About the Book
A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. But what begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver of the car, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny’s boyfriend Jake and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt – but the emotional damage is overwhelming, and questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel.
As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors and their parents – secrets kept, promises broken, hearts betrayed. Elin Hilderbrand explores the power of community, family, and honesty, and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow, new love can still take flight.
I have a niece and nephew who just graduated from high school, and while reading this story I couldn’t help but think of them. It truly tugged at my heart and I could totally relate to the story on many levels (I lost a friend to a car accident as a senior in high school and still think about her all the time).
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I went into it expecting it to be a typical beach read. What I left with was an aching heart as this book is filled with so much sadness, and reflects on the lives of 3 families that are most effected by an accident that takes the life of one teen, leaves another in coma, and two others trying to get through the tragedy they were involved in.
What I loved most about the authors writing style is that each character had a voice – she told different parts of the story from the point of view of each of them, and you got to see how the puzzle started to fit together. But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t items that are left to the imagination. Why did Penny do it when her future looked so bright? This is the one that I longed to know the answer too – sadly, you never know for sure. You just see how the tragedy pulls out the hidden feelings throughout the characters to weave a magical story about how tragedy influences those involved.
I would highly recommend this book and glad that I was pleasantly surprised.