By: Elin Hilderbrand
Published Year: 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn reflecting on the past year as he writes a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to celebrate. Kelley, now single, at least is on better terms with his first wife Margaret, who is using her celebrity to lure customers to the inn in record numbers. Their son Kevin has a beautiful new baby, Genevieve, with the Inn's French housekeeper, Isabelle; and their daughter, Ava, is finally dating a nice guy--her devoted colleague, Scott.
Now the Quinns are looking forward to celebrating Genevieve's baptism, welcoming Isabelle to the family, and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket's traditional Christmas Stroll. But just when a peaceful family gathering seems within reach, Kelley's estranged second wife, Mitzi, shows up on the island after souring on her relationship with the inn's former Santa Claus. Soon Kelley isn't the only Quinn entertaining a surprise guest from Christmases past as lovers old and new gather beneath the mistletoe. With jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption at an all-time high, it's going to take a whole lot more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns--and the inn--through the holidays intact.
Honestly, this book did not catch my eye at first. I didn’t know that it was coming out and if I did see it, it didn’t register until one of my friends told me that there was a sequel to Winter Street (review here). Once I found out that it was out there, I decided to check it out. The cover is pretty, but not nearly as eye catching as the one for Winter Street. Maybe if I had been looking for Christmas books, like I was last year, it would’ve caught my attention, but it didn’t.
What I thought
I loved the story and I loved being able to catch up with the characters I met in the previous book, but I was so mad at the ending that it almost ruined it for me!
Winter stroll picks up almost a year after Winter Street left off. Mitzi has been living with George, Ava has been dating Scott, Patrick is still in jail, Kevin and Isabelle have had a daughter, Margarete is still dating Drake, Kelley is happily running the inn, and Bart is still missing.
As with the previous novel, the story is told in alternating points of view. You get to see the story from almost everybody’s point of view at least once, with the exception of Scott and Isabelle. I would have liked to have seen the story told from their points of view at least once during critical moments in the story.
The interesting thing about these characters is that they’re not exactly likable but somehow I enjoy them anyway. I think that it’s because they are all very real people. They all have flaws, they all make mistakes and I connect to a lot of that. The only one who I still couldn’t stand was Mitzi. I mean, that woman had an affair one weekend a year for 12 years and now that she left her husband for that man, after a year she wants to come back? Come on! And the fact that Kelley seems to accept her so quickly and the rest of the family just goes along with it definitely annoyed me. In that aspect, his children are unrealistically mature.
While I did enjoy being able to see everybody’s perspective and get insight into their own stories and their own worlds, I think it was a bit too much. There was a lot that was left undeveloped. For example, Ava’s story seemed like it was going to play a really big part, but in reality it was barely touched upon. This time it was more focused on Kelley and Mitzi and how they were missing Bart.
The ending made me so mad because everything was left so unresolved! I know that in the last book, Bart was announced missing and then the book ended, but this was so much worse. In Winter Street, it still seemed like an ending to the story. The rest of the stories had been resolved (for the most part) with the exception of this news. I was ok with that. This time it seems a though Hildebrand was purposely thinking of big cliffhanger events that she could create in the last 5 pages of the story to leave the reader guessing/wanting more. I felt very manipulated and it was very frustrating.
By: Elin Hilderbrand