Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Publication Date: 10/14/2014
My Rating: 2.5 Stars
Patriarch Conor Quinn is the proud owner of Quinn Inn, a Bed and Breakfast on Nantucket, and a proud father of four -- Patrick, Shane, Rory, and Bart, who are all grown and living in varying states of disarray.
Patrick is a hedge fund manager, married with two young children and living in Boston. Shane, a bartender, is sleeping with Isabelle, who cooks and cleans at the Inn. Rory is an elementary school teacher dating a carpenter who will not commit. And Bart, the golden child and a recent graduate of Dartmouth, has decided to join the Marines.
As Christmas approaches, Conor and his wife Mitzi anticipate spending quality family time at the Inn. But when Bart announces that he is leaving for Afghanistan two days before Christmas, Mitzi is so distressed that she confesses to having an affair with a long-time guest of the inn, and it looks like the elder Quinns are going to split.
Things get worse when Isabelle announces that she's pregnant. It's up to Rory to piece together Christmas at Quinn Inn. In this engaging new story, love is questioned, scandals arise, and hearts are broken and healed. Hilderbrand makes us fall in love with the crazy, damaged, and compulsively lovable Quinn family.
Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter Street is a story of the highly dysfunctional Quinn family, a family of four children, coming home for Christmas in Nantucket in a non-traditional way.
Rather than summarizing the story, want to get straight away to the issues. Since I have been in the hotel business most of my career, a former innkeeper, and a consultant for boutique hotels and inns, and business planning for investment vacation real estate properties, was hoping for a heartwarming story with interesting characters coming to the inn (as always a story there), as this was the main reason for buying the audiobook, as my favorite guests are European travelers. Donna Ball's books and The Ladybug Farm series--a perfect example of good B&B stories.
However, there was not much about the inn operations, or guests, as the book was focused on this family and all their drama and problems, without a lot of depth nor interesting characters. It started out a little funny; however, sadly disappointed. I gave her last book 2 stars, and pushing it with a 2.5 stars this time, just because it is Christmas and is set in Nantucket.
Having read all sixteen of Hilderbrand’s books, as loved her older books, as checked back on Goodreads as to when this began to change. Either my reading interests have drastically changed (which could be), or she has completely changed her style, since around 2010, starting with The Island and downhill since. The good ones are from 2002-2009 (please go back to this). I keep reading thinking it will go back to the old ways; however, her books are no longer captivating me or grabbing me, nor am I invested in any of the characters. (I did enjoy her last two short novellas).
I will give 2015 one more shot before closing this door. If you like more of a soap opera drama, you may enjoy; however, I enjoy more substance and complex plot planning. On a side note, I am sensing a little of the same with Nancy Thayer, another Nantucket author, as have read all her books, as well and not the same over the last few years; and both started around the same time with the change.
If you are one of the older fans, you may be able to relate as have seen a few other reviewers sharing the opinion.