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Elin Hilderbrand: A Summer Reader's Dream Come True
Elin Hilderbrand has become one of the best summer beach read writers publishing today. Her novels set in and around Nantucket, Massachusetts are full of summer fun, romance, drama and humor. The Collegeville, Pennsylvania native graduated from John Hopkins University and gave writer's workshops at the University of Iowa. Her early fiction included work published in Seventeen magazine, The Massachusetts Review and The Colorado Review. Elin and her husband, Chip Cunningham reside on Nantucket with their three children.
I found Elin's books in 2010, reading The Island first. I soon started reading her earlier books and now look forward to each one. Her next book will be released in June 2013. The 11 currently available books are all amazing, but I have picked my 5 favorites to feature. I hope you have the chance to read these wonderful books and escape to the wonderful place of Nantucket as well as meet these great characters.
The Beach Club (2000)
The Nantucket Beach Club is a landmark on the island. Many guests return year after year for the same weeks they have booked for years. Iowa born, Mack Petersen is the man who has kept those guests happy for 12 seasons. This season Mack arrives looking to gain ownership of the resort and his girlfriend, Maribel Cox, is hinting she wants something more too. She wants a proposal. The owner, Bill Elliott, returns from his winter home in Aspen with intentions of his teenage daughter, Cecily, learning to run the hotel. The 18-year-old, however, has no desire to takeover. With the May to October season fast approaching Mack also deal with the staff. Bellman, Vince Robbins is full of anger towards Mack and is making it hard to get the prep work done.
New staff members Love O'Donnell and Jem Crandall brings new personalities into the mix. Love wants a baby and Jem wants Mack's girlfriend, Maribel. Leaving her mark is one of the oldest guests of the resort, The Grande Dame of The Beach Club, Lacey Gardner. Lacey has seen the resort change over her 45 years of summers spent on the island and now she knows things are about to change. Will an arriving storm change things forever or will something else be the cause?
Summer People (2004)
This summer will be different for the Newton family. They will return to Nantucket like every summer, but things will not be the same. The death of New York attorney, Arch Newton leaves his widow Beth to deal with the aftermath. She is determined to keep her twins, Winnie and Garrett's lives as normal as possible. She must also keep a promise to her late husband. Beth does make one big change inviting the son of Arch's last client to stay with them over the summer. Marcus' presence is full of mixed emotions for everyone. The teenagers face love, loss and lies over this life changing summer, but Beth's past reveals the biggest shock of all. Will it tear this family apart?
The Blue Bistro (2006)
Adrienne Dealey has been working all over the world at exotic hotels and resorts and now she wants to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by an ex-boyfriend, she needs money fast. The only person who offers her a job is Thatcher Smith, the owner of Nantucket's hottest dining spot, The Blue Bistro. With no food service experience can Adrienne keep the job? The two soon are not just working together, but dealing with the sparks of a romance. Will the chef and co-owner of the restaurant, Fiona Kemp put a stop to the romance? Are the rumors this is her last summer at The Blue Bistro true? If that was not enough the staff and customers bring humor and drama to the bistro. Weird requests and outlandish behavior are not unexpected from the wealthy clientele. The real question is will The Blue Bistro and Fiona's amazing creations be back for another season?
A Nantucket beach house brings together three women and all their problems. Each comes with their own secrets on the summer trip and the others will be in for surprises. Vicki, the Connecticut housewife brings two sons and a cancer diagnoses with a round of chemo. Her sister, Brenda and co-owner of the cottage is dealing with the fallout of having an affair with one of her college students. Vicki's best friend, Melanie joins the two sisters to get away from her cheating husband and deal with her new pregnancy. The three women meet college student, Josh Flynn when they arrive and soon have the young man helping out with Vicki's boys. It is not long after that the women find the young man is changing their lives. This summer of ups and downs is one that they will never forget.
The Island (2010)
Connecticut divorce’e and mother of two grown daughters, Birdie Cousins is busy planning her oldest daughter's wedding when the bride-to-be, Chess calls to say the wedding is off. Just as things settled down terrible news sends Chess into despair. Birdie puts her new romance on hold and enlists her younger daughter, Tate and sister, India to help Chess. The four women head to the family's summer home on Tuckernuck Island just of the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The island is truly a get away not having phones, televisions or a grocery store.The summer is filled with drama, humor and secrets are revealed. Past loves and new romances keep the women's summer filled with changes. Will this summer change their lives forever?
The remaining books released by this date:
- Nantucket Nights (2002) Three friends of 20 years visit Nantucket every summer and on one late night swim one of them swims out and never returns. The remaining two friends must deal with the loss and the secrets that are revealed. Could their lives change forever?
- The Love Season (2007) Marguerite Beale, a famous chef has been out of the public eye for years, but all that changes with a phone call from her Goddaughter, Renata Knox. Renata wants to know about her late mother's life and death and in this one day there lives will be changed forever.
- A Summer Affair (2008) Claire Danner Crispin agrees to co-chair the Nantucket's Children Summer Gala and have her high school boyfriend, rock star, Max West perform at the event. If all that was not enough, she soon finds herself butting heads with the other co-chair and in a romance with the event's Executive Director, Lockhart Dixon. Can she handle it all?
- The Castaways (2009) Nantucket couple Greg and Tess MacAvoy die in a boating accident leaving the town to mourn for this couple, but their close friends the Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers have to do more than deal with the loss of their friends. Secrets are revealed and the friends are shocked at what is left behind.
- Silver Girl (2011) Meredith Martin Delinn loses everything including money, social standing and her home because her husband Freddy is charged with cheating billions from rich investors. The only person she can turn to is her old friend, Constance Flute and Meredith goes with her to Nantucket to escape. Soon Connie's brother, Toby arrives and Meredith must deal with the life she has and the one she left behind when she left Toby.
- Summerland (2012) A Nantucket graduation bonfire turns tragic after the car accident that takes the life of Penny Alistair and leaves her twin brother in a coma. Penny's boyfriend, Jake and her friend, Demeter are not physically hurt, but the emotional toll is a nightmare. Everyone wants to know what happened to cause Penny to be so upset and have the accident. As the summer continues the secrets surrounding the survivors and their parents are revealed and what caused the tragedy is made clear.
Please visit my other Hubpage about Nantucket.
- Visiting Nantucket, Massachusetts: The Hot Spots
Nantucket is an island destination that is a New England fantasy come true. I hope this article gives you a glimpse into this amazing vacation location. It is not to be missed!