Prosecco N Prose | A Book Club

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

June 22, 2022 Wendy & Amy Season 4 Episode 40
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
Prosecco N Prose | A Book Club
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Prosecco N Prose | A Book Club
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
Jun 22, 2022 Season 4 Episode 40
Wendy & Amy

Wendy and Amy take a vacay to the beach, / And look at a love that's both here and out of reach. / For 28 perfect summers Mal and Jake rendezvous, / Pop a cork to stolen moments that made a love so true.

Show Notes:

Author Elin Hilderbrand's Webpage

Conca d'Oro Prosecco Rose

Writer's Write
Blog: "The Four Pillars of Romance" Article by Oliver Fox.

Podcast Mentioned Today: Bad on Paper

Next Episode:  Epilogue with all of our favorites for the season 

Show Notes Transcript

Wendy and Amy take a vacay to the beach, / And look at a love that's both here and out of reach. / For 28 perfect summers Mal and Jake rendezvous, / Pop a cork to stolen moments that made a love so true.

Show Notes:

Author Elin Hilderbrand's Webpage

Conca d'Oro Prosecco Rose

Writer's Write
Blog: "The Four Pillars of Romance" Article by Oliver Fox.

Podcast Mentioned Today: Bad on Paper

Next Episode:  Epilogue with all of our favorites for the season 

Prosecco N Prose | Season 4 | Episode 40 | 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Please consider leaving us a rating and review on APPLE or SPOTIFY Podcasts. This helps further our reach. 

Co-hosts: Wendy and Amy

Wendy (W): Welcome to Prosecco and Prose Episode 40.

Amy (A): This week’s prosecco is Conca d’Oro Prosecco Rosé

W: This week’s prose is 28 Summers by
Elin Hilderbrand

 * * * INTRO * * *

A: Our final piece of prose for Season 4.

W: Kind of hard to believe. It feels like we flew
through this season.

A: Well, you know the saying …

W: Time flies when you’re having fun!

A: And we’ve had a lot of fun. We hope you guys
did, too.

W: If you did, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us
a quick rating and review on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen.

A: It helps us get out there for other lit lovers
to find us and we really appreciate it. So thanks in advance.

W: And pass us on to a friend you think might enjoy
our mostly literary discussions.

A: Mostly literary, but we do need a little
something to sip while we speculate and—

W: —Prosecco is just so pleasant!

A: It is! And I know we are both pretty excited
about this one today.

W: We are. We saved the best for last. Conca d’Oro
Prosecco Rosé.

A: Full disclosure, this is not our
first bottle.

W: Or even our second or third.

A: Not even close.

W: And before anyone starts wondering if we’re in
our studio just knocking back bottles of prosecco—

A: —We might be!

W: And we might not get any discussing done if we
did that.

A: At least any discussing that made any sense.

W: To anybody other than us.

A: Can you imagine the rabbit holes?

W: I can, which is why I’d like to bring us back to
the one bottle of Conca d’Oro that we have today and will
be trying and letting all of you know just how amazing it is.

A: Yes, and to clear up all the confusion about all
the bottles, we were first introduced to this delicious prosecco rosé by our
friend Richard from one of our favorite places to enjoy fantastic Italian food,

W: We were having dinner there one beautiful summer
evening and Richard suggested we try it and now when we frequent Portofino’s,
we have a bottle of this Conca d’Oro Prosecco Rosé to get the evening started

A: Or the Bocelli Prosecco. That’s also a favorite.

W: Oh yes. Love Portofino’s. If you’re ever in
Arlington, really Crystal City, VA, and you love really good Italian food, make
sure you check out Portofino’s.

A: You will not be disappointed. I think we should
go after this.

W: Definitely. It’s kind of become tradition. So
let’s talk about this Conca d’Oro Prosecco Rosé and give everyone a reason to
go out and try it.

