Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Book Review: Swan Song by Elin Hilderbrand


 
Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: June 11, 2024
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co
Source: Personal Copy
Other Books By Author: 28 Summers, Golden Girl,  
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "After thirty-five years serving as the Chief of Police on the island of Nantucket, Ed Kapenash's heart can no longer take the stress. But his plans to retire are thwarted when, with only three days left to serve, he receives a phone call. A 22-million-dollar summer home, recently purchased by the flashy new couple in town, the Richardsons, has burned to the ground. The Richardsons are far from hurt—in fact, they're out on the water, throwing a lavish party on their yacht—but when news of the fire reaches them, they discover that their personal assistant has vanished. The Chief is well-acquainted with the Richardsons, and his daughter is best friends with the now-missing girl, leaving him no choice but to postpone his retirement and take on the double case.

On a small island like Nantucket, the Richardsons shook things up from the second they stepped on to the scene, throwing luxurious parties and doing whatever they could to gain admittance to the coveted lunches at the Field & Oar Club (with increasing desperation). They instantly captured the attention of local real estate agent Fast Eddie, and the town gossip Blond Sharon, both dealing with their own personal dramas. Blond Sharon is going through a divorce, and in order to avoid becoming a cliché, she's enrolled in a creative writing class, putting her natural affinity for scandal towards a more noble purpose. To solve the case of the fire and track down his daughter's best friend, the Chief will have to string together the pieces of the lives of all of these characters and more, rallying his strength for his final act of service to the tight-knit community he knows and loves.

The last of Elin Hilderbrand's bestselling Nantucket novels, Swan Song is a propulsive medley of glittering gatherings, sun-soaked drama, wisdom and heart, featuring the return of some of her most beloved characters, including, most importantly, the beautiful and timeless island of Nantucket itself.


Ed Kapenash, the police chief of Nantucket, hopes to retire very soon, especially after his recent health issues. Just before his impending retirement, a house goes up in flames under questionable circumstances, and his daughter's friend, Coco, goes missing. This won't be the relaxing weekend he had planned. The house that burned down was Leslee and Bull Richardson's home, the wealthy newcomers. The couple moved here and caused an upset on the island of Nantucket. Their lavish parties and hardcore partying have made everyone vie for an invite as well as upset the apple cart on the island. Coco, the Richardson's concierge, is new to the island as well. By the time the house goes up in flames, she is missing, which also sends the island into a tizzy. Elin Hilderbrand's final Nantucket novel, Swan Song, includes everything Hilderbrand fans have come to love about her summer novels. There are Easter eggs galore, rich people behaving badly, delectable dinner parties, romance, and a mystery, too that will keep her readers flipping the pages.

Swan Song is told from various perspectives, but I felt myself drawn to Coco's the most. She met the Richardsons while bartending in the Virgin Islands, and accepted their job as their personal concierge. Bull Richardson produces movies and Coco has a screenplay she is working on, so Coco feels she has an opportunity here once she has proven a valuable asset. Coco is new to the island, but thankfully has befriended the chief's daughter, who is home from California to escape her own problems. Which leads me to the Chief. I have always enjoyed his character throughout the Nantucket novels, and his impending retirement is not going smoothly. With a house fire under questionable circumstances and then a missing person whom he knows personally, this won't be an easy way to end his career.

Hilderbrand also includes chapters from Blonde Sharon's point of view, which I have actually come to enjoy. Sharon is working on the second act of her life after her husband cheated on her and I found myself rooting for her despite the fact that she loves to stir up some gossip. There are other characters from The Rumor and The Castaways, so I am glad I read those novels before diving into 
Swan Song.

Hilderbrand is known for her glorious descriptions of the food, parties, drinks, restaurants, and the idyllic life on Nantucket. I really enjoyed being back on the island and a part of it all. Nantucket has become a character throughout her novels and I will certainly miss it. Her fans won't be disappointed with all the beautiful descriptions, the juicy gossip and rich people antics that will definitely keep the reader absorbed.

While 
Swan Song isn't my favorite of Hilderbrand's novels, it is a solid ending to what feels like an era. Will summers be the same without a Hilderbrand novel? It doesn't feel like it, but what a ride it has been. I will most definitely miss visiting Nantucket each summer through her novels, so I plan on reading some of her backlist novels I've missed to hopefully fill the void.
 
Have you read
Swan Song? Are you a fan of Hilderbrand? What's your favorite  of her novels? Mine are 28 Summers and Golden Girl. Let me know your  thoughts in the comments below.

 

2 comments:

  1. She really knows how to make Nantucket come to life off the page!

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    Replies
    1. She really does! I will miss that for sure. Thanks for visiting, Angela.

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