Book & Wine Wednesday! Reading Sara Review: The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

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The Rumor, by Elin Hilderbrand

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Rating: 3.5/5

Hardcover: 480 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Lrg edition (June 16, 2015)

Book Description: Madeline King and Grace Pancik are best friends and the envy of Nantucket for their perfect marriages, their beautiful kids, their Sunday night double dates with their devoted husbands. But this summer, something’s changed, and if there’s anything Nantucket likes better than cocktails on the beach at sunset, it’s a good rumor.

And rumor has it…

…that Madeline, a novelist, is battling writer’s block, with a deadline looming, bills piling up, and blank pages driving her to desperation–and a desperately bad decision;

…that Grace, hard at work to transform her backyard into a garden paradise, has been collaborating a bit more closely that necessary with her ruggedly handsome landscape architect;

…that Grace’s husband, successful island real estate developer “Fast Eddie” Pancik, has embarked on quite an unusual side project;

…that the storybook romance between Madeline’s son, Brick, and Grace’s daughter Allegra is on the rocks, heading for disaster.

As the gossip escalates, and they face the possible loss of the happy lives they’ve worked so hard to create, Grace and Madeline try mightily to set the record straight–but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.

Reading Sara Review: Elin Hilderbrand knows how to write a beach-read. Set in Nantucket, this story follows the families of Grace and Madeline through a summer full of gossip, some bad decisions, some good decisions, friendship, and a fair amount of drinking.

Grace and her real-estate husband, “Fast Eddie” live in a dream home in Nantucket, with a dream garden. However, Grace’s primary summer dream is to get her garden featured in the Boston Globe – and to reunite and work with her handsome gardener, Benton Coe. Meanwhile, “Fast Eddie” can’t seem to keep his Panama hat on his head and sell houses fast enough to keep his family’s lifestyle unchanged. This leaves twin 16-year old Allegra and Hope to amuse themselves (which they do in vastly different ways).

Madeline, Grace’s best friend, is a writer who is struggling to write her next novel and has already spent her advance money. Her adoring husband Trevor supports her, but she is holding a few too many secrets from him to avoid any drama. Their son, Brick, is dating Grace’s daughter Allegra (and because they are 16 we get some solid teen drama as well). Madeline finally has an incredible novel going, but is it hitting too close to home?

This novel did not go very deep for me, and perhaps that was the intention. The “rumors” varied in their truth, but did not really help to teach any lessons – the line between right and wrong is already pretty clear. Grace’s twin daughters, Allegra and Hope, were interesting characters because they were young, and still figuring out right and wrong and learning that poor decisions will lead to consequences. And I love reading teenage angst, so that was a plus for me. The adults, however, could have used a little more trust and communication and a morality check for poor “Fast Eddie.” Everyone knows that these things never end well.

Wait until this book comes out in paperback, and take it with you to the beach next summer or to your backyard where you can pretend that you are on a beach in Nantucket. Or get your California Cab and read it this summer, it is an easy, fun read.

I would like to read Benton’s list of 100 Books though…so if that ever comes out, count me in.

Wine Recommendation: In the book there is a fair amount of discussion of high priced wines and/or champagnes. In particular, Screaming Eagle, which is a deliciously high priced wine from Oakville, California. At some point on this blog, I will highly recommend their sister winery, Jonata, but more to come on that another time. For now, if you are like me and enjoy instant gratification and do not have time to get on Screaming Eagle’s wait list, I have a solution for you!

I recently discovered an incredible website called vinepair.com. Vine Pair seems to be the Buzzfeed of drinking (meaning a website with mostly useless info, but an incredibly enjoyable time waster nonetheless). Vine Pair is mostly about wine, but you can read articles discovering if you are a drunk more like Hemingway or Mary Poppins in “What Kind of Drunk Are You?”  or read “The History of the Moscow Mule” if you are so inclined.

For the purposes of Book & Wine Wednesday, I recommend reading the article  “AFFORDABLE SUBSTITUTES FOR SCREAMING EAGLE, THE FAMOUSLY EXPENSIVE NAPA VALLEY CULT CAB.”

I agree, it is amazing not only that this article exists, but that I found it. I love the internet. Now you and I, regular people who enjoy a nice glass of wine with our books, can have wine that compares to Screaming Eagle. So pick up a delicious cab and you too can pretend that you live on Nantucket year-round and enjoy this book!

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