A: Or come visit us and we’ll take them to
Portofino’s. How could we not? So not a lot of info on the label … It’s a DOC,
a brut, so nice and dry which is our favorite, and it’s an 11.5%. Now we found
this at The Italian Store for $16.99, and it’s rated a 3.8 on Vivino. Which I
think is way too low.

W: Really? Me, too. Well, we will be
bumping that up today.

A: Most definitely. The mousse on the pour
dissipated pretty quickly, but there is a nice layer of bubbles that sits on
top and they’re everywhere in the glass.

W: Yes, a very nice foam on the pour and I have
lots of tiny bubbles in the glass. The website said the foam was persistent and
fine, and we have that.

A: We do. The color is more orange, kind of like
farmed salmon before it’s cooked.

W: Yeah, it’s darker, kind of a deep orangey pink,
which is likely due to the blend. This one is 85% Glera and 15% Pinot Nero, or
Pinot Noir. So they put as much as is allowed of the Pinot Nero grape.

A: It’s a pretty color.

W: It is. Now even though we’ve had this one, we
haven’t been in true Prosecco N Prose tasting mode, so I found a couple other
notes from the website to help us in our tasting. It said the bouquet is ripe,
fruity, reminiscent of apple and red fruits.

A: Apple?

W: That’s what it says. As for taste, this is
interesting, vinous and structured, sapid and persistent, with good acidity,
well balanced.

A: Excuse me, what? I understood good acidity and
well balanced.

W: That’s about all I understood as well. And

A: I think I’ll stick with being an armchair

W: Me, too. Vinous is characteristic of wine and
sapid means having taste or flavor.

A: Had to look that one up did ya not? So basically
they said it tastes like a flavorful wine? That’s not really saying anything. I
would hope it does taste like a flavorful wine.

W: I would hope so! It also gave some food matches,
though we’ll obviously be sticking with chocolate.

A: I can’t wait to hear it after that enlightening
bit about taste. Let me guess, it’s good with everything.

W: Pretty much.

A: We already knew that. I might be better than an
armchair sommelier.

W: You might be. It says, Ideal for any occasion of
the day, perfect with first courses based on fish or white meats.

A: Like I said... Well, that did not help me at all
so let’s get on with our tasting. Give people something useful.

W: Okay. This one’s got a bit of a yeasty smell.

A: Yup, I get some yeast. I also get strawberry.
It’s the strongest note on the nose for me. So there’s the fruity bit.

W: I don’t really smell anything else. Maybe your
nose works better than mine. What do you taste?

A: Other than happiness? Deliciousness. I get some
citrus, but not really any berry taste.

W: Yeah, I get citrus, but I’m also getting a hint
of watermelon. Are you getting that?

A: Watermelon? No … I’m not getting any of that.

W: Hmmm … Not a lot I can really describe
specifically, but I just really, really like it.

A: Me, too. It’s just so good, light and perfect
for sipping on a summer day.

W: Or evening. 

A: Exactly! 

W: And it’s not super fizzy in the mouth.

A: No, it’s perfect. You know how in Girl On the Train she lusted for gin and tonics?

W: Yeah, but this is nothing like a gin and tonic,
which I like, but not with my prosecco.

A: No! I’m not saying this is like a gin and tonic,
though this does have a tingle like a gin and tonic, I’m saying I could lust
for this like the girl lusted for gin and tonics.

W: Okay! But not going to argue, it’s just so good.

A: I know!

W: I am getting a bit of a fruity smell after
tasting it. What about you?

A: Not really. Interesting to smell the strawberry
but to not really taste it. 

W: Yeah, especially since you’ve really gotten that
all season.

A: This prosecco is too elegant and sophisticated
for one-note tasting notes.

W: Maybe we’re not sophisticated enough to even know.

A: One of us is for sure not.

W: I think it’s both, but that’s why it’s so fun.
Let’s get to our author before we digress any further.

A: Good plan. American novelist Elin Hilderbrand has
written, so far, 28 novels.

W: Which is quite a lot. I think she said something
like two a year.

A: She did. She’s been called the Queen of Beach
Reads and her books are typically set on and around Nantucket Island; and this
one, 28 Summers, is no exception.

