The Castaways (Platinum Fiction)

By Elin Hilderbrand
Publisher:Center Point Pub, (8/1/2009)

Average Rating:
5.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)

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Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed.

Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life.
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Shan's thoughts on "The Castaways (Platinum Fiction)"
updated on:8/2/2009


"The Castaways (Platinum Fiction)"
By Elin Hilderbrand

Average Rating:
5.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)

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 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.

1. The novel opens with the tragic death of Tess and Greg MacAvoy; as it develops, we see how the lives of their six best friends are forever altered. How do you think the relationships of each couple within the group would have developed if Tess and Greg had not died on their sailing trip?

2. The heart of the novel explores the dynamics of a close- knit group of four couples, the complexities of their friendships, and how they get along with each other. What are the dynamics like in your circle of friends? Have you faced similar struggles?

3. The Castaways is set mainly on the island of Nantucket. How does this setting contribute to the story’s insular nature as the novel portrays a tight- knit group of four couples?

4. The novel occasionally leaves the Nantucket setting to travel back in time to the group vacations taken by the Castaways. Discuss the importance of the setting for each of these trips and how it plays a part in the development of the characters and the plot.

5. Hilderbrand describes how each of her eight main characters came to live on Nantucket. Which characters seem the most at home on the island? Discuss the factors that brought you to settle where you live now.

6. The Castaways is told from multiple points of view. With which character did you feel the most connected, and why? Did that change in the course of the story?

7. The surviving members of the Castaways are all grieving in their own way after losing two of their best friends. Discuss how grief manifests itself in each character and how each handles that grief. How have you handled grief in your own life?

8. Delilah says at one point that honesty should be met with honesty, yet then she makes an important decision not to share the truth. Discuss the role of honesty and dishonesty in the novel and the ways in which moral ambiguity creates confl ict for the characters.

9. By the end of The Castaways, grieving has led many of the characters to reach an acceptance of the tragedy and an absolution in their lives. Discuss how each character achieves this absolution and learns to move forward.

10. What do you think the future holds for the three surviving couples and their children?

Clubie Submitted Discussion Questions
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From Publishers Weekly
In the close-knit group of four successful Nantucket couples who call themselves the Castaways, Greg and Tess MacAvoy had what everybody wanted. Or so it seems to Delilah Drake, the voluptuous bon vivant Castaway married to staid farmer Jeffrey. But when Greg and Tess sail to Martha's Vineyard to celebrate their anniversary and mysteriously drown, their deaths stir up more secrets than there are tourists on the island's golden beaches. Hilderbrand (Barefoot) goes deep into each of the surviving Castaways' hearts, revealing old affairs and new entanglements. Was Greg involved with someone else? Was Tess going to leave Greg for Addison Wheeler, the rich Castaway married to the pill-popping Phoebe? Hilderbrand will reveal all, as well as plenty of other tidbits that aren't as interesting—including how long Delilah was in labor with her first son, the titles of songs that come on the radio at important moments and the lengths Addison went to get a stoned Phoebe to sleep with him. Readers of women's fiction who don't mind digressions should be satisfied with this tale of knotty relationships set against the lovely Nantucket backdrop. (July) 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 
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Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, PA, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her seven previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

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