In best seller Elin Hilderbrand's first Christmas novel, a family gathers on Nantucket for a holiday filled with surprises.
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.
©2014 Elin Hilderbrand (P)2014 Hachette Audio
Love listening to audiobooks. I have been with audible since 2008, either here or with another account! I love audible!
Great book, loved the characters and story. Loved the Christmas time of year in the book.
Reader, Reviewer, and BOOKIN' WITH BINGO BLOG OWNER
Best selling author Elin Hilderbrand’s WINTER STREET is a delightful holiday novel that is just the gift readers should give themselves, and each other. WINTER STREET is Hilderbrand’s first Christmas novel and takes place in Nantucket, a favorite setting of hers. It is there that readers meet the Quinn family and are quickly caught up in the lives of this loving, compassionate, but also wacky family that just might resemble people readers really know. Each character is fully realized thanks to Hilderbrand’s expertise, thus drawing readers quickly in to all of their lives. I thought I really knew these people, and that kept me listening. I hated for the story to end.
WINTER STREET is the name of a charming inn that the Quinn family has run for years. With father Kelley and stepmother Mitzi currently in charge, we are drawn in as Christmas approaches to see if all the children will come home for the annual festivities. Hilderbrand writes about each integral protagonist with great detail so we quickly begin to understand what makes them tick and what part they play in the Quinn family.
Learning about what Kelley is like and how he and Mitzi got together calls for his first wife, and the “children’s” mother, to also be introduced. Margaret Quinn is a celebrity as she deals with her job as news anchor for CBS. Her career is very important to her, keeping her busy with travel and it is the reason her relationship with Kelley ended. She does, however, love her children very much and we see how each of these now grown children feels about her. Because of her schedule, it was mutually decided that Kelley would have custody of Patrick, Kevin, and Ava. While Margaret doesn’t remarry, Kelley does and so Mitzi enters the picture and we find out just why she is often known to be rather ditzy. She and Kelley have a son together, Bart, who just isn’t much of an academic but rather a party boy. Bart winds up enlisting in the Marines after high school, and is deployed to Afghanistan.
Patrick is the eldest of the Quinn offspring and is married with three boys. He is the golden child and someone it is hard to live up to if you are a younger siblings. However, Patrick shows he also isn’t perfect and arrives for Christmas minus his family thanks to the trouble he finds himself in. Siblings Kevin and Ava both still live at the inn but have their jobs and own lives. Once divorced, Kevin swears off women but finds new love that he falls hard for and is trying to keep this secret from the rest of the family. As the youngest, Ava seems to be the most balanced and is a schoolteacher who is trying to keep her own relationship of two years alive.
As Christmas nears, the annual Christmas Eve party at the Inn is almost here and the whole island looks forward to it. Everyone who is supposed to help with this yearly event, however, seems to be coming apart at the wrong time! Just as quickly as a wobbly Christmas tree can fall over and ruin a holiday, so does the Quinn family start to fall apart. Each one of them plays off the other and as one problem seems solved, another one arises. This is where the family really must pull together or each of their lives will never be the same.
I have to say that I loved all the characters including the ones I disliked, if you know what I mean. If Erin Hilderbrand could grant me a holiday wish, it would be to make the Quinn family return each Christmas so we can have their delightful story continue. A fast read because I personally didn’t want to stop listening and hope those of you lucky enough to get your hands on a copy will enjoy this holiday treat as much as I did.
Do NOT read this if you're looking for a happy holiday read! Geez, now I'm totally depressed. I would've loved it if we could've had an actual closed-loop ending. Instead I feel like we are left hanging. BOO.
Elin Hilderbrand chose Christmas to tell the story of one family and almost managed to include most of society's current issues: infidelity, illegal immigrant pregnant out of wedlock, insider trading, lying, cheating, greed, same sex partners, AIDS, Afghanistan war, drugs, infidelity again. ALL family members and friends turn to good ole' alcohol to drown their sorrows, lift their spirits, share their joy- anything calls for drinking until most pass out in a stupor. But they pray. It is as hypocritical as a story can be, trash and maybe they can all go to AA together in the next book. Do people live this way? Really.
It's pretty humdrum, really. But I was cooking, cleaning, and getting gifts together, so did not require big drama. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, no.
Hard to say; there are more unlikable characters than need be. Margaret is too perfect. Kelly is sort of a dope, and a 'guy.' No one could really love Mitzi, as portrayed by the author. Ava is maddening for most of the story. Everyone else, including 'Golden Boy' Patrick (who can ever like a GB?), is more or less background.
It passed the time, and was not UNpleasant
I really do take exception to Ms Hilderbrand's unnecessary attach on the beleaguered Lindsay Lohan. This, as her couple of Kings of Leon mentions, seem like a desperate attempt to be current. Backfired in the case of KoL, as they seem to have fizzled out already. This is always a risk for an author trying to appeal to a young, hip audience. Ugh.
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