Hilderbrand, Elin. Endless Summer. Little, Brown, 2022. 368 pp. ISBN 978-0316474528 $31.00
This collection of stories riff on Hilderbrand’s published novels and offer alternative endings, scenes left off the page, and things that happened before or after the timeline of the previously published novel. Some of the stories have been previously published and available as single digital downloads.While some might see this as a money grab, I am choosing to view it that like me, Elin has characters that she just can’t let go of. Each story is preceded by an author’s note, providing a little inside baseball.
The Nantucket settings, musical references, interconnected relationships, and mouth-watering descriptions of food are hallmark’s of Hilderbrand’s writing and are a satisfying kind of fan service (I forgot to notice if water always had a slice of lemon in it). We get to reconnect with Dabney and Clen from The Matchmaker at the famous Harvard-Yale game–the last time she ventured off campus–and Ursula de Gournsey (Jake’s presidential hopeful wife from 28 Summers after she has declined the Attorney General Position, and get to watch Mallory Blessing decide she wants a divorce from Fray, the surfer husband who is better than she deserves and who just doesn’t match up to Jake McCloud. The rest of the collection did not hold my interest – a novella and a short story set in the Summer of ’69 universe. Diehard fans will want the hardcover copy (conveniently published in time for holiday gift-giving) but most will be happy to re-read “The Sixth Wedding” on our Kindles or check Endless Summer out of the local library.