Picks and Pans Review: The Castaways

updated 07/13/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Elin Hilderbrand |

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The self-declared "Castaways" of this juicy novel bear little resemblance to Lost-style shipwreck victims—they're Nantucket couples who live in cozy houses, eat lobster rolls and travel the world together. But the group's intertwined lives are capsized when one pair dies in a sailing accident on their wedding anniversary. As the survivors grieve, truths emerge about drug use, steamy affairs and the dead husband's scandalous dalliance with an underage student. While the mystery surrounding the drownings feels strained at times, Hilderbrand captivates with a racy narrative, topical references and characters who are both familiar and memorable.

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