Winter Street by Elin Hildebrand
Holiday, Christmas, Family, Fiction
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 14th, 2014 by Little, Brown and Company
In the past, I haven’t generally been one for reading holiday novels. When it came to Christmas, the kinds of books I would read didn’t change from the rest of the year.
This year, however, I decided to change things up. I had received an ARC of Hildebrand’s Winter Stroll at BEA in the spring, and wanted to give it a read. Because, why not, right? But then I discovered that it was actually the sequel to Winter Street. So I picked up the first book at my library.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I hadn’t read any of Hildebrand’s books before, either! I knew that she fell into the “lighter” category of fiction, generally relegated to summer reading. At this point though, I was up for anything and dove right in.
Winter Street is the story of the dysfunctional and semi-broken family of the Quinns. Here’s the synopsis from the publisher:
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.
This book was everything that I wanted it to be! It was basically a Christmas Lifetime/Hallmark made-for-TV movie in book form. But one of the slightly better and less cheesy ones.
I enjoyed all of the characters and their side stories and especially liked how everything all came back to the Inn and the family. This could have easily been a cringy book, but I found Hildebrand juggled the comfortable predictability, the well-rounded (for the most part) characters, and holiday spirit quite well.
This book may not have particularly complex plotlines or characters, but it’s not complete fluff (not that there’s anything wrong with fluff). I give this one a thumbs up and recommend it this holiday season if you’re looking for a festive read about family! (And it’s only $7.79 on Book Outlet right now!)
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.