Title: Winter Street
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Publication: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition
Genre: Women’s Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
In bestseller Elin Hilderbrand’s first Christmas novel, a family gathers on Nantucket for a holiday filled with surprises.
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.
I’ve been an Elin Hilderbrand fan for quite some time. While her books are never particularly thought-provoking, they’re always the perfect escape from my current reality. She never fails to whisk me away to the beaches of Nantucket–complete with a mimosa and plenty of seaside gossip. Winter Street by far is one of my favorites.
Set in the two days before and the day of Christmas, Winter Street is the perfect blend of holiday cheer and familial dysfunction. Innkeeper Kelley catches his wife Mitzi cheating on him with the Santa he hires every year for the inn’s Christmas party. Each of Kelley’s three older children with his first wife Margaret are in various stages of crisis and his youngest and only child with Mitzi is in Afghanistan. Margaret abandons her trip to Hawaii to comfort her children and ex-husband. What follows is three days of hilarity, heartbreak, triumph, and the power of family. Elin Hilderbrand masterfully weaves several stories together without missing the crucial details. The book isn’t very long, but somehow when you finish, you feel as if the story is complete. As this is the first book in her Winter series, there is certainly more to come.
If you’re looking for a light and fun Christmas read with just a bit of drama, pick up Winter Street–or any of Hilderbrand’s other books if you need an escape. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars for sheer spunk and fun.