The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess’s lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she’s cancelled her engagement.

It’s only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she’s embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store – a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles.

But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known.

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I first read an Elin Hilderbrand novel earlier this year and I’m addicted! They are great escape reads that are perfect for reading on a beach or just curled up on the couch! The Island is no exception and it was perfect for a fall couch read!

The Island focuses on 4 women – 2 daughters, their mother and their aunt. Each of them is broken and escape to Tuckernuck Island. The biggest flaw in this novel, was the women weren’t very likable. The daughters, who were in their 30s, acted like teenagers who stomped and stormed around when things didn’t work out. Their mother wasn’t any better since she just let them act that way and sat quietly on the side. Also it didn’t help that everyone was uber rich with tons of free time.

The storylines of the 4 women were intriguing and I was curious to see what would happen with each of them. Most of it was predictable, but I still enjoyed the journey getting to the end.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. I would definitely recommend Elin Hilderbrand, but The Island isn’t her best novel. Still an enjoyable read though!

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Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Read on the beach in Switzerland – highly recommend!

Celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe has always been a force of nature with an insatiable appetite for life. But after that appetite contributes to Deacon’s shocking death in his favorite place on earth, a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage, his (messy, complicated) family is reeling. Now Deacon’s three wives, his children, and his best friend gather on the island he loved to say farewell.

The three very different women have long been bitter rivals, each wanting to claim the primary place in Deacon’s life and his heart. But as they slowly let go of the resentments they’ve held onto for years and remember the good times, secrets are revealed, confidences are shared, and improbable bonds are formed as this unlikely family says goodbye to the man who brought them all together, for better or worse–and the women he loved find new ways to love again. 

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What a perfect beach read, which is what I ended up doing when we were travelling in Switzerland earlier this week! I blogged recently about Hilderbrand’s most recent novel – The Perfect Couple and to my surprise my husband got me one of her earlier novels for my birthday!

This novel wasn’t as mysterious as The Perfect Couple, but it had drama and was hard to put down! Here’s To Us focused on Deacon Thorpes’ 3 wives – his current wife and his two ex-wives – as well as his two children as they dealt with their grief once he had surprisingly passed away.

I loved the drama that the book had. Each of Deacon’s marriages didn’t end very well and he jumped into a next marriage fairly quickly after the divorce of his previous wife. This obviously caused a ton of tension between the wives and they don’t speak to each other. Of course, all that tension has to come out when they need to live in a house together for Deacon’s funeral in Nantucket.

I really enjoyed Laurie (Deacon’s first wife) and Angie (Deacon’s daughter), but the other characters were fairly unlikable and I never really warmed up to them (especially Scarlett). My favourite part of the novel was that all of the wives (even though they hated each other) didn’t have any hatred towards any of Deacon’s children (he had a child with each wife) and treated them as part of the family.

4 calculators out of a potential 5. If you are looking for a light read, I would highly recommend Elin Hilderbrand! Can’t wait to read more of her books!

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The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand

The Perfect Couple

It’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.

But it’s going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom’s famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect.

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From the very first page, I was hooked on The Perfect Couple. It rotated between current day, where the maid of honour was found dead by the bride-to-be on her wedding day and past events that played a big part in what was happening in the current day.

I liked the cast of characters that played a role in the wedding as well as the investigation. I liked how a character wasn’t focused on for too long and  we got to see the perspective of many others that played a part.

The mystery wasn’t super amazing and I had a feeling of where the novel was going. There was one part that I didn’t like, which was the conclusion of the chief’s and detective’s findings. I won’t spoil it, but it was disappointing and not the way I wanted an investigation to end.

This is the perfect read for this summer and I couldn’t put the novel down!

4 calculators out of a potential 5. I really enjoyed my first read by Elin Hilderbrand and I’m open for suggestions on other reads by her!

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