“I just finished reading Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand and I have to say I think this is my favorite novel thus far from her. Although I do love all her chick lit stories about the beautiful majestic island known as Nantucket.
The novel begins with a wedding invitation advising of the pending nuptials of Jenna Carmichael and Stuart Graham which are to be held on the beautiful island of Nantucket. While almost every bride hopes to recruit the advice, help and wisdom of their mother in planning ones dream wedding, this particular wedding was planned by Jenna's mother approximately seven years earlier written in what is referenced as "The Notebook". Jenna’s mother, Beth, wrote this notebook of wedding do’s and don’ts as she was dying of ovarian cancer. As I have also lost a parent, I found myself really drawn to this part of the story, what a wonderful gift for Beth to leave behind for her daughter.
One of the main characters narrating this lovely story is Margot, Jenna’s sister and maid-of-honor. Margot is a divorced mother of three young children and although Margot has a failed marriage trailing behind her she has a thriving high-powered career. Margot has not been lucky in love and she believes that "love dies" after all. Margot truly just wants the weekend to be over with, although she is happy for her sister, Jenna. Margot is anticipating seeing her secret lover, Edge, who just happens to be much older than she and he happens to also be her father's law firm partner which is not helping this situation of Margot’s one bit.
Another main character is Doug, Jenna's father, who is a divorce attorney and is just now coming to the realization that he is in a loveless marriage with his wife, Pauline. Pauline is Doug’s second wife, and his true love has and always will be Beth, Jenna's deceased mother. Doug was tasked with reading the last page of the notebook Beth wrote as it was written for him but he has been struggling to do this one simple task.
The last main character I will discuss is Ann Graham, the groom's mother, who is a state senator from North Carolina. Ann’s life has been defined by her first and second marriage to the same man, Jim. The reason there were 2 marriages to Jim is due to the fact he betrayed Ann by having an affair with their family friend, Helen Oppenheimer. This affair resulted in the birth of a son named Chance and Jim and Helen’s marriage lasted a measly 29 months. Since Chance is one of the groomsmen, Ann decides to invite Helen to the wedding, thinking she would decline. But Helen doesn’t decline, and now Ann has to spend the weekend of her own son's wedding seeing the woman who nearly ruined her personally and professionally.
Although each of these families was betrayed by love in some form or another, they all truly believe happiness is possible and they believe in this union between Jenna and Stuart.
Elin Hilderbrand is such a wonderful storyteller! Her characters are likable and fairly multifarious. As do all her novels, Beautiful Day pays respect to her love for the beautiful island of Nantucket. This is a great read for a day on the beach, a vacation in which you are tucked away somewhere wonderful or even if it’s just a nice lazy day at home. As always, Happy reading my friends :)