W: Do you know there’s a sequel to 28 Summers?

A: There is?

W: It’s more of a novella, where Jake returns to
Nantucket for Labor Day in 2023. It got really mixed reviews, so I want to read
it, but I don’t want to be disappointed.

A: Novellas are short. You could probably read it
in 5 minutes and then it doesn’t really matter.

W: Yeah, we’ll see. As you know, I wasn’t exactly a
huge fan of this one, though I’ve read two others by her, Here’s to Us and The Rumor and enjoyed both of those. What have you read by

A: Before I answer that, let’s talk about the Bad
on Paper podcast where the hosts, Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman interviewed
Elin. The episode was called Elin Hilderbrand Chats Beach Read, Nantucket Eats,
and More. Such a fun episode.

W: That was a great episode and Grace and Becca
have such good banter. Really fun to listen to.

A: Really fun. Now there is a new host, Olivia
Muenter who took over Grace’s spot, but the great banter is still there.

W: The interview with Elin was so good. So much
information about how Elin got started writing …. She used to be a teacher.

A: She did. She talked about her hardest book to
write and her favorite book, which was The
Blue Bistro
, which I just
started…it makes me so hungry. Now I also just finished her novel Golden Girl and you have to have to read it. 

W: Blue
did sound interesting and
I’ll trust you on Golden Girl, not that I need to add anymore to my stack …

A: Who does? We can’t help ourselves! Too many good
ones out there!

W: I know.

A: And back to your earlier point on this novel,
Elin did say people either love or hate 28 Summers.

W: I didn’t love it or hate it. It was just sad.
Kind of depressing. But the writing is really good. Which Elin kind of touched
on when they talked about her title of Queen of Beach Reads.

A: Yeah, I liked her answer — She doesn’t mind the
title; says beach reads are high quality escapism for her.

W: And so many are not, my opinion, but hers are.
And she talked about how beach reads can have literary elements. They don’t
have to be just these one-dimensional books.

A: Exactly. Such intellectual writing.

W: A few years ago I read a beach read that was
just so awful…not by Elin, right? No, no. I wish I could remember the title,
but I do remember going and looking at reviews when I was just over half
finished and the reviews were better than the book!

A: And yet you still finished the book.

W: I did. I can’t DNF. I have to know what happens.
Even if it’s awful. I wish I could walk away. But I can’t. I don’t know why.
It’s like a compulsion.

A: I have no problem DNF-ing. Too many books to
read. But you do read a lot faster than me, so you can still get the bad books
done and I’m still reading my one.

W: I don’t know if that’s true. But back to the Bad
on Paper podcast, these ladies are fun, if you’re a huge Elin Hilderbrand fan,
highly recommend this episode. The interview was fantastic.

A: Yes, check them out.

W: I liked the end of their show where they discuss
current obsessions, books, shows, clothes, makeup, whatever it is that week.
Now Grace, I think it was Grace, was obsessed with the book The Push,
which you got me to read because you really wanted to discuss it.

A: That’s right. It was such a good book and great

W: I did and it was a great discussion, but the
reason I bring it up is because I feel the same way about True Story. I really, really want you to read it. So we can discuss it. I need
your viewpoint!

A: I know! And I started it on a drive, but that
situation just wasn’t conducive to a proper listen. Gramma Sue wasn’t having

W: I know; I got her scrolls. I’m so sorry about
that. But now, we’re about to go on break …

A: It’s on my stack. So Bad on Paper, check them
out, listen to them, find them on Facebook or Instagram. If you like books,
bookish discussions, I think you’ll love these guys. 

W: Agree. 28
was published in June
2020 and is the love story of Jake and Mallory. A bit of an unfulfilled love
story, in my opinion, that spans 28 years. Something I really, really loved in
the book was, so each chapter is a year and at the beginning of each chapter
there’s a brief summary of the notable and newsworthy people and events of the
year. It was such a fun time capsule to revisit.

