Hello, fellow beach readers! I hope you all are enjoying our July book, with your toes in the sand and a mojito in your hand, of course.
So far, we’re loving every page of the book, with its engaging plot, shout-outs to some of our fave New England hot spots (Nantucket Bookworks? Black Eyed Susan’s?) and incredibly relatable characters–particularly Margot (aka big sis of the bride and designated MOH).
Margot is recently divorced, with an ex-husband who’s newly engaged to a young pilates instructor, a secret affair with her father’s much older coworker, and a hunky new flame she’s reconnected with on the island this weekend.
While she struggles to balance the unrest in her own life, she’s also doing everything in her power to make the wedding weekend perfect for her sister–and according to the wishes of her deceased mother, who left behind “The Notebook,” a guide that specifies everything from table linen and food choice to the guest list and appropriate reading (The Beatles…what else?). What did you think of the mother’s involvement in her daughter’s wedding? Did you think it was sweet, or a little controlling? We tapped Elin to see if there was any significance behind this…
Coastal Living: Was the plot surrounding the deceased mother and her wishes for her daughter’s wedding inspired by something in real life?
Elin Hilderbrand: I wanted a different approach to the wedding story. My father died when I was 16, so obviously was not around to see me get married, so that may have affected me. Also, I’m a mother of three, including one daughter, so the notebook idea was meaningful and poignant.
In the midst of the wedding preparations, Margot’s father, Douglas, is struggling with emotional problems of his own, with a second wife, Pauline, he suddenly realizes he no longer loves, and a lost love (his deceased wife) he can’t seem to let go of. Do you think Douglas’s changed feelings are purely a product of the attention surrounding the wedding weekend, and his deceased wife’s involvement in the planning for the nuptials? And, we’re curious, what do you think of Pauline? Do you think she actually took The Notebook on purpose? Here’s some insight, in Elin’s words:
CL: In the first part of the novel, Pauline is found with the Notebook. Did you intend for readers to assume she knowingly took the book with the
intention of reading, or did she really grab the book as a favor to Jenna? What can we learn about Pauline at this point in the book?
EH: I wanted to establish conflict with the notebook early on…and Pauline was a natural place to start. I DID want people to think she had taken it…it would be perfectly natural for her to have such strong feelings about the words of her husband’s dead wife that she did something drastic.
So, beach readers, what are your thoughts? What will Margot do now that she’s caught in a love triangle? Will she let go of Edge, the disinterested colleague of her father, or will she give in to Griff?
Are there any characters you love so far? Any you could do without?
Share your thoughts in the comments! And don’t forget to join us Monday, July 22, at 7 P.M. EST on Twitter for a chat with Elin! #clbookclub