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Welcome to the audiobook review of “The Rumor” by Elin Hilderbrand. Set in the beautiful island town of Nantucket, this novel will take you on a journey through the tangled webs of gossip and secrets that sometimes threaten to tear apart even the strongest of friendships.

Hilderbrand, known for her captivating writing style and exceptional storytelling, has yet again delivered an incredible novel that is sure to entice and excite readers. If you enjoy audiobooks that combine drama, romance, and mystery, then “The Rumor” should be on your must-listen list.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand is a Nantucket-based novel that explores the complexities of friendship and the power of secrets.
  • Hilderbrand’s writing style is captivating, and her storytelling is exceptional.
  • Listeners who enjoy audiobooks with drama, romance, and mystery will love “The Rumor.”
  • The audiobook is narrated excellently, enhancing the overall listening experience.
  • Readers and audiobook listeners alike have praised “The Rumor” for its compelling plot, well-developed characters, and thought-provoking themes.

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a New York Times bestselling author known for her poignant and emotional stories centered around family, relationships, and life on Nantucket Island. She has written over 25 books, many of which have become instant bestsellers.

Before becoming an author, Hilderbrand worked in the publishing industry and as a teacher. Her connection to Nantucket Island is deep-rooted, having grown up on the island and raising her family there as well.

Hilderbrand’s writing style is known for its warmth and relatability. She has a gift for creating realistic characters and immersive settings that transport readers into her worlds. Her previous works, like “The Blue Bistro,” “The Perfect Couple,” and “Summer of ’69,” have received critical acclaim, cementing her place in contemporary literature.

Synopsis of “The Rumor”

In “The Rumor” by Elin Hilderbrand, a beach community on Nantucket is rocked by scandal. The story follows two best friends, Madeline and Grace, as they navigate the fallout of a rumor that threatens to upend their lives.

The rumor in question is about Madeline’s husband, Trevor, and Grace’s husband, Eddie, and their supposed infidelity with each other. As the rumor spreads like wildfire, relationships are strained and secrets are revealed.

Adding to the drama is the arrival of a former rock star, celebrity chef, and Grace’s ex-husband, Xavier, who stirs up old emotions and adds another layer to the already complex web of relationships.

Throughout the novel, tensions rise as the characters are forced to confront their past mistakes and determine the true nature of their relationships. In the end, “The Rumor” offers a tale of redemption, forgiveness, and the power of friendship and community.

The Audiobook Narration

The audiobook narration of “The Rumor” by Elin Hilderbrand is captivating and engaging. The voice actor delivers a masterful performance that truly brings the characters and Nantucket setting to life. The clear diction and well-paced delivery make it easy to follow the story and stay engaged throughout.

The voice actor also does an excellent job of differentiating between characters, using distinct voices and accents to convey their unique personalities and perspectives. This enhances the listening experience, helping listeners to more fully immerse themselves in the story.

Overall, the audiobook narration adds an extra dimension to the already excellent book, making it a must-listen for anyone who enjoys engaging storytelling.

Nantucket as a Setting

As an island located off the coast of Massachusetts, Nantucket provides an idyllic setting for “The Rumor.” Its unique geography and culture add depth to the story and create a sense of place that is impossible to replicate.

Elin Hilderbrand masterfully incorporates the island’s landscape into the narrative, with its bustling downtown, historic homes, and sprawling beaches serving as essential backdrops to the plot. The distinct atmosphere of Nantucket permeates every aspect of the story, making it an integral part of the novel’s overall impact.

Furthermore, the island’s isolation and small-town dynamics contribute to the tension and conflicts that arise throughout the book. The insular nature of Nantucket allows for gossip and rumors to spread quickly, driving the plot forward and adding to the intrigue of the story.

Hilderbrand’s use of Nantucket as a setting is a testament to her skill as a writer. She not only captures the beauty of the island but also effectively uses its characteristics to enhance the novel’s themes and plot.

Nantucket Island

The image provides a glimpse of Nantucket’s stunning coastline, which plays a crucial role in the setting of “The Rumor.”

Character Development

One of the most notable aspects of “The Rumor” is the impressive character development. Hilderbrand skillfully portrays the growth and evolution of the main characters, revealing their complexities and flaws through nuanced characterization. As the story progresses, readers witness the characters’ experiences and the impact they have on each other, resulting in a compelling and emotionally satisfying narrative.

The growth of the characters is evident in their relationships with one another. From the beginning of the story, the characters are presented with challenges that force them to confront difficult truths about themselves and their loved ones. Through these challenges, the characters learn and evolve, demonstrating the significance of personal and emotional growth.

Overall, the character development in “The Rumor” adds depth and complexity to the story, making it a compelling and rewarding read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships and the power of personal growth.

Themes and Messages

One of the most significant aspects of “The Rumor” is the underlying themes and messages that the story presents. Throughout the novel, Elin Hilderbrand explores the complex nature of relationships and the impact that rumors and secrets can have on individuals and a community as a whole.

