Monday, February 17, 2020

Book Review: Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand

Pages: 263
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Library
Other Books By Author:  Winter Street 
Winter in Paradise,  What Happens in Paradise
Beautiful Day, The Islandand The Perfect Couple
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says,  "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."

Kelley once thought he was going to have to sell his beloved Winter Street Inn, but Kelley's first wife, Margaret, comes to the rescue with a loan; plus, she personally endorses it, which means people come flocking. If you remember from the previous book, Margaret is a well known newscaster with a huge following, so Winter Street Inn is saved financially.  Emotionally, Kelley is on his own though as his wife Mitzi has left him for George.  Also, Bart, Mitzi and Kelley's son, is still missing in Afghanistan.  This is killing Mitzi, who is slowly realizing life with George isn't what she expected.  Then there's Patrick, Kelley and Margaret's oldest son, who is still in jail for insider trading.  Patrick's wife, Jennifer, is barely holding it together raising three sons on her own.  Ava, Margaret and Kelley's daughter, seems to have it together. She is still dating Scott, a principal at the school she works at, but she is having second thoughts when her ex-boyfriend shows up on the island.  Then there's Kevin, Kelley and Margaret's other son, who helps run the inn.  He is finally doing well and is engaged to Isabelle and just had a daughter.  He seems happy, but that is all in jeopardy when word on the street is that his ex-wife has returned to the island.  This doesn't bode well for Kevin.  Also, Kevin and Isabelle has planned a baptism for their daughter, so Margaret returns to the island with Drake, her boyfriend, in tow.  With all of these Quinns on the island dealign with their various problems, what could go wrong? Elin Hilderbrand's second installment in the Winter Street series is the perfect wintertime escape, especially for those who like domestic fiction.

In Winter Stroll, there are a lot of Quinn characters, but slowly readers are getting to know them better.  Jennifer, Patrick's wife, is really, really struggling. I truly felt for her as it's hard to solo parent three young boys.  She finds herself gravitating towards pills to get her through the day. Obviously this is a major problem.  Kevin seems to have it all together till his ex-wife, Norah, ends up on the island trying to stir things up and right before the baptism.  Kevin has always had a soft spot for Norah, despite the fact that she isn't a good influence on him, and he finds himself in a bad situation.  I wanted to reach through the pages and tell him to run the other way from Norah.  Then there's Ava who is also in a really challenging situation when Nathaniel shows up on the island and wants to get serious about her.  He is sure she is the one, but she is dating Scott.  Cue the drama.  Then of course, there's Margaret, Mitzi and Kelley. Things aren't easy for this love triangle, but it appears that Margaret has moved on to the oh-so-perfect surgeon, Drake.  Readers will be completely enthralled with the Quinn family and all their problems.

The setting of Nantucket during the holiday season is the perfect backdrop to the Quinn's problems in Winter Stroll.  Nantucket's Winter Stroll, the holiday parties, the caroling, the decorations, and the various holiday events are really brought to life by Hilderbrand. I wouldn't expect anything less!   

Winter Stroll is a quick read that's perfect to get lost in when you want something light in between more serious reads. I can't wait to read the third book, Winter Storms, which will continue the Quinn family drama. I am completely invested in these characters.

Are you a fan of Hilderbrand? Have you read her Winter Street series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. I really am looking forward to starting this series - I will probably read a few of her newer ones first, but will definitely put this on my priority list.

    1. It's such a light, fun series. I love to read it after something serious. It's the perfect "break." Thanks for visiting Michele!


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