I like Elin Hildebrand because she writes stories set on Nantucket, and it makes me feel like I can hear the ocean and smell the salt and the flowers and feel the sand between my toes. I live in on the west coast of Florida, where the beach is 9,327 degrees and the sand gives you second degree burns on the bottom of your feet and it sometimes smells like red tide. Don’t get me wrong; I like the beach, but the Nantucket beach feels a bit more high end.
Anyway, this entry in to the world of Nantucket focuses on Claire, a glass blower who has given it up to raise her four young children. Her husband – a blue-collar guy – loves Claire, and Claire loves him, but he’s painted as a bit of a simple, meat and potatoes, beer and baseball after dinner kind of man, and it’s obvious that Claire wants more from her life. Enter Lock Dixon, a gazillionaire who has taken over as the head of a charity, and he wants Claire to co-chair the annual gala. Soon, Lock and Claire are spending lots of late nights together, and the sparks fly. Before long, they’ve given in to their desires and they engage in a full on affair.
There are lots of B stories here – some embezzelment happening at the charity, some nosy society ladies, a bit of a rift between Claire and her best friend, and bizarrely, the reappearance of Claire’s high school boyfriend, who has become the hottest rock star this side of the pond. But the crux of the story is Claire’s affair with Lock.
Infidelity isn’t something I want to read about in a romance novel, with the two people having the affair being shown through rose colored glasses.
There’s a story here – about unhappiness in your marriage, about how easily it is to drift away from your spouse during the middle years of your relationship, about how you can get lost in your own things and feelings and forget that you are part of a team, even about how your partner might have forgotten what’s important to you – but none of that was done. Instead, we got a story about two people who act incredibly selfishly, who confuse and hurt their partners and friends for months, and then… everything just goes back to normal.
This is not a romance. This is not a beach read. This is not “sexy and juicy and scandalous”. This is a story about two people who cheat on their spouses, lie to the people who trust them most in this world, and act like starry-eyed teenagers. I’m not interested in a star-crossed lovers story about two people who know better.