The themes of trust, loyalty, and betrayal are prevalent in the book, as characters struggle with the consequences of their actions and the impact that their choices have on those around them. Hilderbrand’s masterful storytelling showcases the ripple effect of rumors and gossip, and how they can ultimately lead to devastating consequences.

However, amidst all the chaos and drama, “The Rumor” also manages to offer hope and positivity. The book reminds us of the power of forgiveness and the importance of relationships in our lives. By the end of the story, readers are left with valuable lessons about the fragility of human connections and the importance of honesty and authenticity.

Overall, “The Rumor” is a thought-provoking and insightful novel that tackles important themes and messages relevant to contemporary society. Through her compelling characters and intricate plot, Hilderbrand delivers a powerful story that leaves a lasting impact on readers and audiobook listeners alike.

Plot Structure and Pacing

In “The Rumor,” the plot structure is well-crafted, with a clear beginning, middle, and end that keeps the reader engaged throughout. The story progresses at a steady pace, with a well-timed balance of tension and release. The gradual revelation of secrets and their impact on the characters keeps the story moving forward, while the occasional flashbacks to past events provide additional depth and context. Overall, the plot structure and pacing of “The Rumor” are effective in creating an engaging reading experience.

The pacing of the story is well-suited to the book’s themes and tone, with enough suspense to keep readers on edge without overwhelming them. The use of multiple viewpoints also adds an extra layer of complexity to the narrative and allows for a more nuanced exploration of the characters and their motivations. While some readers may find the pacing slow at times, it is ultimately effective in building tension and maintaining the reader’s interest.

Writing Style and Prose

One of the standout aspects of “The Rumor” is Elin Hilderbrand’s writing style and prose. Her use of language is both descriptive and emotive, creating vivid imagery and a sense of atmosphere throughout the novel. Hilderbrand’s writing also utilizes a range of techniques to keep the reader engaged, including flashbacks, multiple narrators, and shifts in timeline. These elements combine to create a narrative that is both captivating and easy to follow.

The prose in the audiobook is equally impressive, thanks in large part to the skilled narration by the voice actor. The pacing, intonation, and inflection all work in tandem to create an engaging and enjoyable listening experience. Whether reading or listening, “The Rumor” is a novel that showcases Hilderbrand’s mastery of language and storytelling.

Writing Style and Prose

Audience Reception and Reviews

Since its release, “The Rumor” by Elin Hilderbrand has garnered widespread attention and acclaim from readers and audiobook listeners alike. Audiences have praised the novel for its gripping storytelling, vivid characterization, and immersive setting. On Goodreads, “The Rumor” holds a rating of 4.01 out of 5, with many readers complimenting Hilderbrand’s writing style and the book’s relatable characters.

According to Kirkus Reviews, “The Rumor” is a “delightful depiction of family and community” which skillfully addresses themes of infidelity, loyalty, and friendship. The New York Journal of Books calls it a “must-read novel of the summer,” with “sharp humor and well-developed characters.”

The audiobook version of “The Rumor” has also received high marks, with listeners commending the performance of the voice actor and its ability to bring the story to life. Audible listeners have rated the audiobook 4.3 out of 5, praising its pacing and engrossing narration.

  • “Elin Hilderbrand knows how to write the perfect beach read novels, and ‘The Rumor’ is no exception. Compelling, dramatic, and oh-so-binge-worthy.” – BookPage
  • “I loved ‘The Rumor’! Elin Hilderbrand has once again delivered a masterclass in character-driven storytelling that keeps you hooked from start to finish.” – Reader’s Digest

Overall, the reception of “The Rumor” has been overwhelmingly positive, with readers and listeners alike praising Hilderbrand’s ability to craft a rich, engaging story that resonates with audiences. It’s a testament to the power of great storytelling and has cemented Hilderbrand’s place as a standout author in contemporary literature.

Comparison to Other Works by Elin Hilderbrand

When comparing “The Rumor” to Elin Hilderbrand’s other works, readers and listeners can expect similar elements that define her writing style. The Nantucket-based setting features heavily in most of Hilderbrand’s novels, including “The Perfect Couple,” “Summer of ’69,” and “28 Summers.” However, unlike some of her other novels, “The Rumor” is firmly focused on the lives and conflicts of a small group of characters, making it a more intimate and character-driven story.

In terms of pacing and plot structure, “The Rumor” shares similarities with other Hilderbrand works, such as “The Identicals” and “The Matchmaker.” Each novel has a steady, deliberate pace that allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the characters’ lives and day-to-day struggles.

One standout element of “The Rumor” is its exploration of friendship, loyalty, and betrayal. While these themes appear in other Hilderbrand novels, such as “Barefoot” and “The Island,” “The Rumor” delves into these issues with a unique depth and complexity that makes it stand apart from her other works.

Overall, readers and listeners who enjoy “The Rumor” can look forward to exploring the multitude of works in Hilderbrand’s extensive bibliography. While her books share some common elements, each one offers unique insights and perspectives on life, love, and the challenges of living on Nantucket Island.

