6.19.2011

Summer Sundays: Beach Reads #3 - Silver Girl, by Elin Hilderbrand, a Review

Silver Girl
by Elin Hilderbrand
416 pages
Reagan Arthur Books 
(Little, Brown)
June 21, 2011
Buy it on Amazon
Part beach-read, part a Law & Order plot "ripped from the headlines,"Silver Girl (due out this Tuesday) is unmistakably based on the trials of Ruth Alpern Madoff, wife of Wall Street Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff.

Author Elin Hilderbrand has managed to take this woman who enjoyed decades in the spotlight, living the highlife, a woman who has now fallen lower than low thanks to the scheming of her good-for-nothing husband, and make her not only relatable, but sympathetic. This is partly achieved by mirroring Meredith's life with that of her best friend Connie's. The two of them haven't spoken in years thanks to their pride and resentment. But they manage to find their hearts again and rediscover their friendship.

They go to Nantucket, to Connie's summer home, for the safety and privacy that the island usually maintains. But that privacy is short-lived as their lives become plagued with threats and vandalism related to Meredith's ongoing investigation by the FBI.

The story is told from Connie and Meredith's alternating perspectives, and their joint memories are part of Hilderbrand's real success. The steadfast theme is forgiveness, and while one can easily find the grace to forgive Meredith who, as it turns out, knew nothing of her husband's bad business, one wonders if Ruth Alpern will ever be so blessed.

This book is long. That's not a complaint. At 416 pages (and in hardcover - the paperback is due out in November), it's got some heft. And Hildrebrand has no cause to fluff the story up to fill those pages - it's all solid story. Which is good if you like to read. Or if you like to have a pillow at the beach. Or if you got burned by Madoff and need something to throw. This book is multifunctional like that. Though I recommend the reading feature.

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