When another major source of guilt asks a favor, Claire feels unable to turn him down. Five years ago Lock Dixon’s wife Daphne wrecked her car after a girl’s night out drinking with Claire and her friends. Daphne has never been the same and Claire has been consumed with regret for not stopping her from driving. Thus Claire feels unable to decline when Lock requests that she chair one of Nantucket’s biggest summer events, a thousand-dollar-a-plate banquet for a children’s charity.
Jason, Claire’s husband, is opposed to the job and the time it will require. The situation becomes tenser as Claire finds herself accepting the additional requests of convincing her high school boyfriend – now a world famous rock musician – to perform at the benefit, and creating a museum quality piece of art for the benefit’s auction. Claire hasn’t set foot in her hothouse since Zach’s birth, and had promised Jason she wouldn’t return to her work. Now she’s reneging, as well as stirring up memories of her first love. But the heart of Claire’s problems lay in Lock Dixon himself.
Claire feels an overwhelming connection to and desire for the intelligent, worldly man who pays such attention to her, listens to her, and knows and admires her work. Working so closely with Lock is putting her marriage in jeopardy in more ways than one, and Claire wonders if she’s risking losing herself along with the life she’s built.
A SUMMER AFFAIR is a surprisingly intense, emotional story with intertwined storylines that increasingly build anticipation for the big event. As a heroine, Claire is conflicted and flawed, yet undeniably likeable. Her feelings about everything from Zach’s birth to her involvement with Lock draw a clear picture of an everyday woman struggling to deal with the life she’s living. The journey she makes from the first pages to the last is a well written and compelling story that – as with Hilderbrand’s previous novel BAREFOOT – will stay on your mind long after the you’ve finished reading it.