel

by Elin Hilderbrand

Overall Book Review:

If you have yet to read a book by Elin Hilderbrand, I would recommend you start with this one. All of her books are heartfelt and touching, giving the reader a good storyline that often hits close to home in one way or another, but for some reason The Castaways struck me as having deeper meaning than some of her other works. Elin’s writing style is similar to Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah, so if you are familiar with those authors and are looking for something along the same lines, I would encourage you to give this book a try.

Though at times it felt like the characters in this book had almost too much drama going on to be believable, this certainly kept the chapters interesting. Perhaps this is what I like best about books like this–there is so much going on, and I feel like I get to live vicariously through the characters. Like several of her previous novels, this one is written with many of the main characters narrating in turns. Depending on the book, I find this to be a fun way to get all the sides of the story, although sometimes it can just make things confusing. For myself, I found the former to be true, and I think I may have started to play favorites and look forward to a particular characters chapter more than others. If you want a book that is just deep enough to draw you in, but not enough to bog you down, pick up The Castaways.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  5 religious exclamations; 8 mild obscenities; 3 derogatory names; 3 scatological words; 3 anatomical terms; 7 F-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  A character is mentioned to be shot, but not killed; two characters die at sea with some brief gore described; a character is mentioned to have been stabbed, but not killed; a character is injured by a gun-shot wound, no blood is described; a dead body is described briefly; a woman has a miscarriage and some blood and gore are mentioned; a teenage girl threatens to stab her mother.

Sex/Nudity:  Adults kiss several times; an affair is alluded to many times; prostitution is mentioned with no detail; adults are mentioned to make love several times; a minor is involved sexually and emotionally with an older man; one brief sexual scene between a minor and an older man; porn movies are mentioned briefly with no description; one brief, non-descriptive sex scene between two adults; sexual activity is implied several times; a group is referred to/named “the porn stars”.

Mature Subject Matter:

Partying, adultery.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink frequently; marijuana use mentioned; drug use mentioned; adults smoke; a woman is addicted to prescription drugs.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.