The only thing that I didn’t like about The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand was the American spelling of ‘rumor’ on the novel’s cover. In Australia this would generally be spelled ‘rumour,’ but I expect our market is too small for the publisher to make any money from printing an edition just for us.
However, American spelling in the body of a book doesn’t annoy me at all so I got over this minor irritation quite quickly.
Anyway, as anybody who read my review of Elin Hilderbrand’s novel, Winter Street would know, I have a bit of a crush on Nantucket, and want to visit the island almost as much as I want to visit Prince Edward Island. When (and if) I do visit Nantucket, I’ll spend a summer’s day on Nobadeer Beach, alternately people-watching, boogie-boarding and reading an Elin Hilderbrand novel, followed by a dinner of lobster salad from one of the multitude of restaurants that serve this particularly delicacy. I’ll finish my day with a walk along a beach where I can watch the lights flashing from the Sankaty Head lighthouse.*
Anyway, back to The Rumor. This story is about two women, Madeline and Grace, who have been best friends forever. They know everything about each other, their children are sweethearts, and their husbands are forced to entertain each other. Grace’s husband, Eddie, is a real estate agent and Grace and Eddie live a luxurious, glamorous life, while Madeline and her husband, Trevor, struggle financially but have a relationship which Grace envies.
Below the surface though, things are not what they seem. Grace is an indulged, stay at home wife who is having an affair with her gardener, while Madeline, who is a novelist, is struggling to think of a plot for her next book after already spending her advance.
Madeline is inspired by Grace’s affair (uh oh) and starts writing a book that looks like being a bestseller, but she fails to change the identifying details of Grace’s affair (double uh oh). Meanwhile, Eddie is desperately short of money and although his painful heartburn acts as his conscience, he forms a prostitution ring made up of his real estate business’ cleaners to rake in some cash.
Seriously, what could go wrong?
Regular readers of Elin Hilderbrand will recognise characters who have featured in other novels, which give the reader a sense of belonging to her version of Nantucket too. Everybody in the community know, or guess at everybody else’s business constantly, so not surprisingly wild rumours go around the island about all of these characters in The Rumor.
Things work out as they are meant to, however, and if the resolutions were a little predictable, then that didn’t bother me at all. The Rumor is a perfect beach read.
*In my dreams…