Friday, January 3, 2020

Book Review: Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand

Pages: 249
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Library
Other Books By Author:  Winter in Paradise
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads says, "In bestseller Elin Hilderbrand's first Christmas novel, a family gathers on Nantucket for a holiday filled with surprises.  Kelley Quinn is the owner of Nantucket's Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four, all of them grown and living in varying states of disarray. Patrick, the eldest, is a hedge fund manager with a guilty conscience. Kevin, a bartender, is secretly sleeping with a French housekeeper named Isabelle. Ava, a school teacher, is finally dating the perfect guy but can't get him to commit. And Bart, the youngest and only child of Kelley's second marriage to Mitzi, has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines.  As Christmas approaches, Kelley is looking forward to getting the family together for some quality time at the inn. But when he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa Claus (or the guy who's playing Santa at the inn's annual party), utter chaos descends. With the three older children each reeling in their own dramas and Bart unreachable in Afghanistan, it might be up to Kelley's ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to save Christmas at the Winter Street Inn.  Before the mulled cider is gone, the delightfully dysfunctional Quinn family will survive a love triangle, an unplanned pregnancy, a federal crime, a small house fire, many shots of whiskey, and endless rounds of Christmas caroling, in this heart-warming novel about coming home for the holidays."

Winter Street Inn, on the island of Nantucket, is famous for its holiday party.  Kelley Quinn and his wife, Mitzi, run the inn and normally Kelley, along with all the Nantucket residents, look forward to the holiday party, but not this year.  Kelley has found his wife in a compromising position with George, who plays Santa at the annual holiday party.  Kelley finds out that Mitzi has been having an affair with George for years. To complicate matters further, she tells Kelley that their marriage is over, so Kelley reacts by canceling the holiday party and drowning his sorrows in alcohol.  Kelley even decides to sell Winter Street Inn, because after its expensive restoration, at Mitzi's whim, it has left him uninspired and broke.  People haven't been flocking to the inn like they used to.  Thankfully, Kelley's children (all from his marriage to his first wife Margaret) are around to help him this holiday season, because all of these events will sure make for a bumpy ride for the Quinn family in Elin Hilderbrand's Winter Street.   

Kelley and Margaret's first son, Patrick, has always had his act together.  He has a successful job in Boston and a beautiful family.  That is until he makes a really bad decision at work, so things aren't looking good for him this Christmas. He returns to Nantucket, because his wife left with the kids after she found out what he did.  Then there's Kevin, their second son, who still lives at the inn.  He has some surprises up his sleeve this Christmas. His life used to be on the wrong track, thanks to an ex-girlfriend, but things are looking up for him and his sort of girlfriend Isabelle, who works at the Inn.  Ava, who is Kelley and Margaret's daughter, is a schoolteacher on the island and she hopes her boyfriend pops the question this holiday.  However, things don't go smoothly for her as her boyfriend isn't even around this Christmas. He travels back home and has been visiting his ex-girlfriend and her family.  Ava, Kevin, and Patrick's mother, Margaret, isn't your average mother. She lives in New York City and is one of the most famous journalists in the world.  She hopes to spend her Christmas in Hawaii, but things don't go as planned and she finds herself back on Nantucket.  Lastly, there's Mitzi and Kelley's only child, Bart, who is a bit of a black sheep in the family. He recently enlisted in the military and is overseas. The family is really worried about him though, because they haven't heard from him for days.  What could go wrong when you combine all of these characters together over the holiday? Cue all the family drama.

There's so many interesting characters in Winter Street and Hilderbrand jumps from each character's point of view so we can really get to know the Quinn family.  I think there's something to like about each family member and my heart especially went out to Kelley as his wife Mitzi as she is truly insufferable. Hilderbrand doesn't dive in too deeply when it comes to character development in this slip of a novel, but it works in Winter Street as this is a quick and delightful holiday read. So, when all of these family members come together in Nantucket, it is was very entertaining.  Each character is dealing with issues of their own and it was interesting to see how it would all play out. 

If you like family Christmas family dramas like The Family Stone, you will especially appreciate Winter Street. It was a quick read and perfect to get lost in over the holidays. I definitely plan on picking up book two of the series this winter as I am dying to know how things will work out for the Quinn family. 

Are you a fan of holiday stories? Have you read this series yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. I definitely will be starting this series soon, glad you enjoyed it!

    1. I hope you love it! I look forward to your thoughts. It's the perfect series to "chill" with over the holidays or even during winter. Thanks for visiting, Michele!


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