Winter In Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

Winter In Paradise

I love this cover! It speaks to me. Spending part of the harsh winter months on St. John island in the Caribbean probably speaks volumes to most people.

Irene Steele is living the good life. She’s being kept busy with her job at the magazine and renovating her Queen Anne home. Her grown sons are successful or so she thinks. And then there’s Russell, her husband, who has a very high-powered job that brings in oodles of money and has him traveling most of the time.

All seems good until the phone rings late on New Year’s night while Russell is away on business…… He’s  been found dead in the water off the coast of St. John island in the Caribbean.  Dead. Irene doesn’t even know where St. John is. What on earth was he doing there?  But, wait. There’s more. A local woman was also found dead with Russell. And the plot thickens.

Neither of Irene’s sons is thriving. Nor are they happy. But they both come running to St. John to be with their mother and get to the bottom of this mystery. And mystery it certainly is.  They discover Russell has been leading a secret life. For a long time. He owns a $15 million dollar villa hidden in the mountains on the water that none of the family had one clue of.  And then they find out about Rosie Small.

I’m just coming off reading SUMMER OF 69 which I loved, Hilderbrand’s summer on Nantucket novel.  And I noticed she has a new novel coming in October, the second in a series.  So I picked up this copy of  the first in the Paradise series, WINTER IN PARADISE, from my local library. I devoured it. Once I saw the story takes place on St. John I was all in. We are going to be visiting St. John in December. What  a perfect fit.

The island of St. John is wonderfully and explicitly depicted as paradise. Hilderbrand writes in the author’s note at the beginning of this book that this is the first novel she’s written that does not take place on Nantucket. She spends a few months each spring on St. John and has come to consider it her second home.  She mentions the massive damage the lovely island sustained in 2017 when Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria blew through.  And she explains that the island she writes about is the island as it was before the storm did so much damage. She also goes on to report that the island is ready for visitors and will welcome you.

Hilderbrand knows how to tell a story. She knows how to invent characters that you will care about. And she sure knows how to use her knowledge of the area to push the story to its limits. The sparkling water, the pristine sand, the amazing wildlife. And throwing in real cafes and shops makes the story more endearing. Her love of this island bursts through.

Elin Hilderbrand

What will Irene and her sons find out about Russell and his “other” life?  That is the big question. And it’s going to take three books to get us there. After reading WINTER IN PARADISE you will only have to wait a couple months until October when the second installment will arrive on the book scene: WHAT HAPPENS IN PARADISE.

I really had no intention of reading this novel at this time. I am crazy busy reading in advance of upcoming seasonal book talks. I need every moment I can get. But this novel was so darn good, and so compelling.  I borrowed my copy from the library as I previously stated, and am very excited about reading the next installment which I have just downloaded onto my ipad as a review copy!  Little Brown is the proud publisher of all of Elin Hilderbrand’s many novels. Thanks guys.

We have one used hardcover of WINTER IN PARADISE by Elin Hilderbrand in the bookstore. It won’t last long. Come on in and nab it now.  This book will be available in trade paper sometime in September and Copperfish will be proudly displaying it.

 

 

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Summer of 69

Love the cover of Elin Hilderbrand’s upcoming brand new novel, SUMMER OF 69!  This cover screams take me to the beach like nothing else.

I’ve  read every single one of Hilderbrand’s novels over the years. I have loved them all. The title completely won me over even before the first page was turned. This was my time. I remember that summer so well. And such a historical summer at that.

All of Hilderbrand’s novels take place on Nantucket. Once in a while she sets part  of a novel on Martha’s Vineyard. And this is one of them. It’s perfect.  And adds some angst to the story.

The Levin family always look forward to spending their summers at their grandmother’s historical home in downtown Nantucket.  This year Blair, the oldest sister, is hugely pregnant with twins and is spending her summer lying around on a couch eating bon bons in front of a tv in Boston while her astrophysicist husband is working to prepare for the upcoming moon landing. Kirby, the middle sister, has bucked the system and is spending the summer on Martha’s Vineyard with a friend.  She’s been involved in protests and has been in trouble with a capital T.  That leaves youngest sister, Jessie, to spend time with her cantankerous grandmother and their mom Kate who has taken to the bottle most of the day as she struggles with the deployment of her only son Tiger who is Jessie’s step-brother.  Lots of stress going on. And I haven’t even mentioned the men.

This summer is filled with so much news. The moon landing. Nixon’s presidency.  Ted Kennedy’s dive off the bridge in Chappaquiddick with Mary Jo Kopechne left to drown in the car.  Civil rights protests.  And this is the summer the country is preparing for the now infamous Woodstock. OMG!

Hilderbrand brings a lot to the table. Jessie is growing up.  It’s all coming to a head this summer.   Jessie falls for a gorgeous young man named Pick.  Who is Pick and what is the secret Kate knows about him?  Jessie’s grandmother is harboring a big secret and maybe she isn’t the ogre we thought.  A summer that should be filled with sand and swimming and fun is also  filled with family crisis and worries.

Elin Hilderbrand

If you’re looking for a perfect beach read, well, this is your book. Elin Hilderbrand has done it all over again as she has for over ten years now. Cheers!

Of course we will have plenty of copies of SUMMER OF ’69 at Copperfish Books.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

They will be discounted 20% as all our new hardcovers are. Hope to see you soon.

My lovely finished hard copy of SUMMER OF ’69 arrived from Little Brown Publishers in exchange for an honest review. It’s super. Just perfect for summer!

 

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

The Most Fun We Ever Had

Humorous, witty and wise, THE MOST FUN WE EVER HAD, is a gorgeously written tale of a family living authentically in the center of America.

David Sorenson married Marilyn in the 1970’s. He in medical school, she  leaving her studies shortly after their marriage when she finds she is pregnant with the first of their four daughters. Another daughter quickly follows. In fact, what is called  Irish twins. Their lives become exhausting and challenging.

The thing about David and Marilyn has always been the crazy, wild love they have for each other.  This love is so intense that it seemingly leaves no room for anything or anyone else.  At least that’s what we are led to believe. Two more daughters arrive and complicate things even farther.

Wendy, the oldest daughter, is a wild child.  And her life is always going to be just a bit beyond her. Everything is just out of reach. And she resents everyone.

Violet harbors a shocking secret from her youth.  And yet, she seems to be the sister who always falls on her feet.

Liza becomes pregnant with a man she is not sure she loves.  A man who she’s lived with for three years but he  has been depressed and unavailable emotionally for sometime now.

And then there is Grace, the youngest girl. Grace has been living a lie. Her family has no idea.

And who is Jonah Bendt? A teenager given up for adoption fifteen years ago by one of the daughters, in secret.

This is so much more than a story about sibling rivalry. This novel vibrates  with tension, yet glows with wit.  There are scenes that will make you laugh out loud. Other scenes may have you in tears. It’s wrought with overwhelming love and yet filled with powerful undercurrents of resentment.  In Lombardo’s very capable hands the reader quickly becomes enmeshed in this family saga, and settles in for the long haul.

David and Marilyn’s four daughters share one fear; that they will never find love like their parents. Probably rightly so.

THE MOST FUN WE EVER HAD takes place in and around Chicago. What better place in America to set this story of a very American family.

Claire Lombardo

I loved the prose.  When I read that Lombardo had earned her MFA in fiction from Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I had to still my beating heart.  That, to me, is usually a strong indication of greatness.  I was certainly not disappointed.

My review copy arrived via Doubleday Books, a division of Penguin Random House. It’s one of the greats of the season. A wonderful debut.