Impact and Cultural Significance

“The Rumor” by Elin Hilderbrand has made a significant impact on the literary landscape with its cultural significance. It has touched the hearts of many readers and listeners with its relatable characters and compelling story. The novel has showcased the relevance of literature to explore the complexities of human emotions and relationships.

“The Rumor” adds to the growing importance of contemporary literature, exemplifying how it can illuminate the human experience. Elin Hilderbrand’s novel stands out by providing a unique perspective that captures the essence of life in Nantucket. Her work has made an impact by resonating with audiences and highlighting the power of storytelling in an ever-changing world.

Recommendations and Final Thoughts

For fans of Elin Hilderbrand or anyone looking for a Nantucket-based novel, “The Rumor” is a great choice. The audiobook narration by Kathleen McInerney enhances the experience with her skilled performance.

The setting of Nantucket adds depth to the story and plays a significant role in the plot, while the character development and themes provide a thought-provoking read.

Overall, “The Rumor” is an enjoyable and well-written novel. We highly recommend it to anyone looking for a captivating story with a touch of romance.


In summary, “The Rumor” by Elin Hilderbrand is a Nantucket-based novel that explores the complexities of friendship and the dangers of spreading rumors. The audiobook narration enhances the story, and the setting of Nantucket adds depth to the plot. The character development is well-executed, and the themes and messages are thought-provoking. The plot structure and pacing keep the listener engaged, and the writing style and prose are easy to follow. Audience reception has been generally positive, and the book stands out among Hilderbrand’s other works. Overall, “The Rumor” has cultural significance within contemporary literature and is worth a read or listen.


What is “The Rumor” about?

“The Rumor” is a Nantucket-based novel written by Elin Hilderbrand. It follows the lives of the residents of the island as a rumor spreads and impacts their relationships and secrets.

Who is Elin Hilderbrand?

Elin Hilderbrand is the author of “The Rumor.” She is known for her captivating writing style and her connection to Nantucket, where many of her stories are set. She has written numerous bestselling novels.

Can you provide a synopsis of “The Rumor?”

“The Rumor” tells the story of a close-knit community in Nantucket. When a rumor about an affair between two members of the community starts spreading, it tests the loyalty and friendships of the residents. The novel explores themes of trust, relationships, and the consequences of gossip.

Who narrates the audiobook version of “The Rumor?”

The audiobook version of “The Rumor” is narrated by a talented voice actor. Their performance brings the characters and the story to life, enhancing the overall listening experience.

Why is Nantucket important in “The Rumor”?

Nantucket serves as a significant setting in “The Rumor.” The island’s unique charm and tight-knit community play a crucial role in the story’s development. The setting adds depth to the narrative and enhances the reader’s understanding of the characters and their lives.

How are the characters developed in “The Rumor”?

In “The Rumor,” the characters undergo significant development throughout the story. The author explores their emotions, motivations, and growth, providing readers with well-rounded and relatable individuals.

What are the main themes and messages in “The Rumor”?

“The Rumor” delves into themes of trust, friendship, loyalty, and the power of gossip. It delivers a meaningful message about the consequences of rumors and the impact they can have on relationships.

How is the plot structured and paced in “The Rumor”?

“The Rumor” has a well-structured plot that keeps readers engaged throughout. The pacing is well-balanced, allowing the story to unfold smoothly and keeping the readers invested in the characters’ lives.

What is the writing style like in “The Rumor?”

Elin Hilderbrand’s writing style in “The Rumor” is engaging and easy to follow. Her prose is descriptive and vivid, capturing the essence of Nantucket and conveying the emotions of the characters effectively.

How has “The Rumor” been received by audiences?

“The Rumor” has received positive reviews from readers and audiobook listeners. Its compelling storyline, well-developed characters, and immersive setting have resonated with audiences, making it a popular choice among fans of contemporary fiction.

How does “The Rumor” compare to other works by Elin Hilderbrand?

When compared to other works by Elin Hilderbrand, “The Rumor” showcases her signature style and storytelling prowess. While each of her novels has its unique elements, fans of her previous works are likely to enjoy “The Rumor” as well.

What impact does “The Rumor” have on literature and culture?

“The Rumor” contributes to the literary landscape by offering an engaging storyline and meaningful themes. It reflects the cultural significance of gossip and its effects on individuals and communities, making it a relevant and thought-provoking read.

Would you recommend “The Rumor” as an audiobook?

Yes, “The Rumor” is highly recommended as an audiobook. The captivating narration enhances the immersive experience and brings the characters and story to life. It is a great choice for those who enjoy listening to novels.

What are your final thoughts on “The Rumor”?

In conclusion, “The Rumor” by Elin Hilderbrand offers a compelling storyline, well-developed characters, and a vivid portrayal of Nantucket. It explores themes of trust, gossip, and relationships, leaving readers with a thought-provoking and enjoyable audiobook experience.

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