Cover Image: 28 Summers

28 Summers

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Member Reviews

This is my introduction to Elin Hilderbrand, an author that I am aware is loved by many and after reading this, an epic love story set mainly in Nantucket that just tugs on your heartstrings, I can understand why. It begins with Mallory Blessing, on her deathbed, asking her precious 19 year old son, Link, to call a phone number on a piece of paper she has kept in her desk drawer. Link has no idea who he is calling, but is so shocked when it is answered by Jake McCloud, the husband of the American presidential candidate, Ursula DeGournsey, that he ends the call. How could his mother possibly know Jake? Jake calls back and, on hearing the news that Mallory is dying, says he is coming.

Mallory and Jake have been seeing each other for 28 summers, meeting but once a year, over Labor weekend, replicating aspects of their first summer meeting in Nantucket in 1993 that become traditional, when Jake accompanied his best friend, Cooper, Mallory's brother, with friend Fray, coming to visit Mallory, at the beach cottage she had inherited from her Aunt Greta. They come to emulate the well known film, Same Time, Next Year, having separate lives, never contacting each other but for that once yearly meeting. The two of them know what they have is important, life changing and worth fighting for, as they commit to see each other once a year without fail, no matter what, throughout their lives, and indeed, despite the apparently insurmountable issues that conspire at times to ruin their plans, they manage to religiously keep their appointment. Starting in 1993, the narrative enacts their summers as the years go by, as they grow older, get married, have children, a love that costs Jake his best friend, and costs Mallory her longest friend from childhood, the more selfish and ambitious Leland Gladstone.

This is story of an epic emotive love, perhaps one that never loses its sheen and lustre through the humdrum and fractious every day lives of many marriages and relationships through time. Mallory and Jake know they love each other, even if it is a secret love, there is nothing that will stop them meeting, and, given the beginning of the novel, we know that we are in for a heartbreaking and tearful ending. Hilderbrand creates characters we come to care about, a love we believe in, the world shifts and changes, but their love remains, strong, trusted, never once in question, all playing out amidst the background of the most wonderful of locations, Nantucket, a perfect slice of paradise. Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC.
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If you are looking for a good Summer Holiday read and you like romance, look no more!  Now romantic fiction is not my bag but I knew what to expect when I came across this title.  I wasn’t disappointed – far from it.

As the title suggests the action spans 28 summers.  We meet Mallory and Jake on Labour Day weekend in Nantucket, and so begins their tradition of spending every Labour Day weekend together in Mallory’s home in Nantucket.  Despite the fact that they are very much in love they do not contact each other at any other time; no texts, no phone calls, no letters, no meetings.  Imagine the discipline that would take.  Jake gets married and they have a child.  Mallory takes lovers but nobody becomes permanent.  Each time Jake considers leaving his wife something happens and he remains with her.

Each chapter is presented with a  precis of ‘what is happening in …..each particular year.  I loved this preface as it was the perfect vehicle to launch me back into my memories of that year and recognising events, people or music associated with it.  Many references went unidentified as they related to some specific fact which I presume was particularly relevant to Americans.  

All in all, I enjoyed this book very much.  I thought the characters were well constructed, with strong personalities.  I can’t say I loved them, because, true to life, they had flaws.  I was somewhat irritated by Mallory and to a lesser degree Jake, probably because it just didn’t seem possible to live and love in that manner without much jealousy or insecurity.  The fact that it was based in Nantucket also irked me.  I felt that they were too privileged, too elitist, untouched by the realities of life – at least that was my irrational presumption.

The last chapter had me in floods of tears – very moving.  So, easy to say – I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a great summer read.  Resting by the pool, cool breeze, cold drink and a bunch of tissues when you get near the end – ahhh!

