There’s nothing quite like lying on the beach soaking up some vitamin D with a great summer read. It may be the third week of August, but summer isn’t over yet—why not grab a fun beach read before daylight hours shrink too much? Elin Hilderbrand’s books are a perfect distraction. New York Magazine dubbed her the “queen of beach reads” for good reason. They are just fun… period. The Hotel Nantucket is a 2022 LibraryReads Favorite, which means librarians voted it one of the year’s best books. I concur.
After a tragic fire in 1922 that killed 19-year-old chambermaid, Grace Hadley, The Hotel Nantucket went from a gilded age gem to an abandoned eyesore. Then it was purchased and renovated by a London billionaire named Xavier Darling. He hires Nantucket native Lizbet Keaton as general manager who pulls together a dedicated staff who shares her vision of turning the fate of the hotel around: local sweethearts, a college dropout with a secret, a celebrity chef, and a renowned workout guru. Using multiple points of view, readers experience their relationship woes, the challenges of overcoming a sordid reputation, and keeping the place afloat. And then there is the loveable ghost of Grace Hadley who won’t stop haunting the hotel until people acknowledge her murder. It is going to take a 5-Keys review from undercover travel blogger, Shelly Carpenter, to put them back on the map.
“I’ve always thought of mosaic as this big metaphor for my life,” she says. “All these jagged, incongruous pieces…” She holds up a small shard of milky jade-green glass. “These are like the things that happen to you. But if it’s laid out a certain way and if you take a step back from it, it makes sense.”
― Elin Hilderbrand, The Hotel Nantucket
The Hotel Nantucket is a breezy, fast-paced delight with just enough mystery to keep readers guessing. I just couldn’t help but root for Lizbet and her charming staff. One character even has Minnesota roots, and Hilderbrand’s references to my great state were perfect. She said, “holy buckets” just like I do… gotta love it. Incidentally, the appendix provides the scoop on where to hang out on Nantucket. After twenty-eight novels, Elin Hilderbrand plans to retire after her 2024 book, so I, for one, will check it out. The Hotel Nantucket did not disappoint. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
Published Date: June 2022
Genre: Relationship fiction
Read-alikes: The Café by the Sea by Jenny Colgan; Hotel Portofino by J. P. O’Connell; Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland.
** Thanks to Netflix and the publisher for a review copy of this book. The opinions are entirely my own.