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The Hotel Nantucket

Review

The Hotel Nantucket

Prolific bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand is back with another delightful story. The first chapter of THE HOTEL NANTUCKET sets the stage, reminding fans of her Nantucket and welcoming newcomers to the island and its inhabitants.

Hilderbrand’s Nantucket is a fantasy version of a real place: names and descriptions can be over-the-top, but they help form the culture and setting she is describing. The Nantucket found in this novel is one of great restaurants, lovely shops, nice beaches, wealth and work, not to mention interesting romantic, familial, professional and neighborly relationships. On Nantucket stands an empty building, formerly a grand house and failed hotel, and most recently a place for teens to drink beer and scare themselves with ghost stories. But now, British millionaire Xavier Darling has bought the property and hired Nantucket local Lizbet Keaton to help him open the Hotel Nantucket and achieve what seems to be an unattainable honor.

"Hilderbrand has crafted a tightly plotted and enjoyable story of a diverse group of people coming together for a shared purpose under some extraordinary circumstances."

Lizbet recently broke up with her longtime partner, JJ O’Malley, and had to leave The Deck, the restaurant where they worked together for many years. So Xavier’s job offer comes just in time. While she has never acted as the general manager of a high-end hotel, Lizbet is up for the challenge and ready to make some life changes. Her first task is to hire a top-notch staff. The bellboys include a highly recommended couple and a young local man named Zeke. Housekeeping is led by the experienced Magda English, whose staff will include single mom Bibi and young scion Chad. At the front desk, guests will meet the enthusiastic Edie and the cool Alessandra. Rounding out this ensemble is night manager Richie, famous chef Mario Subiaco, and Grace, a 100-year-old ghost.

The Hotel Nantucket seems to be a success from day one despite a few missteps. Some of these mistakes, though, pay off. Edie checks in Kimber Marsh and her two young children, Wanda and Louie, even though she wants to pay weekly in cash and they have their pit bull Doug in tow. The Marsh family turns out to help create the inviting atmosphere Lizbet is striving for and that she hopes will impress Shelly Carpenter. Shelly runs the popular Instagram account Hotel Confidential, reviewing hotels across the country and rating them on a scale of five keys. No one has earned the highest rating so far, and Xavier is determined that the Hotel Nantucket will be the first. The staff, led by Lizbet, works hard around the clock just in case Shelly shows up. All the while, though, they are dealing with their often messy and complicated personal lives.

Of course, each character brings talents and secrets to the hotel. Chad, Richie and Alessandra are each hiding something they are ashamed of. Lizbet begins a relationship with Mario, yet their future is uncertain. Grace just wants people to know that she was murdered, but with her ability to sense emotions and move through walls, she becomes an integral part of the hotel and invested in the lives being lived there. Her perspective allows readers to see behind closed doors. Lizbet is a great leader, but Grace often steals the show.

Make no mistake about it: Elin Hilderbrand is having fun. THE HOTEL NANTUCKET is a detail-rich and amusing page-turner. While it is easy to dismiss the book as a “beach read,” to do so ignores the fact that the term just means entertaining, popular and published during the warm months. Hilderbrand has crafted a tightly plotted and enjoyable story of a diverse group of people coming together for a shared purpose under some extraordinary circumstances. Whether you are on the beach or elsewhere, this promises to be a satisfying and charming novel.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on June 17, 2022

The Hotel Nantucket
by Elin Hilderbrand

  • Publication Date: June 14, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-10: 0316258679
  • ISBN-13: 9780316258678