"Happy Holidays 2015! It has been a rough year for the Quinns, but I would like to start by saying thank you for all of the well wishes and positive missives sent our way."
Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn reflecting on the past year as he writes a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to celebrate. Kelley, now single, at least is on better terms with his first wife Margaret, who is using her celebrity to lure customers to the inn in record numbers. Their son Kevin has a beautiful new baby, Genevieve, with the Inn's French housekeeper, Isabelle; and their daughter, Ava, is finally dating a nice guy--her devoted colleague, Scott.
Now the Quinns are looking forward to celebrating Genevieve's baptism, welcoming Isabelle to the family, and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket's traditional Christmas Stroll. But just when a peaceful family gathering seems within reach, Kelley's estranged second wife, Mitzi, shows up on the island after souring on her relationship with the inn's former Santa Claus. Soon Kelley isn't the only Quinn entertaining a surprise guest from Christmases past as lovers old and new gather beneath the mistletoe. With jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption at an all-time high, it's going to take a whole lot more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns--and the inn--through the holidays intact.
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Little, Brown and Company
Three stars: A book with fascinating characters, but it lacks the holiday feel good I wanted, and it ends with an abrupt cliffhanger.
It has been a year since the upheaval of Christmas 2014, and the Quinn's are finding things as chaotic as ever. Kevin and Isabelle have an adorable new baby. Ava is dating Scott and finally happy. Kelley is getting along with both of his ex wives: Mitzi and Margaret. Patrick is in jail, and Jennifer is maintaining the home front. Margaret is busy as ever. Things are still strained as they wait for word on Bart. As they enter December, trouble blows in. Ava finds herself conflicted when she bumps into Nathaniel. Kevin and Isabelle hit a bump in the road when Kevin's past resurfaces. Mitzi is unhappy with her choice, and Jennifer develops a problem. Will the Quinn's survive another holiday season?
What I Liked:
- Winter Stroll was a book I was eager to dive into because I had to catch up on the Quinn's. There is something intriguing about this group of characters. I can't help but get caught up in their lives because they are all dealing with problems and they all have their flaws. This was an entertaining page turner.
- I am not always the biggest fan of multiple points of view, but I do like the use of them in this series. Ms. Hilderbrand has a way of dragging you into each perspective, and then ending someone's chapter with a bit of a hook, so you have to keep reading. Of course, there are characters I enjoy more than others, but it is still fun to get the unique view points.
- Even though I wished that this book was a bit cheerier and more cozy, I liked that the characters were all dealing with realistic problems and issues, from drug addiction, to problems of the heart, illness and alcoholism as well as coping with the uncertainty of having a son missing in action.
- Once again, I enjoyed the charming setting of Nantucket. This time, the story takes place over the span of the month of December. I loved reading all about the traditional Nantucket Winter Stroll. Plus, I liked all the cheerful decorations and the sumptuous food.
And The Not So Much:
- This book ends with a big cliffhanger, which I detested. I hate cliffhangers, and then to have one thrown in at the end of my holiday read, ruined it for me. Not to mention, it ends on a big downer note.
- Even though I liked the multiple view points, I didn't like that Patrick's voice was completely removed. He is just a mention here and there. I also didn't enjoy Mitzi's or George's points of view. I would have preferred to stick with the original character narrators from the first book, but I did enjoy reading about Jennifer.
- I was not a fan of the love triangle. I could have done without that.
- I wanted more holiday feel good. I pick up holiday themed books specifically because I want the cozy, happy read, and this one was a bit too dramatic for the holiday season.
Winter Stroll was an entertaining read, and I can't help but to get caught up in the lives of all of these flawed people dealing with real life problems. However, I was disappointed in the cliffhanger, the development of a love triangle and the lack of feel good, holiday spirit. This is a book that I liked, but I can't recommend it if you are a specifically looking for a cheery holiday book.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.