Book Review: The Castaways

In celebration of their upcoming anniversary, Greg and Tess MacAvoy drown while sailing to Martha’s Vineyard leaving more questions then answers. Set along Nantucket’s sandy beaches, three couples who refer to themselves as the Castaways come to terms with secrets of the heart after the mysterious deaths. The Drakes, Wheelers, and Kapenashes shared an enviable friendship yet struggle to come to terms with their private guilt’s and secrets after the MacAvoys’ drowning.

Pill-popping Phoebe, married to well to do Addison Wheeler is guilt ridden by what she feels, is her part in Tess’s death while Andrea blames herself for not living up to an old promise. Rumors abound about Greg’s fling with a high school student, yet no one is sure what really happened. The couples’ lives twine together in surprising complexity as the main characters attempt to cope with the aftermath wrought Grey and Tess’s death while dealing with important day-to-day issues like who will take care of the MacAvoy twins.

Told from the perspectives of the six remaining Castaways, this engrossing story features plenty of emotion as the well-crafted characters wrestle with their consciences, desires, love and loss. As in life, the characters don’t always react in a way the reader would like to the point of occasionally wanting to give them a good shaking which speaks well of Hilderbrand’s writing. While tempting to call this chick lit, the excellence of character building and the storyline turn it into a solid read, especially to those familiar with Nantucket. 

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