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The Blue Bistro

Narrated by: Christina Delaine
Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (870 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Elin Hilderbrand, author of the enchanting Summer People and The Beach Club, invites you to experience the perfect getaway with her sparkling new novel.

Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she is desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket's hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business...and they share an instant attraction. But there is a mystery about their situation: what is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro's chef, that captures Thatcher's attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether to open her heart for the first time, or move on, as she always does. Infused with intimate Nantucket detail and filled with the warmth of passion and the breeze of doubt, The Blue Bistro is perfect summer listening.

©2005 Elin Hilderbrand (P)2012 Macmillan

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A true picture of Nantucket Island in season

What did you love best about The Blue Bistro?

As a Cape Codder I can say that this book captured Nantucket life during the season and showed us the quiet side post season too. My favorite of Hilderbrand's books and I have read them all. The characters are real and likable. The humor is subtle and accurate as we see the crazy summer life at a popular restaurant frequented by people who have more money than they can count. Having worked in a Cape restaurant in my youth, I found this portrayal most accurate.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Blue Bistro?

The ending...perfect....Nantucket in September when the characters can be themselves without the pressures of 'job' frenetically keeping them occupied. The main characters are credible and people you'd like to meet over a glass of wine.

What does Christina Delaine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She is able to capture the irony in Adrienne's voice as she experiences restaurant life at the height of season on Nantucket. The softness of Thatcher's voice comes across too. Seeing the story through her eyes brings it to life even more than if you read the book. I have read it and listened, so I know....The tone of Adrienne's father's voice brings the "doctor' into the story in a way that quickly explains the closeness of Adrienne's childhood with her dad.

If you could rename The Blue Bistro, what would you call it?

No suggestion. I like the title. The story revolves around life at the busy restaurant during its last season.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great novel for foodies who love love stories

This was a very relaxing and entertaining novel. The food sounded amazing. The description of the restaurant was awesome. And the story was super sweet. Great book to read after a tough prior novel.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MC
  • 06-10-16

one of my favorite by Ms Hilderbrand!

this book is one of my favorite books by Ms Hilderbrand. I have read or listened to 10 so far, and this story drew me in, hook, line & sinker.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

So. Much. Filler.

The Blue Bistro is a standalone book told in 3rd person POV. This is the first book that I have tried by this author. I don’t think I will go for a second at this time. This book is about main character Adrienne who gets screwed over by her last boyfriend and picks up and moves to another town, which is something she does anytime anything emotional happens in her life. She finds a job at The Blue Bistro, getting hired by the co-owner and love interest in the story, Thatcher. She had a great opportunity, one that she did not deserve or earn, just handed to her. The other main character in this book was The Blue Bistro itself. It really did take center stage. The restaurant stuff was all written well, but it definitely overshadowed all of the other characters in the book.

Adrienne is 28 but she acts like she is 14. She has the emotional maturity of a toddler. She is prone to temper tantrums and pouting. For example, a man offered her a ride into town on a hot day and she was upset about Thatcher and Fiona, so she kicked the guy’s glove box in his car because she was irritated. What grown woman does that? When she was giving Thatcher the silent treatment, trying to punish him, and he (HER BOSS and OWNER of the restaurant) was trying to discuss work with her, at work, she refused to look at him and stared at the ceiling until he was done talking and then stomped off. She was unbelievably immature. If I had to describe her, I would use words like: insufferable, insipid, petty, whiny, annoying, pathetic, vapid, shallow, needy, self-centered, bratty, and dumb. Her character felt very contrived. I’m not sure what the author was going for with Adrienne’s character, but she didn’t give her any growth at all. She was the same disgusting person at the beginning as she was at the end. She is very insecure. She thinks the worst of everything that is said and takes everything as a personal insult or as something negative. She overthinks pretty much everything. She is super touchy, over-sensitive, and ungrateful. Her internal dialogue was so obnoxious because she got pissy about everything that was said to her. IN addition to all of this, she is a horrible daughter. She is the only child of a wonderful, loving father. Her mother died when she was 12. Her father is a dentist and the hygienist who has worked for him since Adrienne was a young child, is his partner in life too. She was there when Adrienne’s mom was dying and helped the mom out and then even picked up the pieces after, yet Adrienne is awful to this woman, refusing to acknowledge that she is anything more than just her father’s hygienist or at most, friend. Her father and this woman have been dating for longer than her parents were married and for more than half her life. I wanted to stab her. I literally hated her so much that I was hoping she would have an accident and die.

