Although some of the Quinns' problems are resolved, many are not, happily promising a third installment next year.

WINTER STROLL

In a sequel to last year's holiday novel Winter Street, Hilderbrand improves on the first by delving deeper into the emotional lives of the Quinn clan.

A year has elapsed and the events that closed the first novel have developed: thanks to the generous $1 million loan from his first wife, world-renowned newscaster Margaret Quinn, Kelley can keep his Winter Street Inn open, although it's lonelier now that his wife, Mitzi, has left him for George, their one-time holiday Santa. Kelley and Mitzi's son, Bart, is still MIA in Afghanistan, and Mitzi is falling apart; unhappy with George, she spends most days drunk. The lives of Kelley and Margaret's three children are also in crisis. Patrick is now in prison for insider trading, while his wife, Jennifer, tries to hold their family together with the help of illicit prescription pills. Ava seems to have found “the one” with vice principal Scott, if only she could stop thinking about wild Nathaniel. And middle son Kevin has made good with girlfriend Isabelle and their infant, Genevieve. Hopefully he can avoid his first wife, the troubled Norah, who has returned to the island. This year's Winter Stroll, a Nantucket Christmas tradition, coincides with Genevieve's baptism, bringing together all the Quinns and their issues. Also on island for the festivities is Margaret's beau, Drake, a pediatric neurosurgeon and about as perfect as can be, if only Margaret and he could bow out of their schedules and enjoy each other's company. In the ensuing few days, everyone has life-altering decisions to make—even Ava, now that Nathaniel has returned to the island to propose. Only Nantucket itself is left unscathed by the juicy drama. Described in all its magic (after all these years, one hopes Hilderbrand is on the tourist board's payroll), it seems impossible for such turmoil to exist on the charmed island.

Although some of the Quinns' problems are resolved, many are not, happily promising a third installment next year.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-26113-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more