Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: A Summer Affair

By Sandy Amazeen Aug 3, 2008, 5:40 GMT

Book Review: A Summer Affair

Sheila Crispin Cook, mother of four young children and nationally renowned glassblower, bites off more than she can chew when she agrees to co-chair the Nantucket\'s Children Summer Gala. Sheila is asked to chair the benefit, in part, because she is the former high school sweetheart of rock star Max West. Max agrees to play the gala and it looks like smooth sailing for Sheila-until she promises a ...more

Nantucket glass artist Claire Crispin is obsessed with trying to do it all, have it all and to her friends, thatís exactly what she does. She always steps up to the plate and lends a hand including chairing Nantucketís Children Summer Gala, the social event of the year although the request catches Claire by surprise. Claire is trying to cope with serious guilt issues, partly because her friend Daphne was seriously injured in a car accident after theyíd been drinking together. In addition to chairing the Gala, Claire has agreed to create a special glass piece for auction. Predictably, the demands of being a wife and mother to four children leave Claire little time to pursue her art and are a source of deep resentment and frustration.

Daphneís husband, billionaire Lockhart Dixon is Gala co-chair and with intimate dinner meetings, makes no secret heís attracted to Claire. The attraction grows into a full-fledged affair as Claire finds herself more and more dissatisfied with husband Jason. As the Gala draws closer, Claire makes commitments that will be difficult to meet and must eventually decide the course of her marriage, no easy task as complications mount.

Hilderbrandís seventh book plumbs the depths of a middle-aged professional woman who gave up national acclaim in favor of family only to discover it left her being taken for granted and increasingly resentful. The strong emotional depth resonates but gets diluted with the grinding minutiae of Gala planning. Overall, this is an excellent character study that many readers will be able to sympathize with and relate to as choices between career and family are never simple.

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