Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand

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Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A wonderful, comforting book that takes the convoluted lives of many members of a family and combines them to beautiful effect
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: November 2016
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1473620575

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A year is a long time in the life of the Quinn family. So much can happen. For some people this can just be births and deaths and the whole circle of life, but for the Quinn family it's more love triangles, felonies, drug dealers who stalk you, ex-husbands who haunt you, and business opportunities transplanted from the scorching Caribbean to the cooler north east coast of America. As spring leads to summer, leads to autumn leads to winter we follow the extended family on Nantucket and in nearby cities (Boston, Manhattan) and learn that as divisive as life can be, there are some ties that will always bind you. In this case the tie is called Bart, and whatever else is happening, if he returns then everything else will all be ok.

An Elin Hilderbrand book comes in and I don't care what it's about, I don't care who is in it or where it's set, I just want to read it. I adore her stories, the way they suck you in and make you part of the family, at home in the over-decorated Inn. This is the third and final book in a trilogy featuring the family, and shamefully it is the first Winter Street story I've read. I will now go back and acquire the earlier two, but for the purposes of my readers, and Hilderband's, I must say that this book works seamlessly in its own right, and you do not need the backstory from the previous Winter Storms, however enjoyable it might be.

The voice in this book is unique, and wonderfully so. The narrative has a distance to it, is somewhat detached and simply observational as it cycles through the various characters, showcasing their stories. In a large, extended family there can be a lot of unconnected things going on but there is some overlap. So Margaret and Ava might go on holiday, and then Ava's brother might be released from prison, which means Jennifer, his wife, has to adjust back to co-parenting, away from the single mother life she's been forced to adopt in the meantime. And Margaret's ex-husband, who of course is father to Ava and Patrick among others, might decide (along with his new wife) to host Margaret's second wedding at his inn and get the whole gang together. That's the sort of family they are.

The Quinns are typical of every Nantucket family I've ever imagined (never having met one in the flesh). They are close knit – island life will do that to you. They are educated professionals, counting TV presenters, teachers and business owners among their ranks. They are privileged but privilege alone cannot protect you from the semi crap stuff in life, like ferocious storms, heartache and career crossroads, nor the really crap stuff, the Big C and the minor inconvenience of one of your team being captured by enemy forces in Afghanistan. I don't mind the privilege – they seem like hard working people who have earned their right to enjoy life – and at the same time I cannot celebrate the occasional falls from grace that come their way. How they deal with things, however, now that's what makes this story.

I truly enjoyed this book and was saddened when it ended. It was a beautifully refreshing read and the story wound together exquisitely, reaching the final pages with aplomb. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review, and I must apologize to other reviewers for snatching it up before they had the chance. This is the sort of writing that will do that to a girl.

With a wedding coming up, I am about to re-visit another Nantucket tale, the fab Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand.

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Buy Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand at


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