The romance between Adrienne and Thatcher was absurd. It all happened off page. 50% in or so and they were a couple yet there was nothing to show for it. It was mentioned that Thatcher stayed over at her house each night, but it is mentioned in passing. How did this relationship develop? And they love each other, what!?! We spent more time flashing back to all of her prior relationships than we did seeing anything about Adrienne and Thatcher.

I know a lot of people who read this book couldn’t get on board with the close friendship between Thatcher and Fiona. I was not one of those people. I totally understood it. I didn’t have any problems with it. They weren’t blood related, but they were family. Practically soul mates. They had been best friends for over 30 years. Adrienne knew Thatcher for all of 3 weeks and was laying claim like she was more important than Fiona. It was absurd and out of line. And the woman was sick, for goodness sake. Adrienne did not deserve Thatcher.

Fiona and Mario were my two favorite characters in this book. Ironically, neither are main characters. Most of the characters are one dimensional, with exception of Fiona. All the characters are underdeveloped, the only part that wasn’t was the stuff about the restaurant.

The author tried to squeeze as much in this one summer as she could. Too much in fact. Adrienne and Thatcher were telling each other they loved the other within a few weeks. There was a new mansion that was completely framed within 2 weeks after having torn down the previous huge building the two weeks prior to that. It was all a bit over the top. A lot of things just didn’t quite add up. Don’t get me started on the money and the fact that she made at least $500, often more, in tips every single night as the hostess and assistant manager. Those people must really like to throw their money around considering everyone working there also made huge nightly tips like that.

There was a ridiculous amount of filler in this book. When it wasn’t several minutes at a time spent on food or drink descriptions, the author spent so much time flashing back to past relationships and past moments that I think she completely forgot to write an ending for this book. Or maybe she ran out of time or space? Either way, the book literally just ends. No resolution, no epilogue, nothing. In fact, some of the side stories in this book weren’t even resolved. For example, we spent so much time discussing the upcoming wedding of her father and whether she would act like an adult and show up to the wedding and nothing more gets said about it. I’m not okay with that.

At times this book was tedious to listen to because the narrator has to read all of the stuff that the reader would quickly skim or just skip over, such as the multitude of email correspondence that took place between Adrienne and her father and Adrienne and her friend. Each time, we had to hear the entire email addresses, to and from, and the date and time sent. In addition to that, there were menus and food descriptions, such as the first 3-4 minutes of this audiobook was a menu being read line by line, price by price. Of course, that was not the narrator’s fault.

The narrator did a great job. She was actually the best part about this book. She had good voices, tone, and pronunciation. Her pacing was a bit slow at times but that is easily solved by speeding up the audiobook.

There were parts that I enjoyed about this book but it most centered around the restaurant and the employees working. The main character pretty much ruined everything else. She was really an awful character. Because of that, I can’t in good faith recommend this to anyone. Maybe if someone is interested in a Nantucket restaurant book, but even then I would preface my recommendation with a disclaimer.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great but....

i loved this book and could not stop listening but the ending was not enough.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

so...

Honestly it was a story that immediately drew me in...I got wrapped up in the characters...but the end angered me...I wanted more.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Blue Depression

I read the Castaways and Silver Girl and really appreciated both of them however this one had absolutely NO substance what-so-ever. I've never needed a happy ending and I didn't expect everything to come together in rainbows and ponies... however this did nothing. It was not a good or bad ending....it just ended. There is so much more detail put on the mundane details of a restaurant than the characters themselves! This character supposedly falls head over heals in love with the owner however there is nothing - in my opinion- enchanting or lovable about him! I see no pull or attraction there ... the whole story was worse than bad... it was blah! I would prefer a bad story to an uneventful one. Do NOT waste your time or money.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Stars are not indicative of my rating!

I am only giving the Blue Bistro two stars. Kept waiting for a little suspense, some of Elins juicy gossip but only got a ho-hum love story. Don’t hold your breath for a good ending!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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4 ⭐️’s

Great story, fantastic narration. But, that’s it... the end!? Just... THE END!? At least wrap it up with a bow or something!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Listened to it twice!

This is definitely one of my favorites by this author.
A few years ago I enjoyed this book so much that I just listened to it again, and got things out of it that I missed the first time. I highly recommend this book, especially if you have ever been a "restaurant person"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful