Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand (♦♦♦½)

Meredith Delinn had it all…Until one painful December morning in which her world collapsed when she learned that Freddy Delinn, her husband of thirty years, had robbed investors of billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme. Before the summer started, the Feds seized the family possessions. Freddy Delinn was sentenced to 150 years in jail and Meredith was virtually penniless. Furthermore, Meredith was banned from communicating with her children, Carver and Leo, because they too were suspected of conspiring in the scheme to defraud investors.

It had been three years since Meredith hadn’t spoken to Connie, her best friend, due in part to Connie calling Freddy a crook, which turned out to be true after all. Despite of this fight, when Meredith called Connie at the beginning of the summer because she had nowhere to go, Connie invited her to stay at her house in Nantucket.

Connie had problems of her own: her husband of thirty years had died two years ago of brain cancer. At the same time, Connie and her daughter Ashlyn had had a fallout due to the way Connie had handled her husband’s disease. Connie and Ashlyn were presently in non-talking terms, despite Connie trying to reach out.

When Connie invited Meredith to Nantucket, she was unsure about how they would deal with each other. As the summer unfolded, both friends were able to air their grievances and mend their friendship, and in the process, find a second chance at love as well.

I did like this book. As expected it is based in Nantucket, the set of Hilderbrand’s previous novels. The story is narrated in two voices: Meredith and Connie’s, with each of the women describing the events that led them to that point in their lives. Although the format and the setting of Silver Girl and The Island are very similar, the stories set them apart; though in my opinion, The Island has a richer plot than this one.

This book is poignant at times, particularly in the events surrounding Meredith; I cried once or twice. What I liked the most about Silver Girl was its ending: Meredith didn’t know where her life would take her from that point forward, but she had hope and she had friends to help her sort everything out. In a story taken almost to a T from the news, Hilderbrand provided Meredith with a rich inner life and a voice necessary to understand the more private side of the tragedy brought about by her husband.

Also by Elin Hilderbrand: The Island and The Blue Bistro