Winter Street

By Elin Hilderbrand

Kelley Quinn is the owner of Nantucket’s Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four, all of them grown and living in varying states of disarray. Patrick, the eldest, is a hedge fund manager with a guilty conscience. Kevin, a bartender, is secretly sleeping with a French housekeeper named Isabelle. Ava, a school teacher, is finally dating the perfect guy but can’t get him to commit. And Bart, the youngest and only child of Kelley’s second marriage to Mitzi, has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines.

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.

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2016 has been a lot of things to a lot of people, but for me at least it’s been The Year of the Good Book.

Let me just walk that back before you think this is a cheery post. Winterstreet was the worst book I read in The Year of the Good Book. This post contains spoilers, but honestly, I wouldn’t bother reading this one.

I’m sorry Elin Hilderbrand. I’m sure you worked hard on this and this book is your baby. I don’t blame you. I really don’t. I blame all the people who gave this story a green light and let you run your sappy Christmas train off a cliff.

I have never had such a strong urge to throw a book across a room. Never.

My book club picked this and once I resigned myself that I had to finish this cheesetastic mess, I admit I was mildly entertained. I wanted to finish the book and watch it get all wrapped up with a giant Christmas bow. Maybe, there’s a time bit of pleasure in things coming together how you think they will. Maybe. I know everyone’s definition of escapist is different. Mine happens to be a thriller that features our heroes globetrotting from one danger to the next. So, I thought I could do it. I could finish it and let it die a quiet death in the useless memories section of my brain.

And then I watched this cheesetastic, sappy mess, fall off a cliff into a cliffhanger so poorly executed I just have no words. How was this ever given the ok? People actually think this is a fun holiday read? What is fun about someone finding out their son is missing in action in the Middle East on Christmas? And then just ending the book there? Absolutely nothing is heartwarming about that. Nothing.

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