DNF: Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

Ahhh… my very first DNF post. Normally, when I decide to quit a book I just don’t bother reviewing it. After all, I didn’t finish it so how can I give it a fair review? I’m doing it now because this is one of the books that won my July poll. I had actually been looking forward to this book for along time; the premise sounded interesting, and I’ll admit it – the cover totally lured me in.

Basically, three women (along with two little kids) go to a beach house on Nantucket to try to escape their problems for a bit and get themselves sorted out. Vicki is a married mother of two young boys, who just found out that she has lung cancer. Brenda (Vicki’s sister) was recently fired from her job as a professor for having a relationship with one of her college students. And Melanie (Vicki’s best friend) after being told by her husband that he’s having an affair, learns that after years of trying she’s finally pregnant. These women meet a young college student named Josh, and together they all try to heal, and enjoy their summer on Nantucket.

That’s a whole lotta drama, but it all sounded really interesting. Now, I only got through the first 100 pages (book is about 400 pages), so here’s why I’m stopping…

1. All the characters sound the same, including Josh. And there aren’t really any chapters, so when the story was switching points of view among the characters it was really confusing.

2. One-fourth of the way in, and I have to say that I don’t like any of the characters. Vicki strikes me as really negative, self-centered, and kind of stuck up. Melanie is acting like a doormat – her husband confesses to an affair, and instead of raging at him, kicking him out, and divorcing him, she wallows in self-pity and he moves into the guest bedroom. And while I kind of like Brenda for saying what she’s thinking and being honest with herself, I can’t sympathize with her too much because of course she caused her own problems.

3. The book (well, at least what I’ve read) occurs for the most part in each character’s head – they’re thoughts and responses to what’s going on. And yet whenever something interesting started to happen, like two of the women arguing with each other, it was glazed over.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t mind books about tough issues, but this just wasn’t for me. It was at turns boring me and annoying me.

Anyways, for those of you that voted for Barefoot… sorry. But July’s almost over, and I have a lot of other books I want to get to. I don’t want to spend my time dragging through this one. I am open to trying something else by Elin Hilderbrand though, if anyone has a favorite by her that you can suggest.

Since giving this one up, I decided instead to start Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I’m about half-way through it, so that review should be up in a day or two.

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