28 Summer; Elin Hilderbrand
Hachette Audio & Little Brown - 2020
(combo read - print/audio)
Loosely based on the movie "Same Time Next Year", 28 Summers begins when Mallory Blessing is dying. Mallory asks her son to call a number on a piece of paper in her desk, the number belongs to Jake McCloud whose wife is running for President. What's the connection?
Flash back to early 1990s, Mallory's brother Cooper was best friends and fraternity brothers with Jake McCloud. Mallory has just inherited a Nantucket cottage from her late aunt and, after one passionate weekend interlude with Jake while visiting for Cooper's bachelor party, Mallory and Jake feel that once in a lifetime connection. The two agree to meet the following Labor Day weekend, a connection which lasts for nearly three decades. Of course, making that meeting happen becomes more and more complicated as the years pass especially, when the individuals lead separate lives the rest of the year.
I really loved this story. All of the characters are flawed and love triangles are always complicated. For some readers, the entire plot line, much of which is built on lies and deceit might be a turnoff but, for me the story worked. I kept wondering how much longer can this intense affair continue without their secret being uncovered.
Each chapter is devoted to a particular year where the intro offers a bit of nostalgia about pop culture and what was happening in that particular year; I loved that. I also loved how Jake and Mallory exchanged books they had read over the year with special notes and highlights for the other to enjoy. There are some politics (liberal slant) infused into this story that might turn off some readers as Jake's wife is a presidential candidate toward the end of the story. This is the type of story that would make for a good discussion: politics, family, secrets, scandals, joy and sadness. The Nantucket setting, once again, added to my enjoyment of this one. Almost perfect; loved it.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars