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28 Summers Without Happy Endings

28 Summers follows Mallory “Mal” Blessings and her group of friends through the changes life causes in our relationships as we get old.  Of course, this Elin Hilderbrand novel is set in Nantucket where Mal lives throughout her entire adult life, after inheriting a beachfront cottage from her aunt.  She never marries but has two great life-long loves: Jake her brother’s college friend, and her son Link.

Although this book felt very long because it included summers 1-28, it was not boring or wordy.  Every summer had an event of its own which kept me engaged because it was how each character developed slowly, like in real life.

There was not villain nor hero, just human beings, being imperfect and extraordinary. This book is a love song to life long friendships, family, and love. Not the fairytale kind of love, but love nonetheless. No happy endings here. Maybe that’s because life doesn’t start or ends, but just keeps going even when we win, get hurt, or lose .

But it all ended sadly, not just because Mallory loses her cancer battle, but because I felt like I didn’t get to say goodbye.  One moment she was in bed saying goodbye to the people that filled her life, and on the next moment the story keeps going outside the room where she lai

d.  Mal didn’t get a happy ending, not in the usual sense.  In my opinion, she didn’t get an ending at all; but that’s ok I guess because like in real life, her son kept living for her just like our children, and our children’s children do. They keep our stories going.

Beautiful work Elin Hilderbrand.  You’ve gained a new fan.

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