Thank you to the author, publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed am ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 
Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this book. 
This book is very easy to read. The story is fast paced, the plot is bigger than expected, the language is witty, and the characters are engaging. The main couple, Jake and Mallory, are perfectly matched and yet somehow only get together once every year. In the beginning, I found myself being like the couple. I had no issues with it (despite not loving the idea of cheating) as I could see their reasons for keeping the arrangement. As the years went by, I felt sorry for the both of them, only allowing themselves blissful happiness once a year. It just felt sad towards the end.  
3.5 stars
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28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand is, in my opinion, the author's most ambitious and accomplished novel to date.  An epic love story that spans nearly three decades, this one will carry you away, and have you longing for your own chance at experiencing a Nantucket summer.  Ms Hilderbrand has an enviable knack for evoking an island that so clearly holds a piece of her heart, and her idyll very quickly becomes ours.  I have loved each and every one of my virtual summer escapes to Nantucket, and this one has proven to be no exception.

Mallory first meets Jake one Labour Day weekend shortly after she has inherited an idyllic beachside cottage from her aunt.  Jake McCloud is a friend of her brother's, and when the two arrive on the island for a visit, the spark between Mallory and Jake is instant.  But, as is often the case, life gets in the way, and personal entanglements prevent them from pursuing the relationship further, until an idea begins to form.  What if, in the style of the film Same Time, Next Year, the two meet to recreate the perfect weekend every Labour Day, without contact at any other time?  Could such an arrangement be sustainable as life unfolds for both Mal and Jake, for better or worse?  

This is a wonderful story, brimming with all of the charm, heart, and decadent atmospheric detail that we have come to expect from Ms Hilderbrand, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for this ARC.
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So, what are we talking about in 2020? Covid 19, Face masks, loo roll, Meghan and Harry, Epstein, BLM, Protests, statues, Australian Fires LFC, Furlough, Social distancing, lockdown, Zoom, home schooling, Philip Schofield...escaping into a good book!

I have read a lot of psychological thrillers recently and I was on the look out for an epic romance, I got more than I bargained for...

Where do I start with this book? 1993 and a long weekend in Nantucket for Mallory and Jake sets the precedent for future Labor Day weekends.

We are taken on a journey through the next 28 summers of Mal and Jake's 'Same time next year' relationship, putting aside their normal life for just a moment in time. 

The author begins each change of year with the things making the headlines or trends - I loved this it was a great way to show the passage of time (especially as I read  it in 24 hours, staying up till 2am) and also to take the reader along on the journey as it reminds us of the things we were doing in those years so I felt more connected to the story.

Straight from the start we know that Mallory is ill, and I wished we didn't know that from the off as I thought the end wouldn't have such a big impact, but I still bawled my eyes out. 

SPOILER ALERT: I also wanted Mal to marry Scott,  he seemed a good guy and I'm sure she could've sent him off on golf trips once a year, but then that meant I found myself condoning the affair, but it wasn't really an affair to begin with, they were both single, life just got in the way of their relationship and maybe the magic of it was that it was a brief encounter once a year.

In my head Bess and Link live happily ever after.
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Follow Mallory through teenage to middle age and her relationship with Jake over 28 summers.  They meet up just once a year and re-kindle their affair, of which their family and friends know nothing.  A story full of hope and  longing as well as secrets and betrayal.  Each chapter focuses on a different year and is precluded with a short synopsis of the happenings in the world at that time, a really nice touch that draws you in to the story as you remember some pretty poignant times.
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A really good holiday recommendation.

It's a tale of love, loss and friendship and Mallory is the central character who falls in love with her brother's friend, Jake. However, for various reasons their relationship is maintained over 28 summers. It's beautifully written and I especially loved the various references that begin each 'year' chapter.

The strength for me was the writing style, character development and a heart wrenching tale. The downsides were the weak premise of the '28 summers' - why couldn't they be together permanently? It's also a predictable read and the political element seemed staged / forced.

However, I found it to be an easy enjoyable 3* Good read.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers Hodder and Stoughton for the opportunity to preview.
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For the last twenty-eight summers, Mallory and Jake have met to rekindle the passionate love affair they began all those years ago. Both of them in spite of their busy lives and families have managed to keep their secret, and to keep their love alive. 

But this could be the summer that changes everything.... Mallory learns she's dying and Jake's wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election. Could their twenty-eighth summer together also be their last?

This is my first book by this author and I loved her writing. Just by looking at the cover and reading the premise I knew I would like this book and I wasn't disappointed.

What I loved the most about this book was that each chapter starts with various references of events that occurred in that particular year. It brought back so many memories, some of which I had even forgotten about.

I loved Mallory, even though I wanted to hate Jake, I couldn't for Mallory's sake. Jake had the power in his hands to change the situation. Till the end I couldn't understand why did he marry Ursula DeGournsey? He didn't respect his marriage to Ursula since he kept cheating on her and couldn't tell her the truth. Nor could he respect his love towards Mallory, since he always kept her a secret.

Regardless of how frustrated I am, this was a good book. The ending was good and made me sad, even though I knew what the ending was going be at the start of the book.

Even though it is a perfect summer read, I believe that, this is a book that can be read anytime and still enjoy it.

Thank You to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for this ARC!!
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This is an OK-ish book at best so far, but the first 3 sections have jumped through so many years in random order that I'm already confused.  I'm about to start reading about Summer number 1 which is 1993 apparently... I seriously hope it'll all be in year order from now on or I'll be knocking off the first star.

Thankfully the second chapter is in date order, but sooo boring that I skipped through most of it.  There is such a tiny amount of speech and lots of dull descriptions.  If Summer number 3 is no better then I'll be knocking off a start and flicking through that chapter too... waaaay too dull.

Oh dear, I'm knocking off a star and skipping to Summer 4... I am hugely disappointed by this book and I can't wait for it to end for all the wrong reasons.

I've skipped even further ahead to Summer number 8 and it's no better so I'm giving up on it now.  It's getting a single star review 'cos I can't leave a review without any stars.  A huuuuuge disappointment and waste of my time today.
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Absolutely fantastic read,I have found this one completely gripping and a perfect escape which has been needed. 
This is my first read by this author but I absolutely cannot wait to read more. 
I am definitely converted as a fan of this author after this book.
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I always knew this was going to be good, but didn't dare to hope it would turn out to be a five star read for me.

28 Summers is a story of unfulfilled love between Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud who meet one summer in the Nantucket island and fall in love. Their romance doesn't last long as Jake has to return to his life in Washington while Mallory stays on the island where she now lives after inheriting a cottage from her aunt. Before they say goodbye, Mallory and Jake promise to each other to meet in Nantucket at the same time each year, no matter what. And that's how they secret love story starts...  

I have to say I haven't read many EH's books but the few I've read I loved. So what is it about Elin Hilderbrand's novels that totally sucks me in? The premise of 28 Summers is interesting but not ground breaking. So why couldn't I put the book down? It's the characters. The characters get me every time and this wasn't an exception. I fell in love with all of them, even the less likeable ones and I wanted to be there at every step of their lives, eager to know what happens next.

Easy to read, captivating and as the title suggests - the perfect summer book for this season. I'd say go and get yourself a copy now!

Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for my review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Elin Hilderbrand is an author whose novels I see so much written about as the perfect summer read - whilst a relatively recent discovery for me, I have read a few and was very much looking forward to reading this one whilst sat in the sunshine.  And I certainly wasn't disappointed - this had me glued to my seat, transported to Nantucket and emotionally invested from beginning to end.

Based on the film "Same Time Next Year" apparently (I must confess I had never heard of it but have subsequently looked it up and frustratingly can't find a streamed version here in the UK), it tells the story of Mallory and Jake, who get together one Labour Day weekend.  At the end of the weekend, they agree that their relationship should remain a casual one, and they will get together on the same weekend each year, an arrangement that lasts for 28 years.  Each chapter covers a new year as we learn more about their individual lives, as well as how their relationship evolves.

The subject matter means it may not be the book for everyone but what Hilderbrand does very well is not make you feel that she is glamorising infidelity.  For most of us there is I am sure a moral dilemma, and it made for uncomfortable reading for me at times, but Hilderbrand cleverly leaves it to the reader to make their own judgements and it certainly made me stop and think.  But the book's strength lies in the fact that the characters are all so well drawn, multi-layered and full of human flaws - I loved Mallory, and it is hard to hate Jake, even if at times you feel you should.  Perfect escapism, the book takes you through all the ups and downs of the pair, and their families, until it reaches the inevitable, if heartbreaking, conclusion.  I didn't want it to end.

