Elin Hilderbrand is back at Nantucket for another summer treat for readers. This time, we meet the main character, Claire Crispin, who is so much like someone all of us know, or even like ourselves. Claire is a wife, mother, and an artist so we recognize from the start that this is one busy lady. And yet, as so many readers will be able to relate to, we find that Claire just can’t say no when asked to get involved in something.
So Claire agrees to chair the Summer Gala on Nantucket and her whole life goes from anxious to frenetic! Claire must work with co-chair, Isabelle French, who is difficult to get along with to say the least. She appears to be threat to Claire, which makes for a joint venture that just can’t possibly run smoothly even if both parties tried.
Lockhart Dixon (Lock) comes into Claire’s life as he asks her to chair the gala. Claire feels guilty as she was with his wife Daphne out drinking when Daphne was in an accident on her way home that left her mentally impaired for life. What starts out as guilt, however, develops into an affair with Lock. On top of that, Claire has to contact her old high school love, Matthew, now famous rock star “Max West”, to convince him to do a concert for the gala. All of this makes Claire begin to question what may have been, or what could be?
Claire’s husband, Jason, is a good guy but the marriage suffers from lack of compatibility and few shared interests. Claire finds the people she is working with to be more in line with what she is used to and wants to have their same kind of lifestyle. So with an unsatisfied home life, the affair with Lock is an attractive distraction. However, when Siobhan, Jason’s sister-in-law, who runs a local catering business and is a close friend and confidant to Claire, sees what is going on, she threatens to tell Jason.
All these personalities and associations must be juggled at the same time Claire is also asked to create a work of art museum piece for the gala using her artistry as a glass blower. This brings more problems to Claire not only because she is semi-retired, but also because Jason blames her “art” for their child’s problems. There had been an accident at her studio while Claire was pregnant with their youngest child and so the baby was born prematurely and may be facing complications and further damage later on in life.
Will Claire survive while planning this event? How will all this affect her marriage? What roll will Lock play in her life and how will things be when she once again sees her former love, Matthew? Will she finish the artwork while still trying to keep up with all the other things in her life? Perhaps the culmination of the Summer Gala will answer Claire’s problems. These questions and more are answered in A Summer Affair as Hilderbrand writes of a woman’s journey to find herself in this new summer beach read.
Published Originally with curledup.com by K. Haney, September, 2008