A: I loooooved that, too. The story starts with a
prologue of a dying Mallory who asks her 19-year-old son to find an envelope,
which then directs him to please call and there’s just a slip of paper with a
number on it inside.

W: And when he does, Jake McCloud answers. Let the
story begin.

A: Back to 1993, 24-year-old Mallory inherits a
cottage from her aunt on Nantucket Island. She leaves the big city and moves to
the island. She’s just barely gotten settled, when her brother, Cooper, calls,
saying he’s engaged, the first of many wives throughout the story, and would
like to do a bachelor weekend at the cottage Labor Day weekend with two of his

W: Enter the mysterious Jake McCloud, who Mallory
has spoken with on the phone, but never met.

A: And Fray.

W: And Fray.

A: So the boys come for the weekend, along with
Mallory’s friend Leland, who is Fray’s ex. Bring on the drama.

W: And drama is brought. After a night of much
drinking, Cooper is summoned back by his very angry fiancé; Leland makes out
with Fray then leaves with her much posher friends; and Fray, embarrassed and
angry, goes for a walk on the beach and disappears.

A: Officers and divers search for Fray, an
ambulance is called and he is finally found passed out way down at another
beach. The next morning he leaves and now it's just Jake and Mallory. Labor Day
weekend. 1993. Their love affair begins. 

W: And that’s just the first chapter! They promise
to meet up every year on Labor Day, and so, for each year after, we get a look
at what is happening in either Jake or Mallory’s lives, mostly Mallory’s and
then, of course, their Labor Day weekend together. 

A: Every Labor Day weekend, for 28 summers, Jake
comes to the cottage and they live in the little bubble of their love affair.

W: Jake marries, his wife climbs the political
ladder, and they have a daughter.

A: Mallory becomes an English teacher at the local
high school, does not marry, has a son. While this is the story of Mallory and
Jake’s love affair, love story, a lot goes on, as is what happens when living
life, and there are many lives in this story, but it really pulls you in. I
definitely felt like I was right there on Nantucket with Mallory. I kind-of
wanted to live in her cottage.

W: So agree. Elin definitely takes you there. I
wanted to live in the cottage. For a summer. You know I’m a city girl.

A: You are. I could stay there forever. Like

W: I could every summer. Easily. But I also loved
the DC setting as I love living in DC. And that they ate at Jaleo’s. Another
favorite of ours.

A: Yes.

W: I think I could split my time between DC and
Nantucket. That would not suck. So there is one thing I’d like to nitpick in
the writing, if I may.

A: What?

W: You’re going to laugh because this is so minor
in the book. One tiny little moment.

A: And?

W: Well, Mallory is described doing tree pose,
yoga, and it says she places her right foot alongside her left knee, yes, it
says that exactly, and the reason I remember it so clearly is that when you are
doing tree pose, you should never, never put your foot against your knee joint.
You could injure yourself. Put too much pressure on the knee joint. The foot is
always against the inner thigh, the calf, or resting the ground against your
other ankle, not pressing into it. And there’s your yoga lesson for the day.

A: Thank you, Wendy. Wow. That really put a bee in
your bonnet. This is why I’m afraid of doing the downward dog in front of you! 

W:  I’ll make sure you are in proper alignment. But
it did because when I was teaching yoga, it was something I would always stress
to my classes. Not. On. The. Knee. Never on the knee.

A: Well, now that you’ve gotten that off your chest,
can we talk about the romance tropes in this novel? ‘Cause I’ve got a list.

W: Sure! Let’s hear your list.

A: Okay. I think for this one I’m just going to
list mine and then you list yours and how about we talk about maybe the top
three? See how many similars we have?

W: Sounds good.

A: Are you ready? I think so. This one is chock
full of tropes and Hilderbrand writes them so beautifully. I’ll start with my
minor ones: forbidden love, friends to lovers, love triangle, marriage of
convenience — that’s Jake and Ursula — small town, soul mates, terminal
situations, unexpected inheritance, unexpected pregnancy, second chance at
love, country inn - or inherited cottage, circle of friends — this one is big.
Everyone is tied to someone else … Mallory, Coop, Fray, Jake, Leland … All
connected. Best friend’s sister, obviously a big one, Jake is Coop’s friend,
Mallory is Coop’s sister, and then the main one same time next year. The book
is based on the classic film.

