Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer of Elin Hilderbrand

So, I just finished reading The Island. Wonderful. Loved every minute of it. Ms. Hilderbrand chose to use four different POV's for her main characters, and it had a beautiful effect. I felt like I knew those characters inside and out because of that choice. In fact, I knew them better than they knew each other! Within their individual POV's, their diaries, their innermost thoughts, each character revealed secrets, fears, and details that the other characters--their relatives!--didn't even know. What a brilliant technique.

You know you REALLY enjoyed a book when the last page comes too soon. When you're actually sad that you won't be following those characters' lives anymore. *sigh*

She has another new novel out, and it arrived last week - yay! Can't wait to dive in! Her novels are a real blend of commercial and literary fiction. The plots are commercial -- accessible and relateable (<--okay, not a word, but it fits here, lol) to a wide audience. Yet, her language, her technique is mostly literary. Gorgeous prose without cliches or wordiness. And sometimes, incredibly poetic. I really love "studying" her style.

Speaking of "studying" style, does anybody else do this -- actually mark passages (I dog-ear the page) that are particularly brilliant or make me envious of the author's talent? I just can't help myself. When something is written so perfectly, I feel I have to mark it, acknowledge it. And yes, re-read it. ;-)

So, for me, this is the summer of Hilderbrand. What summer books are you reading right now?


  1. Great post. In my writer's group, one gentlemen just does that, studies style and then practices writing in that style for us to critique. It is interesting. But now you have me interested in this style. I have read a couple of books with great POV changes and I love that as a way of maintaining the subplots but I don't know that I would be able to write it myself. THink I will check into this one.

  2. Hi Jeanne - yes, The Island is a particularly good way to study POV. She handles it effortlessly (I like how she always puts the main character's name ahead of each POV - it clarifies everything easily).

    Just a heads-up - her books can be a tiny bit on the raunchy side occasionally (not that they're filled with it - not at all - just that, every now and then, a scene can come up). I'm a pretty "conservative" reader, so sometimes, I just skim through those parts, lol.

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  4. When I read, I always have a notebook nearby so that I can jot down my fave quotes :)

    Happy reading!