28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

 28 Summers

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
English | 2020 | Romance | ePUB | 3.3 MB

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

By the bestselling author of Summer of ’69: Their secret love affair has lasted for decades — but this could be the summer that changes everything.

When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.

There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere — through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise — until Mallory learns she’s dying.

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.

“Worry about later, later,” Sabina said. “Your job now is to be with your mother. Let her feel your love. She’ll take it with her where she’s going.”

Link punches the number on the strip of paper into his phone. It’s an unfamiliar area code—notably not 206, Seattle, where his father lives. He can’t imagine who this is. Link’s grandparents are dead, and his uncle Cooper lives in DC. Coop and his wife, Amy, are splitting; it’s his uncle’s fifth divorce. Last week, when Mallory still had moments of clarity and humor, she said, Coop gets married and divorced the way most people eat Triscuits. Coop has offered to come up when it gets to be too much for Link to handle alone. This will be soon, maybe even tomorrow.

Does his mother have any other friends off-island? She stopped speaking to Leland when Link was in high school. She’s dead to me.

Maybe this is Leland’s new number. That would make sense; they should make peace before the end.

But a man answers the phone.

“Jake McCloud,” he says.

It takes Link a second to process this. Jake McCloud?

He hangs up.

He’s so startled that he laughs, then glances at the back door of their cottage. Is this a joke? His mother has a sense of humor, certainly, but she’s witty, not prone to pranks. Asking Link to call Jake McCloud on her deathbed just isn’t something Mallory would do.

There must be an explanation. Link checks the number on the piece of paper against the number in his phone, then he looks up the area code, 574. It’s Indiana—Mishawaka, Elkhart, South Bend.

South Bend!

Link cackles. He sounds crazy. What is going on here?

Just then, his phone rings. It’s the 574 number, calling back. Link is tempted to let the call go to voicemail. There has been a tremendous mistake. In all of his interviews, Jake McCloud seems like an extremely decent guy. Link could just explain the situation: His mother is dying and somehow Jake McCloud’s number ended up in his mother’s desk drawer.

“Hello?” Link says.

“Hello, this is Jake McCloud. Someone from this number called me?”

“Yes,” Link says, trying to sound professional. Who knows; maybe Link can use this weird misunderstanding to get an internship with Jake McCloud—or with Ursula de Gournsey! “Sorry about that, I think it was a mistake. My mother, Mallory Blessing—”

“Mallory?” Jake McCloud says. “What is it? Is everything okay?”

Link focuses on the swans gliding along, regal in their bearing, king and queen of the pond. “I’m sorry,” Link says. “This is Jake McCloud, right? The Jake McCloud, the one whose wife…”

“Yes.”

Link shakes his head. “Do you know my mother? Mallory Blessing? She’s an English teacher on Nantucket Island?”

“Is everything okay?” Jake McCloud asks again. “There must be a reason you’re calling.”

“There is a reason,” Link says. “She left me your number in an envelope and asked me to contact you.” Link pauses. “She’s dying.”

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