W: Wow! You were certainly thorough. Did you say
second chance at love, though? Because I’m not sure about that one. When did
that happen?

A: Right at the end. Remember they didn’t spend
summer 27 together because of Ursula’s visit asking Mallory to stay away. She’s
running for president and all. Needs to keep the skeletons to a minimum.

W: Right. So they didn’t get that summer and that’s

A: But summer 28 Jake gets the call from Link,
Mallory’s son, and he comes back to spend Mallory’s last days together.

W: Okay. I think that’s a bit of a stretch, but
yeah, okay. I didn’t really consider them together then, I guess. Not like the
previous summers. If you know what I mean.

A: I see your point, but I was having so much fun
going through the trope list, that I had to include it. What’s on your list?

W: Not as many as yours, but I have a few. I’ll
start with my weaker ones … forced proximity, soul mates, love triangle or
square, afraid to commit — that one actually felt quite strong, because Mallory
and Jake had a chance in the beginning but really tiptoed around it and gave
each other such mixed signals until it was too late for them to be together — 

A: Hadn’t thought of that one, but they really did.
I have to ask about forced proximity, though. Where did you see that?

W: At the very beginning. When Cooper has his
bachelor weekend. It’s a bit of a stretch, I know, but when everyone bails,
Jake and Mallory end up alone in the cottage and in bed. On top of the covers,
but still. It’s just them.

A: Okay. I guess I can see that. What else you got?

W: Let me see … Right person, wrong time, maybe
kind of goes with afraid to commit, forbidden love, holiday romance, circle of
friends, and my main one brother’s best friend.

A: So we had a few that overlapped. I can’t believe
I didn’t think of holiday romance. That’s so obvious, every Labor Day weekend.

W: I missed terminal situations and the inheritance
stuff. The inheritance stuff kind of sets up the whole setting for the romance.

A: It does. I love this trope and Hilderbrand made
this so beachy perfect.

W: She did. Even though I can’t say I’m a fan of
this book, I really, really like her writing. It’s so good and like you said,
you feel like you are in the setting.

A: I know! I swear I could feel a breeze and smell
the salt in the air.

W: And if that’s not a perfect beach read, I don't
know what is. So we did have quite a few tropes we both found.

A: We did. 

W: So best friend’s sister. That was a big one.

A: I loved this trope in the book. The tension
created by Mallory and Jake having to hide their love from Coop. Although, not
sure it could’ve been that hard with his love life all over the place.

W: Coop didn’t have the best luck in love. I really
thought Mallory and Jake should’ve just gone for it. Been one big happy family.
Coop would’ve gotten over it.

A: Maybe, but sometimes those mixes do more to
wreck a family then make it a happy one. That’s why the tension is so good.

W: Very true. I just couldn’t imagine seeing the
person I love once a year for just four days. How could that ever be enough?

A: It just worked for them.

W: But did it? It didn’t seem like either of them
were truly happy.

A: I see your point, but I also think the point is
that they could only have their same time next year. That’s the only
way it could work for them.

W: Yeah, I see that as well. Not sure they were
meant for any other kind of relationship. They existed in a magical bubble that
would probably burst if they spent all their time together. Anyway, lots of
tropes in this one. Let’s see how it fits into the pillars of romance. 

A: Oh you know it fits into “The 4 Pillars of
Romance” by Oliver Fox from the Writer’s Write blog. Now we’re just going to
see how perfectly. 

W: That we shall. Pillar 1 - The Couple: Lover and
Beloved. Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud.

A: I felt like they were both the lover and beloved
… a little hard to decipher who is who. I never felt like one loved the other
more or less than the other. What about you?

