28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
“Engagement, Marriage, Pregnant, or Divorce”
These are the only things that warrants a phone call. Everything else waits until Labor Day weekend. Only then, can Mallory and Jake catch up and be together away from everyone else, including their significant others. They have kept this promise for 28 summers until Mallory is dying and asks her son to call Jake McCloud, the husband of the woman currently running for president.
28 Summers covers the meeting of Mallory and Jake and then we get to see their lives over the next 28 years. The book doesn’t just cover their lives when they are together. The majority is about their lives when they are separated and even covers some of the supporting characters lives as well.
Hilderbrand is an expert at weaving together a great story and letting readers get to know her characters. In this case, I pretty much hate every single character. Mallory is the worst. She might be nice and sympathetic but she still chooses to have an affair with a married man for years. Jake is clearly miserable in his marriage, but instead of ending he stays with her and continues to be with Mallory every year. It’s not like Jake has to stay in the marriage because he can’t support himself if they get a divorce. He is just spineless and would rather be miserable than make a decision that would make him and Mallory happy.
This is an easy beach read, but it is not my favorite of Hilderbrand’s work. I enjoyed how each summer started with a brief history of that year. However, I abhor cheating and felt like this book pretty much condoned it. Everyone was a cheater and it felt like no one ever paid the consequences for their unfaithfulness.
The ending was also lackluster and disappointing. I think if I had known what the book was really going to be about I would have skipped it entirely. I had never heard of the movie, “Same Time Next Year” that was the inspiration for the book so maybe if I had I would have known what to expect.