28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand is a romance novel based upon the 1978 movie Same Time Next Year starring Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda. In fact, the two main characters Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud watch this movie as they spend every labor day together. The novel starts in 2020 when Mallory’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer. Link is shocked when Jake McCloud answers the phone. First, he doesn’t know that his mother knew Jake. Second, Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the front runner in the upcoming Presidential election. The story then goes back to 1993 when Jake and Mallory first meet and make their promise to see each other yearly “no matter what”.
I am not much of a Chick-Lit reader. I picked this book because of all the high ratings in hopes it would change my mind about romance stories. I was bored before the 12th summer. The Audible version is 15 hours and 26 minutes, so I almost gave up about 6 hours in. I kept hoping it would get better, but things never clicked for me.
On a positive note, the Audible narrator was good. I really enjoyed the chapter beginnings that started with “What are we talking about in [whatever year]?” and then lists that year’s headlines, pop music, and cultural references.