Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand

Winter Street

Kelley Quinn is the owner of Nantucket’s Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four, all of them grown and living in varying states of disarray. Patrick, the eldest, is a hedge fund manager with a guilty conscience. Kevin, a bartender, is secretly sleeping with a French housekeeper named Isabelle. Ava, a school teacher, is finally dating the perfect guy but can’t get him to commit. And Bart, the youngest and only child of Kelley’s second marriage to Mitzi, has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines.

As Christmas approaches, Kelley is looking forward to getting the family together for some quality time at the inn. But when he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa Claus (or the guy who’s playing Santa at the inn’s annual party), utter chaos descends. With the three older children each reeling in their own dramas and Bart unreachable in Afghanistan, it might be up to Kelley’s ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to save Christmas at the Winter Street Inn.

Before the mulled cider is gone, the delightfully dysfunctional Quinn family will survive a love triangle, an unplanned pregnancy, a federal crime, a small house fire, many shots of whiskey, and endless rounds of Christmas caroling, in this heart-warming novel about coming home for the holidays.

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What a perfect winter/Christmas novel. The novel is short and takes place over 3 days – December 23, 24 and 25. The novel follows the Quinn family and boy does a ton of stuff happen to them over the holidays. I really enjoyed reading about the drama happening in their lives and how they come together as a family to overcome it.

The characters aren’t perfect and I feel like I have read about them before in Hilderbrand’s other novels (strong mother that comes to patch everyone up regardless about how she has treated them in the past, father falling apart when wife leaves, daughter can’t get man to propose, etc.). It’s not that I didn’t enjoy them, but I feel like I already know this story and how it ends.

And then there is the cliffhanger. The novel was published back in 2014, so I know that there is more novels in the series, but I couldn’t imagine ending on that cliffhanger and then waiting another year to read the next novel. Hate it when authors feel that they need these giant cliffhangers.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. A cozy winter read and a good start to a new series for me!


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