W: I felt it was pretty equal. I did put Jake more
in the lover category simply because he had to do the most altering of his life
to make sure he got to see Mallory every year. And when we did see inside his
head, he did seem to be very much in love with Mallory and had this need to be
with her. Mallory seemed almost nonchalant about the whole affair. I know she
cared and was in love with Jake, but it did feel like, to me, he loved her a
bit more.

A: She was more guarded with her feelings, maybe. I
felt more connected with Mallory and that it was more of her story, but I was
totally in love with Jake. He was the Everyman in the story.

W: Interesting. I found him weak, unable to go
after what he really wanted, or what he said he really wanted, which was
Mallory, and Mallory a bit selfish or maybe inconsistent is a better word. And
I’m not saying she should’ve given up her life to go live in Jake’s world, but
she wasn’t even willing to make compromises it seemed. He always came to her,
and of course, that’s convenient and he’s married, but still. I think she knew
they couldn’t work for real. Only in their little island world.

A: I really wanted Jake and Mallory to grow old
together. To have what you and Ruffino have, and me and Josh have. It’s almost,
notice I said almost, perfect.

W: Almost. For four days out of 365. Makes it a
little easier to be perfect, though.

A: True. So what do our lovers want? I think they
want a perfect love, and like you just said, perfection can exist in one
weekend per year. Maybe that’s the only place it can exist. Maybe if they’d
actually ended up together, they
might have been perfect as well,
or at least almost perfect.

W: But they’ll never know and for me, one long
weekend a year with the love of my life is definitely not perfection. You can
ask Ruffino. I want to be around him all. The Time. Maybe he’d like this
arrangement. Give him a break from me.

A: Somehow I doubt that. Okay, how do Jake and
Mallory plan to get this perfect love? Same time next year, for one blissful,
magical bubble of Labor Day weekend. Sort of ironic they have “work” for it.

W: That is some irony and you would find that. And
finally, why do they want it? Who doesn’t want a perfect, uncomplicated, no
strings pure love?

A: Everyone wants to find their perfect love. Pure
and simple. Definitely have pillar 1.

W: We do.

A: So Pillar 2 - The Obstacles: Rivals, Taboos, and
Loved Ones ⁓ Oh My!

W: This story is full of obstacles, starting with
Jake and Mallory themselves.

A: It’s never a good idea to date a best friend’s
younger sister. Maybe if they had thought it through early, but then there
wouldn’t have been a story.

W: That’s very true. They had a lot of close calls
in not getting caught. All her brother’s weddings.

A: And what about Bayer? He was a rival for the
summer he and Mallory dated, but he also sees Jake down at the docks with
Mallory one summer and recognizes him. 

W: I thought it was kind of crazy that it took like
26-27 years before anyone knew. Now Cooper did find out, I can’t remember
exactly when, but it was a long time.

A: And Coop lies to Ursula, protecting his sister,
but it does fracture his relationship with Jake. There’s also the Leland
interview. Not a good friend. I was so disappointed she betrayed Mallory’s
confidence. Not surprised, but disappointed. Now Leland was
someone who was selfish.

W: Yes, I agree, Leland was very selfish.

A: And then Jake and Mallory both have a child, not
with each other,  that was an obstacle and just keeping the relationship a
secret was a huge obstacle.

W: Definitely. We had some rivals, if you can
really call Mallory’s guys rivals. They never really had her heart, only Jake
did, so they were just kind of place fillers. Somebody to keep her company and
warm in the times between Jake.

A: A couple of them came close, but maybe Mallory’s
role was always going to be the other woman. She was for Bayer, maybe not the
other two, but still, kind of interesting.

W: It is.

A: Maybe she just liked her independence too much.

W: Maybe. Obviously there’s Ursula, Jake’s wife. I
kind of felt bad for them. They were both unhappy, but also had been pushed
together since practically middle school. I don’t think they knew how to
extricate themselves from each other’s lives because of their family’s
histories and then they were just pushed along the relationship assembly line
to date and marry and have kids.