The fun aspect of the book was the way it is structured - each chapter starts with various references from that year (news, events, tv shows, songs, films)  and I loved the trip down memory lane, as it prompted so many thoughts as I stopped to reflect on my own memories of each of the years. 

The perfect summer read and proves why Hilderbrand's success is so enduring - I have already added several of her older books to my stay at home summer reading pile!

Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Another great brain candy book from Elon Hilderbrand. Their books always make me want to live in Nantucket and this book is no exception.
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After reading this lovely book I’m now bitterly regretting not visiting Nantucket when I was in Cape Cod on holiday! I might relocate! Mallory Blessing is lucky enough to inherit a beachside cottage from her beloved Aunt Greta. Dissatisfied with life in New York City and finding her roommate Leland a trial she relocates in 1993. Her brother Cooper visits one Labour Day weekend and she meets Jake McCloud and it’s love for life. Unfortunately, Jake can’t relocate, he’s been in an on off relationship with ambitious Ursula de Goursey who he later marries but his heart belongs to Mallory. However, the Labour Day weekend becomes their precious time in Nantucket and it settles in to a ‘same time next year’ relationship. The story is told over 28 summers from several perspectives. 

I love that each year starts with a what are we talking about in ..... that particular year as it takes us through some momentous events, those who caught the headlines that year, music and films and so on. Doesn't take a genius to figure what the main topic of conversation for 2020 will be. The characters of Jake and Mallory are so likeable and it’s so frustrating that they have real love that is secret and hidden and you just want them to be together! Some of the characters are selfish,  self centred and career driven such as Leland and Ursula but they make a great contrast to Jake and Mallory. The story is very well written with personal touches that makes you feel as if the author is talking to you or reading the words aloud just for you which makes you even feel more invested in the storytelling. The dialogue is smart, sometimes funny, at times it’s sad, there’s tragedy too so there’s the whole range of aspects of real life. 

Overall, I loved it! Although the love between Jake and Mallory is a secret, it’s the real deal and so they do ‘fill their cups’ . The setting is wonderful and gives a fairy tale feel to the storytelling and like a lot of fairy tales there isn’t always a happy ending. 

With thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the ARC.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

Elin Hilderbrand takes me to Nantucket and leaves me in a worse state than when I started this book. 

Mallory and Jake meet on one Labor Day weekend in Nantucket, the chemistry between them is instantaneous but they recognise that they are both at different  places in their lives. 

They agree that each year they will meet up in that last week of August. Each year goes by and, their love survives amidst everything that life throws in their way. 

This book, I didn’t think I’d need tissues, but I did(so have some handy). The story pulls you into the lives of  Mallory and Jake's. 

It’s unputdownable. 

Recommend it.
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When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation,  superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books??  BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for.

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Their secret love affair has lasted for decades - but will it last one more summer?

For the last twenty-eight summers, Alice and Tom have met to rekindle the passionate love affair they began all those years ago. Each married to someone else, with busy lives and happy families, they've managed to keep their secret and to keep their love alive.

But nothing is forever. Tom's wife is in the national spotlight for her controversial and increasingly popular campaign for political office, and Alice has received a diagnosis that puts her future in doubt. Could their twenty-eighth summer together also be their last?

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?

Flashback 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.


Hello, Netgalley --- I read this book when it first came out in North America so am happy to review it here as well. I love Elin's book - a trip to Nantucket every summer with her is a highlight of those hot, humid days. And I so wish that Ursula was around in real life ... I will leave my political rantings out, but wow I want her in office as the 46th POTUS instead of 4 more horrible years of DJT45.

The story is lovingly crafted and the characters well fleshed out - I inhaled this book when it came out (in NA) and absolutely loved every word of it.  It is a perfect summer read ---- I would normally say take this book to the beach with a tonne of SPF1000 sunscreen as you will lose track of time and end up fried to a crisp as a result. BUT, since we are supposed to be in self-isolation, read it on the porch, balcony, backyard, or even your bedroom. And take some vitamin D to make up for the lack of sunlight!)!)

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube  Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it🏖️ 🏖️ 🏖️ 🏖️ 🏖️
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