Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE BEACH CLUB by Elin Hilderbrand


by Elin Hilderbrand

Pub Date: June 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-26125-X
Publisher: St. Martin's

Well-fit, great-looking hotel employees in Nantucket prowl for love..

Everyone at the Nantucket Beach Club and Hotel this summer wants something, and wants it badly. The receptionist, Love, is so obsessed with getting pregnant that she sees each male guest as a potential sperm donor. Bill, who owns the place with his wife Therese, wants his 18-year-old daughter Cecily to agree to take over the hotel. But Cecily’s one desire is to fly to Rio for a reunion with her well-endowed Brazilian boyfriend. For Therese, concerned about Bill’s failing heart and dreading Cecily's impending independence, all would be well if only Cecily would marry Mack, the hotel's manager, who loves the Beach Club as if it were his own—though he has a long-term girlfriend, Maribel, who is desperate for him to propose. On top of all this, the head bellman, Vance, having lost the manager's job to Mack 12 years ago, has marked this as the summer when he'll finally take his revenge. At the center of all the turmoil, easygoing Mack simply wants everyone off his back while he decides whether to make the alluring island his home or return to his farm in Iowa. With Maribel pursuing Mack, Jem (another bellman) pursuing Maribel, Vance pursuing Love, and Love pursuing everyone, the club is awash with hormones, and quarrels break from one minute to the next. The ever-changing cast of hotel guests—a sexy suspected drug dealer, an extracurricular flame of Mack's, a generous dying man—adds to the mix. After a crescendo that begins with Vance taking Mack's decision into his own hands and culminates with a hurricane that leaves the hotel engulfed in sand, the characters find all their obsessive needs gone—carried off, as if by the wind—letting peace reign.

A feisty, evanescent first novel, lively enough to keep a sunbather awake.