A Summer Affair

A Summer Affair

by Elin Hilderbrand


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Sheila Crispin Cook, mother of four young children and nationally renowned glassblower, bites off more than she can chew when she agrees to co-chair the Nantucket's Children Summer Gala. Sheila is asked to chair the benefit, in part, because she is the former high school sweetheart of rock star Max West. Max agrees to play the gala and it looks like smooth sailing for Sheila-until she promises a "museum-quality" piece of glass for the auction, offers her best friend the catering job, goes nose-to-nose with her Manhattan socialite co-chair, and begins a "good-hearted" affair with the charity's Executive Director, Lockhart Dixon.
Hearts break and emotions are pushed to the limit in this riveting story of one woman's attempt to deal with loves past and present, family, business, and high-powered social pressures. Elin Hilderbrand's unique understanding of the joys and longings that animate women's lives will make this her newest summer bestseller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594223405
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publication date: 06/10/2009
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 13,414
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for hersix previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

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A Summer Affair 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 164 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book doesn't have the breeziness of the previous novels, and I found the main character, Claire, unlikeable. She has it all-lives in a beautiful place, has a husband, four small kids, even a live-in au pair, and is a respected glass artist. She has an affair with a billionaire, give me a break, while also serving as chairperson for a summer gala which takes up so much of her time that her husband resents it. I skipped a large part of the book because I wasn't interested in the progress of the affair, and found that I didn't miss anything. The ending was unsatisfying, and I think Hilderbrand is asking too much of the reader to pity Claire and admire her. This is a ponderous beach book that has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, and I was more interested in Siobhan, the less-fortunate sister-in-law, who had problems I could better relate to. I prefer it when Hilderbrand writes about realistic people who work to get what they want in life.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Take A Summer Affair to the beach and take it with a grain of salt. It's a tad difficult to believe how or why an intelligent, caring woman who has it all - good husband, four fine children, a career as an acclaimed artist - would risk throwing it all away for a summer spin in the sand? However, credulity can be easy to suspend when a narrative is filled with pretty people, dreamy scenes, and pulsing passion. So, forget the how's and why's if you've a mind to, and join the fray. Fray is precisely what it turns out to be when Claire Danner Crispin agrees to chair the Nantucket's Children summer Gala. Not only will she serve as chair but she'll also create an original art piece - a gorgeous glass chandelier. It's not that Claire doesn't already have her plate piled high with house, husband, and kids, as most everyone can see save for Claire. But we're told she suffers from an inability to say no or even not now. Billionaire Lockhart Dixon directs Nantucket's Children (why are these fellows always millionaires, billionaires or zillionaires?) Whatever the case he and Claire are soon having an affair. Lock's wife was involved in a tragic auto accident which left her mentally impaired. Problems? What else? Claire has husband problems, lover problems , best friend problems, and problems with her New York co-chair. How did a rational woman ever get herself into such a mess? One cannot help but wonder. The one thing this listener didn't wonder about is the reading by Tony Award nominee Isabel Keating. Her delightful performance makes a lighter than a cumulus cloud plot seem almost plausible. Once again star quality narration gives a boost to an unremarkable story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has marvelous descriptions of Nantucket, of glassblowing, of mothers and children. HOWEVER, it also has negativrs that make me want to slam the book out the nearest open window. Hey, I love a good soap opera, but these unhealthy storylines just make me shudder. Why did these people get married, and I'm not just talking about the 2 Crispin families and the Dixons, but most of the people that inhabit this story. Lies and secrets are not the way to populate a story. You just can't get your own way when you break your promises or your vows. The priest was fully right in his declaration that it must stop before he assigned penance. And Claire and Locke aren't the only affair. Both Crispin brothers are in unhealthy affairs with teleivison and gambling. Claire's secretive glassblowing, Edward and getting even, the children's charity's treasurer, Locke's co-dependant relationship with his wife.... and then Max and his addictions. Is this a true description of a wealthy community? Who knows. It's a bit reminiscent of the sixties. All I know is that if I ever am given another Hildebrand book, I'd think twice before reading it.
Meisha_27 More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Elin Hilderbrand's books that are available on the nook. This was my least favorite, really I didn't like it, but I hate to say that because I have enjoyed all of her other books and found them to be page turners. Some of those were books where I strongly wished I could've been a character in. Not this one. Boring characters, boring plot, bad ending.
tina1234 More than 1 year ago
I almost stopped reading after the first few chapters when I realized where the main character was headed. But by the 4th or 5th chapter I was sucked in like a high-powered vacuum and couldn't stop reading! More than anything, I enjoy Elin's writing style. She lead me through the ups and downs of the main character, even though I couldn't relate to her situation.
callmejacx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was going to be like many other books where I could tell what the ending would be. This book took me in all directions. It was a story of relationships and how they change over the years. Although, there was a "summer affair" I don't think that it should have been titled as such. The story was about so much more than this affair.It had a surprise ending that left me with a feeling of relief and closure. Well done.
kvanuska on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lately, I've had to squeeze my reading into snatches of time allowed between my kids' end-of-school events. This means that I kept finding myself in the car with a half hour to kill before the next graduation ceremony or all-school sing-a-long. Thank goodness I had A Summer Affair with me -- the perfect book for reading in snatches.Despite the cover and the title, this book is not just about summer. It covers a year in the life of Claire Danner Crispin, busy mother of four young children doing the soccer-football-ice skating runs in her Honda Pilot. Of course, being on the island of Nantucket gives her a better than average commute. Poor Claire with the big heart and too much time on her hands finds herself roped into being the co-chair of the Summer Gala that benefits local needy children. Ahh .. the joys and travails of fundraising, I know them well! Or I thought I did ... While I had my share of disagreeable co-chairs and, unfortunately, embezzlement woes, I never ended up in an affair with the director of the charity sponsoring the gala. Woohoo! Let the games begin! (Warning: there's lots of wine drinking in the book. For those so tempted, a nice sauvignon blanc might make the pages turn even faster.)
