28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election. 

 There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other? 

 Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her Aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere — through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise — until Mallory learns she’s dying. 

 Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.  

I noticed this newly abandoned book on our library of abandoned books and immediately picked it up for I was excited to see the ‘new arrival.’

The story is about the one-weekend-per-year love affair of Mallory and Jake, who both loved each other but could not be officially together. Jake has a long-term girlfriend who later became his wife, but he still goes back to Mallory every year until finally, his wife, Ursula, who was running for Presidency, found out. 

Setting 

Mallory moved to Nantucket when her Aunt passed away and left her a beachfront house. I’ve never heard of Nantucket until I’ve read the book. It is a small island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Reading this made me dream of finding a beachfront house like Mallory and just finding a part-time job (a waitress like her or a cashier) or home-based work and living a dream of waking up to the sound of the waves, roaming around the island on a bike, kayaking, and sailing. What a life! A dream life.

Characters 

Hilderbrand was brilliant in creating unforgettable characters and chose suitable names for them that you can’t confuse one with another.   

Mallory is very marupok. She has a very pleasing personality, but I felt that that’s all there is to her. She loved Jake but didn’t fight for him and settled to be his one-week-per-year affair. In between, she gets involved with super random guys, like the one she met at the bar and the other guy walking around with his dog. 

Ursula is a very strong-willed woman, and as much as I hated her because obviously, I was rooting for Mallory and Jake, I also could not hate her, even though she has annoying traits.  

Towards the end, Ursula had to make a tough decision politically, and I thought that the addition of dirty politics made the book more interesting.  

Ursula’s character is more interesting than Mallory’s. 

Others 

I am not a big fan of romance novels, but I thought this was ok.

28 Summers is an easy read and entertaining. It has its playlist, and I think the theme song would be Hard Headed Woman by Cat Stevens, as it was mentioned countless times in the novel. I think this could be a good movie for Valentine’s. It is unforgettable because of its concept, “Same Time Last Year.” At some point, it gave me the same ‘feels’ as 50 First Dates. 

Because the story is about the 28 one-week-summer affairs, I wondered how Hilderbrand could take the story forward without it being boring and repetitive, and she did ok on that part. She added a little twist each time; bits of hurdles which of course will be solved as if the universe conspires for them to meet. But in the end, I just really waited on what will be the result when people find out about their affair.

If there’s something I didn’t like about this book, every character seemed to look pretty and handsome, and it’s like straight out of a movie. It reminds me of Isn’t It Romantic, when Rebel Wilson wakes up to a parallel romantic universe. They all have character flaws but not on the physical aspect. Also, I don’t particularly appreciate the cringy lines every now and then.

After reading this book, I did a little research about Hilderbrand. Elin Hilderbrand, dubbed as the Queen of Summer, writes two books per year, and most of her books are summer-themed. Though I was amazed at how she could write many books with a summer-y feeling, set in Nantucket, I wonder how she could take the stories further without making it sound repetitive or similar. I understand that she writes romance, but I noticed that most of her books revolve around affairs (just like this one), and I believe there’s more to romance than just affairs.

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.