A: I hadn’t really thought of it that way, and you
know I was no Ursula fan, but maybe that’s true. Sometimes you get caught up
and it can take years before you realize the hamster wheel you find yourself on.

W: Yeah … I don’t think it made them bad people,
just bad for each other. I think Ursula and Jake liked each other, but I didn’t
ever feel they were in love with each other.

A: I know you’ve mentioned this, but I did also
wonder why Jake and Mallory didn’t just come out initially and share their
love, or at least attraction, with each other. Maybe the best friend thing held
Jake back.

W: I think Mallory sent him mixed signals as well.
I think she was afraid of having a real relationship or maybe being rejected by
him. Because even with all her other boyfriends, it was pretty superficial. She
walked away pretty easily.

A: That’s true, she did. So we’ve got pillar 2.
Let’s look at pillar 3.

W: Okay. Pillar 3 - The Romantic Arc: Winning and
Losing and … Winning Back Again?

A: Okay … So Jake knows, well, he’s familiar with
Mallory as they’ve talked on the phone when she would call her brother at
college. It’s not an official meet, but they are getting to know each other.

W: Even though they haven’t met, yet, I think
Mallory had already started to fall for Jake.

A: Oh I think so. They finally meet when they all
come to Nantucket for Coop’s bachelor weekend and what a lovely twist of fate
when they end up as the only two left when everyone else bails.

W: How convenient.

A: It was! I loved the chance they were given to
hook up. But our girl Mallory isn’t interested in long distance relationships,
so she tells him to come back, same time next year.

W: And he does. For 28 summers. And they do grow
closer, in spite of Jake’s marriage and Mallory’s brief relationships. Or maybe
it’s because of those that they grow closer. I didn’t feel like they ever
really lost each other, except maybe just the chance to have a real
relationship right at the beginning, did you?

A: There was the one summer after Ursula came and
talked to Mallory. They didn’t have that normal summer together.

W: I suppose we could stretch and say that was when
they lost each other, but they only really lost that time, they were still
pining for each other.

A: Of course they were! But then Jake comes back
and they spend one last summer, Mallory’s last few days together and he won her
back. It’s maybe not a traditional arc like we’ve had in the other episodes
we've discussed, but it’s still an arc. Hilderbrand just put her own spin on

W: True. And we, the readers, were waiting to see
if all the stars would align each year and they get their four perfect days

A: Exactly. So we have an arc. 

W: Last pillar, Pillar 4 - The Lover’s Sacrifice.

A: There’s actually a lot of sacrifice in this story.

W: And one really, really large sacrifice. The one
where they’re never actually together.

A: Right, but first, Mallory sacrifices finding
love and possibly true happiness. I think for her, the one constant she does
have is this perfect, one weekend a year, blissful love. And she has it for 28

W: Her choice.

A: Of course. That’s what a sacrifice is.

W: Do you think she was happy?

A: I do. Happy enough.

W: See, that’s my problem. I don’t think I could
settle for happy enough.

A: But Mallory could. I think she tried to find
love, she just realized she loved Jake more. And she did have him, even if it
was only once a year, and that was enough. For her.

W: I do actually agree with that. Jake also
sacrificed true happiness.

A: And a perfect love. He gives into his weakness,
you mentioned that earlier, by always going back to Ursula.

W: Well, I think she was safe to him.

A: Safe and loveless. I think I was upset with Jake
for proposing to Ursula after her father died. I understood, but I was so

W: Even though they both kind of sacrificed a lot,
I didn’t feel like they truly achieved their goal. Unless one weekend a year
was their goal.

A: I think it became their goal. The only one they
could achieve. I think we needed one more reason, though here in this pillar.
Because they weren’t strong enough to achieve their goal doesn’t really fit,
for me. It wasn’t necessarily the wrong goal, and they didn’t quit on their
goal. They couldn’t achieve their goal because, spoiler alert, one of them dies.