ImBookingIt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is another troublesome book to rate. For me, it was a clear 4 stars as a book club book, but much closer to 3 stars as a straight read.My big question for myself: If the main character's adultery hadn't made me so uncomfortable, how would I have rated the book? Other than this one decision (granted, the main subject of the book), I liked Claire, and was interested in the challenges in her life-- as a mother, as a wife, as an artist.Claire's best friend was probably my favorite character of the book. I didn't agree with all of her decisions, either, but I understood where they came from. I loved going through her conflicted feelings-- she wanted to know what was going on with her best friend's life. When her suspicions were confirmed, she realized she really didn't want to know, and had to figure out where to go next.I found Claire's husband and her lover to be almost non-entities to me. I couldn't bring myself to care at all about either of them. I think this might be because the book (even the affair) was never about either of them. It was about Claire and her need to break out of her roles.In the end, if I treat the adultery as a metaphor for recasting the rules for her life, I'd say overall, I liked the book.
schmadeke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Claire is the shining star of this book. Hilderbrand has done a stellar job of presenting and developing her main character. Claire is complex, paradoxical and completely lovable - even when she is being maddeningly frustrating. She lives on Nantucket in a gorgeous house with her handsome, hard-bodied husband and their four young children, has a live-in au pair, yet schleps around town in stretched out yoga clothes with no make up and her hair pulled back in a careless bun. In short, Claire is the kind of girl you'd want to be friends with.Against the backdrop of Nantucket and an upcoming fundraiser gala that Claire has volunteered to co-chair, she commences an affair with local millionaire Lock Dixon. Hilderbrand's portrayal of the affair takes this story to the next level. She eschews stereotypical treatment of the extramarital affair, refusing to make light of it or let it become a mere frivolous subplot. Masterfully, Hilderbrand conveys the depth of feelings - both good and bad - that stem from Claire and Lock's relationship.Indeed, what I loved most about this novel was how real Claire's feelings seem. The passion and yearning associated with the affair, the overwhelming frustration of wanting something so badly, yet knowing that you aren't willing to do what it takes - or give up what is required - to have it. The guilt. The way it inevitably bleeds into every other aspect of your life.Not until part two, 125 pages into the story, does Hilderbrand introduce other narrative voices. Siobhan is Claire's Irish sister-in-law and best friend, outspoken, sarcastic, pretty much the opposite of Claire but likable all the same. We also hear from Lock, who turns out to be a good guy despite his marital transgression.It is interesting to see Nantucket from the perspective of year-round residents. Hilderbrand herself resides on Nantucket, enabling her to describe life on the island beyond the summer scene with authenticity. Siobhan owns a catering business and the descriptions of food throughout the book are mouthwatering - enough so to make one suspect that Hilderbrand just might be a bit of an epicure herself.It takes a talented writer to present a story like this in a way that makes the reader feel sympathy even when the main character is by all accounts behaving badly. Hilderbrand's richly textured rendering of Claire and her life choices make this a book that will completely absorb you and leave you longing to read more of her work.
coolpinkone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My Review:I liked this book a lot. It was better than I expected and I say this because I don't believe the summary of the book does the story justice. The front of my book says, "she was the perfect wife and mother - and he was the perfect temptation." After reading the book I would say that line has no business on the front of the book. I think it cheapens the story.I enjoyed the Nantucket setting, the characters and the main theme. I thought that Claire was like any normal mother of four. I don't think she was the perfect mother, she was just struggling like the rest of us. And she was afflicted with that " mother guilt" about just about everything. I think many modern day mom's can relate to that. I sure can. "Things" happen. Affairs that should never happen, DO happen. I thought the story was very relevant and gave insight to how something like this can happen. I liked how the story takes us through the affair and to the to the other side of the affair.There was a best friend element in the story, as well. I liked the element of Claire and Siobhan's friendship. I liked how Elin Hilderbrand wove the elements of a major social event, motherhood, marriage and friendship into a very interesting story.It was more than just a summery romance book. I don't think everything I read has to be loaded with prose and lyrical writing. I liked this book a lot. I will be looking for more Elin Hilderbrand in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read first few chapters were slow but keep reading. I'm glad it ended the way it did. Good summer read. .noones perfect :)
JCgirl More than 1 year ago
The story of a summer affair on Nantucket, but it is also about the most strange women on the island. The story centers around the Nantucket social event of the season. The conflicts of the year-rounders and the summer people. All the problems of a summer romance and everyday family life. I loved Elin Hilderbrand's novel because she put the setting of the story on Nantucket.
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
A SUMMER AFFAIR was an entertaining read Good characters, but an abrupt ending. There were too many unanswered questions; too many of the characters left just dangling there, without any resolution to their situations. I would have preferred a further wrap-up of their lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Elin Hilderbrand books... as a woman in my mid-40s I for some reason found it very relatable, even though my life is nothing like anyone's in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never felt compelled to write a few midway into a book but this book is one of the best I've read in along time. The plot and all the drama really motivate you to keep on reading to see what happens next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After not being able to put the book down, I was extremely disappointed of how the book ended! It was a very bad ending. I wanted to read on what happened to characters. What happened to Siobhans husband? Did Jason ever find out? Lock, Daphne, Galvin, Isabella, etc. I hate when the book is good but the ending is quick.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed it, the Island is still my favorite!
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