Summer is fast approaching on the island of Nantucket. It is what the residents of Nantucket wait for all year. The onslaught of vacationers and the rhythm of summer means that all is right with the world. Madeline King and Grace Panick are two natives who have been best friends forever. They grew up on the island together and now lead "charmed" lives with their families. Grace's husband is a successful real estate mogul on the island and Maddie has made a name for herself has as a quite successful author. With summer approaching, so does Maddie's deadline for her next book, and she has nothing that anybody would want to read. For Grace, summer means the return of her extremely handsome landscape architect, Bennett Coe. Grace spent the winter preparing for his return by losing weight and getting in shape. Both women forgot one important detail, Nantucket is a very small island and soon rumors are flying about the both of them. Will their marriages - and their friendships sustain The Rumor?
Summer isn't summer until Elin Hilderbrand's newest novel has hit the shelves. The Rumor does not disappoint, set in the familiar Nantucket setting we get to "spot" a few characters from past summer novels. But, we also get to meet these two women who appear to lead charmed lives. Churning underneath the surface are issues that even they don't know about. I think that Grace is the most clueless when it comes to her husband, "Fast Eddie". Not that he is cheating on her, (because he is not) but in the fact that she is clueless to the family's finances and the juggling act that Eddie has been doing for quite sometime. His desperate behaviors would be sleazy if he wasn't just so desperate to not disappoint his wife - the very same wife who is lusting after the gardener. And then there is Maddie, who is so desperate to turn in a book for fear that she would have to give back her advance (the advance she invested with "Fast Eddie") that she writes her most salacious novel yet. I can't really say that I blame her, but she was silly to not disguise her muse a bit more than she did. In the end, everything falls apart for both of them and I find myself feeling sorry for both of them. It can be utterly traumatic to realize that your whole life is a sham. But they are two strong women at their core and I was very satisfied with the way their story ended.
Bottom line - Elin Hilderbrand is a masterful artist at depicting life on Nantucket. A lot of authors use Nantucket as the backdrop for the perfect summer vacation, but Hilderbrand goes deeper and explores the lives of the locals in a way that just hooks you. It is why I keep coming back summer after summer. As always, a great read from a great author!