Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Book Review: The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: 6/13/2023
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Golden Girl,  The Hotel Nantucket,
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Hollis Shaw’s life seems picture-perfect. She’s the creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis and is married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon. But after she and Matthew get into a heated argument one snowy morning, he leaves for the airport and is killed in a car accident. The cracks in Hollis’s perfect life—her strained marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline—grow deeper. So when Hollis hears about something called a “Five-Star Weekend”—one woman organizes a trip for her best friend from each phase of her her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife—she decides to host her own Five-Star Weekend on Nantucket. But the weekend doesn’t turn out to be a joyful Hallmark movie. The husband of Hollis’s childhood friend Tatum arranges for Hollis’s first love, Jack Finigan, to spend time with them, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, Tatum is forced to play nice with abrasive and elitist Dru-Ann, Hollis’s best friend from UNC Chapel Hill. Dru-Ann’s career as a prominent Chicago sports agent is on the line after her comments about a client’s mental health issues are misconstrued online. Brooke, Hollis’s friend from their thirties, has just discovered that her husband is having an inappropriate relationship with a woman at work. Again! And then there’s Gigi, a stranger to everyone (including Hollis) who reached out to Hollis through her blog. Gigi embodies an unusual grace and, as it happens, has many secrets. The Five-Star Weekend is a surprising and captivating story about friendship, love, and self-discovery set on Nantucket. It will be a weekend like no other."
Hollis Shaw has it all at first glance. She lives in beautiful Wellesley and has a gorgeous vacation home on Nantucket. Her husband is a doctor, her college-age daughter is an aspiring filmmaker, and Hollis is the face behind the wildly popular website Hungry with Hollis complete with a community of food lovers. But peel back the layers of perfection and you can see the cracks that are starting to form. Things with Hollis and her husband are on the rocks, her daughter is angry most of the time, and her family resents her for spending so much time on the internet with her "followers." When her husband decides to not attend their annual Christmas party and go to a work conference instead, Hollis is upset. They have words before he leaves and en route to the airport, he gets into a car crash and dies. Now Hollis's daughter, Caroline, is even more angry and things will never be the same for Hollis. She leaves Wellesley behind for Nantucket, which is her hometown, and comes up with the brilliant idea to boost her mood--host a "five-star" weekend featuring four of her best friends from the various stages of life. There's Tatum, her childhood best friend, and Dru-Ann, her college bestie. Then there's Brooke, her friend from when the children were little, and lastly, Gigi, her internet friend whom she has never met from Hungry with Hollis. She will combine them for a weekend of fun at her house on Nantucket. What could possibly go wrong? Elin Hilderbrand's The Five-Star Weekend is a story about female friendships, the ups and downs of life, and figuring it all out.

I must be honest that I had a hard time connecting with Hollis in
The Five-Star Weekend. I am not sure if it's because she was older than me, but I really couldn't connect with her like I usually do with Hilderbrand's protagonists. Nonetheless, I was rooting for her to find some happiness during her weekend with her friends; however, we know that is much more complicated than it appears at first glance. Getting together girlfriends from various stages of a person's life is a recipe for disaster, especially as personalities collide. Tatum, the Nantucket native, hasn't talked to Hollis in years and is dealing with her own very heavy medical issues. Brooke is facing another disaster with her husband and Dru-Ann, a very successful sports agent, is being canceled on social media. Then there's the mystery around Gigi. Who is she really? Throw in Caroline, as Hollis has paid her to film the weekend, and you've got yourself a houseful of drama. Plus, Hollis's first love, Jack, is back in town. Cue major drama between the fancy food, the tequila, color-coordinating dinners, and nights out at the Chicken Box.

One thing that Hilderbrand does so well in The Five-Star Weekend is to bring Nantucket to life. Readers can expect that from her by now. The fancy dinners, the Nantucket restaurants, the details surrounding the island, the descriptions of mouth watering food, the cold name it. The details are all there and every foodie will be dreaming of a delicious meal by the time they finish the novel. Also, Hilderbrand tackles some tough topics very well --- cancel culture, a possible cancer diagnosis, infidelity, sexual harassment, and more, but somehow keeps the book well-balanced, which is why her beach reads work so well. They have substance, but it isn't too overbearing and dark for summertime.

The Five-Star Weekend wasn't my favorite of Hilderbrand's novels, it is still a fantastic beach read that I know will be in many beach bags this summer. Have you picked up a copy of The Five-Star Weekend yet? Is it on your TBR list? What's your favorite of Hilderbrand's novels? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. I am very excited to read this one!

    1. I hope you enjoy it--looking forward to your thoughts on it. Thanks for visiting, Michele!

  2. I still need to catch up on last year's book, but she always creates wonderful settings!

    1. Yes! You can't go wrong with a Nantucket setting, right? Thanks for visiting, Angela!


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs