Saturday, January 17, 2009


Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

What was this book about?
Three women connected by blood and friendship decide to leave their normal lives in the city and head off to a cabin in Nantucket. Life has dealt each of them a raw deal – though in some cases partially by their own design. So they decide to get away from it all and focus on themselves by leaving to the beach. In tow are two children who need their own assurances on what life is going to bring them.

Vicki is the mother of the two boys. She was recently diagnosed with lung cancer – she is ready to fight the disease but doesn’t know what it means. Her relationship with her husband is strained as neither can deal with the thought of her possible death. The cancer has changed everything and she just doesn’t know what to do.

Brenda, Vicki’s sister, had a great career as a professor. But a bad decision to have an affair with one of her older students has destroyed her reputation. Add to that the possibility of a legal struggle with her university as a byproduct of the actions she took – and she needs money and she needs it quickly. She agreed to come to get away from it all and help take care of her nephews because Vicki needs help. What does it mean if her sister dies? What about the problems in her life? Can she focus on this screenplay that she is trying to write?

Melanie had a wonderful husband (or so she thought) and a great friendship with Vicki. When the relationship with her husband falls apart when she finds out that he is having an affair with a co-worker she turns to Vicki for help. She joins her on this impromptu “vacation” knowing that while the many fertility treatments that she tried didn’t work, instead she became pregnant the old fashioned way. And she only figures it out after the affair comes to light. Is Melanie ready to go back to her husband? Will he take her back? What does this future child mean to the whole situation?

Josh is a college student who is drawn to the three women and the children. When the opportunity comes up for him to baby-sit for them he can’t say no. Josh has his own traumatic past and these women represent a lot to him. Can they be for him what he needs? What about him being the one thing they need?

What did you think about the book?

I definitely liked the idea of this story. And it was well written and very interesting premise. Three women whose lives have recently fallen apart go away together for a quiet summer.

I loved that the women were flawed – as we all are. None were perfect and knew the correct path that their lives should follow. I think the only reason this wasn’t in my top lists was I just didn’t have enough time with each of the characters to get to know them in a personal way. I didn’t understand why they did the things that they did. I started to and then it ended. When you have flawed people it takes a little while to “like” them. While we are all flawed we don’t want to admit it and it is easier to like characters that only have surface problems.

Things I liked about it: I loved the children – they were fun and playful as all 4 year olds are. I like the exploration of a mother with an illness that could take her away from her family – everyone experiences self-doubt in a situation like this and to expose yourself to that when you have small children is very, very scary.

What genre would you consider this?
Family Dynamics/Relationship Dynamics


Question for You!
If you needed to get away from life – where would you go? Would you take anyone with you?

1 comment:

darbyscloset said...

If I needed to get away, I would go to the ocean...if possible. Currently going to the ocean is not possible so I go to the country where I can just sit and ponder the trees, the birds, the area in general. Either spot is like a soul cleansing for me.
Thanks for the post, like the book!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com