W: Yeah. They sacrificed a lot of time they
could’ve just spent together. Living their lives and growing old. Having a real
relationship. I’m not saying they didn’t have a relationship, but it really
felt like more of a fling. An affair. To me.

A: I don’t know. I feel like Mallory and Jake grew
to know each other as well as or at least just as well as a married couple. I
know they only had four days a year, but they really focused on each other in
those four days. I’d venture to say they had more intimate discussions in those
four short days than some of us have in a lifetime.

W: I won’t argue with you there. Maybe it just
doesn’t sit with me because I couldn’t be Mallory. I would want all of Jake all
the time. I could never be satisfied with four days a year. And I felt like
they both wanted that, but just never went for it.

A: And if they had, we wouldn’t have this story.
So, all the pillars are there for our final romance of the season.

W: They are and even though I wasn’t a huge fan of
the story, I love the writing. Love the writing. You know what I think it boils
down to for me with this one?

A: What?

W: I couldn’t be happy in Mallory’s place so I
don’t believe she could be happy and that’s a pretty narrow-minded view.
Because who am I to say what would make someone happy?

A: Exactly.

W: So it left me kind of dissatisfied. As a reader.
But that’s me. What are your final thoughts on this final piece of prose?

A: The author herself said people either love or
hate this one. For me, I just loved the story…I don’t have to worry about
myself as I found the love of my life. Mallory and Jake have their 28 summers
and Chloe Lamarca and Josh have their 32 years. 

W: Oh yeah you did celebrate 32 this past spring and
years are better than summers. Happy Belated Anniversary. Now
what about our Conca d’Oro Prosecco Rosé? This was just a perfect summer
prosecco pairing for a summer beach read. Can’t you just picture yourself on a
Nantucket beach, big hat, big book, bottle of this?

A: Divine! I love this prosecco. So glad Richard
brought it out for us to try. You can never really go wrong with this one. It’s
just so good! It was so yum with the dark chili chocolate. That spicy really
brought it to another level.

W: It did. I think it’d also be good with sushi.

A: Oh yeah. Don’t you think it would just so good
with Asian food? Like a spring roll?

W: Of definitely. And we know it goes great with
Italian food.

A: Obviously. Or a loaf or two or three of bread
that we always eat at Portofino’s. So good. 

W: Or zucchini blossoms, fried calamari, or just
try the appetizer specials. Everything’s good. Can you tell we love Portifino’s? 

A: You can’t go wrong. So check out Portofino’s,
ask for Richard and tell him Prosecco N Prose sent you! We’re definitely going
after this. I’m starving since I forgot the shrimp cocktail I promised. 

W: I wasn’t going to say anything but…now I don't have
to. Rating on this prosecco?

A: I, without a doubt, recommend. It’s one of my
favorites. Sometimes I hate that we have to share with Josh and Ruffino .

W: That’s why we get two bottles.

A: And only pour the boys a ½ glass! 

W: They prefer the wine anyway, so we’re actually
doing them a favor.

A: We are. Look at us, so altruistic. Okay, so my
rating is a 4.1. This one is so delicious. I love it. You? Did this one break
you out of the 3.whatever ratings?

W: It did. You can’t just rate every prosecco high,
you know.

A: Actually, I can. Especially if I like it. Now
give it to us, your rating please my posh prosecco princess.

W: I am also giving this one a 4.1.

A: Really? It’s about time! Cheers to that!

W: Cheers! It’s absolutely delicious and it’s
always tied to memories of sunshine, great dinners with great friends eating
outside at Portofino’s. What’s not to love about that?

A: Absolutely nothing. Well, I think that’s a wrap
on the season of love, my friend.

W: I think so. Be sure to come back in two weeks
for our Epilogue where we will give our picks and pans of the season and a
little sneak peak of what’s in store for Season 5.

A: Some big changes ahead. You don’t want to miss it.

W: You don’t. We will be pairing the Epilogue with
some bargain bin prosecco Amy found somewhere that’s so good she won’t even let
me see the bottle. Or tell me where she got it.

A: Definitely don’t want to miss that!