I’ve read every one of Elin Hilderbrand’s novels. Wait, no, I missed last year. She has written dozens of them. She is the queen of the beach read. The reason I missed last year is because right off the bat the main character was killed off and became a ghost. I don’t do ghosts well. I passed. Low and behold there is a ghost in this new novel. But she’s not the main character and manages to move the story along wonderfully.
Lizbet Keaton snags a super position as General Manager of the recently renovated Gilded Age Hotel Nantucket. The larger than life hotel has a history and comes complete with its own ghost: a chamber maid who was murdered in 1922 and no one has solved the crime. The new owner of the hotel is Xavier Darling, a London billionaire with more money than good sense. He is rarely seen in the story. But his wealth hovers constantly. He has spared no expense and descriptions of the place shiver with reality. It’s a gorgeous venue.
Our family are total foodies so the scenes and descriptions in the eateries on the island really impress me.
There are many levels to this story. Every character has some sort of drama going on. Some right out front, others much more undercover. Multiple affairs are happening, some right in broad daylight. It’s summertime and things are heating right up. Nantucket is rocking and rolling mostly with very high rollers.
An eight-year-old girl staying at the hotel has become intrigued with the ghost story and is determined to solve the cold case. She is so smart and is a bright and enthusiastic addition to the story. She’s visiting the hotel with her mother and siblings and they have a huge dog. They were upgraded to a luxury suite upon check in because of a misunderstanding. Lizbet was responsible… what a family.
And we add Richie to the mix. Who is Richie? Good question. He’s living in his car. He’s broke. And he’s the new night front desk clerk. But he’s much more than that.
Toss in a $1000 bonus to one deserving employee every week, and you can only imagine the jostling for the money position every single day. Does bring more drama to the table?
A celebrity chef is brought on board to run the restaurant in the hotel. Of course romance is in the air.
It’s a quick and really light read. You find yourself on the beach, in Nantucket with amazing food and formidable shops and restaurants. The weather is balmy after the winter, and you find yourself leaving that cold winter behind and being quickly drawn into the island mentality that is simply divine.
My review copy was sent by the generous publishing people at Little Brown in exchange for an honest review. It did everything I wanted it to do. I was at the beach for two days, virtually and loved it.