A few posts back, I wrote about my new-found love for Elin Hilderbrand. I started reading Silver Girl over the weekend and I think I have discovered what makes me love her books so much . . .
Maybe on the surface that seems like a simple concept, but books set in the present, yet rooted in the past, always intrigue me. Connie and Meredith are the oldest of friends; they can hardly remember how they met. There is not a time during which they weren't friends - until three years ago. Though the reader doesn't discover the details of their falling out until late in the story, the fight and the effect it had on their individual losses is crucial to the story. Stories like this, which link our pasts to our presents are so life-changing for me. While I'm certainly not a believer in fate, I'd like to believe our everyday choices really effect us - otherwise what are we doing?
Hilderbrand intermingles the present day story and the past history so well. By telling the story from both Connie and Meredith's point of view, they can both become sympathetic, relatable characters. Neither of them is the villain. When they reunite at the novels' beginning, you want them to mend their friendship. You can see yourself in their friendship - even if your husband wasn't busted for a ponzi scheme.
I also love the equal treatment of their stories. The investigation into Meredith's husband and the effects it has on her life is treated with the same importance and significance as Connie's struggles with grief and her estranged daughter. The personal struggles of both women are as intriguing as their relationship with one another. They are both mothers, and yet separated from their children. They are both fighting skeletons and yet, by coming together in Meredith's time of need they are able to rekindle their friendship. All because of the past.
Having finished the book, I find myself rejoicing at their renewed bond. Sure, there is resolution to both individual stories, but my joy comes from their reconciliation. And seeing as how The Saving Graces is one of my favorite books, this should surprise no one. True, wonderful female friendship can make a book for me, even if the story is sub par.
I'll certainly be adding Hilderbrand to my list of re-readable authors. And maybe soon I'll make my own trip to Nantucket!