THE HOTEL NANTUCKET by Elin Hilderbrand

From the publisher:

“The queen of beach reads” (New York Magazine) delivers an immensely satisfying page-turner in this tale about a summer of scandal at a storied Nantucket hotel.

Fresh off a bad breakup with a longtime boyfriend, Nantucket sweetheart Lizbet Keaton is desperately seeking a second act. When she’s named the new general manager of the Hotel Nantucket, a once Gilded Age gem turned abandoned eyesore, she hopes that her local expertise and charismatic staff can win the favor of their new London billionaire owner, Xavier Darling, as well as that of Shelly Carpenter, the wildly popular Instagram tastemaker who can help put them back on the map. And while the Hotel Nantucket appears to be a blissful paradise, complete with a celebrity chef-run restaurant and an idyllic wellness center, there’s a lot of drama behind closed doors. The staff (and guests) have complicated pasts, and the hotel can’t seem to overcome the bad reputation it earned in 1922 when a tragic fire killed nineteen-year-old chambermaid Grace Hadley. With Grace gleefully haunting the halls, a staff harboring all kinds of secrets, and Lizbet’s own romantic uncertainty, is the Hotel Nantucket destined for success or doom?  

Filled with the emotional depth and multiple points of view that characterize Hilderbrand’s novels (The Blue Bistro, Golden Girl) as well as an added dash of Roaring Twenties history, The Hotel Nantucket offers something for everyone in this compelling summer drama. 

“Bring on the fresh-baked gougères and the hydrangea-blue cashmere throws: A classic fictional setting—the grand hotel—gets the Hilderbrand treatment. The beloved beach novelist’s 28th book is another tour de force…Honestly, who needs Nantucket. It could hardly be more fun than this book.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Hilderbrand is the absolute queen of the beach reads, and her latest offering is dishy and fun, as a classic Nantucket hotel attempts to reinvent itself with a new billionaire owner. It might look glamorous on the outside, but behind closed doors, there is plenty of dysfunction among the staff, drama on the guest side, and a bad reputation the place can’t shake from a tragic fire in 1922.”―Mackenzie Dawson, New York Post

The Hotel Nantucket has been abandoned for many years. The locals all think it is cursed, and haunted by a woman killed in a fire one hundred years earlier. When a billionaire purchases the hotel and pours millions of dollars into renovations, Lizbet sees it as an opportunity. She has just broken up with her partner of fifteen years after she accidentally sees a sext on his phone. She carefully copies all 137 messages, then dumps him. Her ex is a chef and she worked the front of one of the most successful restaurants in Nantucket, but she is out. She lands the job of general manager of the hotel, and works hard on the renovations and hiring the new staff. The billionaire has one goal; he wants to own the hotel that finally gets “five keys” on a travel blog that has never given more than four.

The first headache arrives in a family who wants to check in for the entire summer, pays cash and explains she is in the middle of a divorce and her credit cards are all frozen. Edie, working the front desk, can’t get hold of Lizbet and agrees not only to the cash payment, she upgrades the family to a suite. There are two children, one of whom is a chess prodigy and the other is a Nancy Drew fan bound and determined to ferret out the true story of the ghost who is haunting the hotel. And they have a pit bull. Lizbet is not happy about it but has no options here.

The front desk manager is a seductress looking for her next meal ticket. There were so many red flags thrown at her interview I couldn’t believe she got the job, but she proves herself repeatedly, mostly by gaining lots of positive reviews from the men she sleeps with. The head of housekeeping, Magda, hires her staff but when one of them bows out at the last moment, she hires the next person through the door. Chad is a recent college graduate and a rich, preppy young man. Magda cannot believe he actually wants to clean rooms, but he convinces her to give him a try, thus the nickname she gives him, Long Shot. He is working through some massive guilt about something he did, but we don’t find out all that happened until almost the end.

There is a bar attached to the hotel that serves amazing food as the chef, Mario, was hired away from a top tier restaurant. Mario and Lizbet eventually start dating, but she ends it when she thinks he is also dating their young, beautiful yoga instructor. Lizbet and Mario are the romance of the book, until we find out there is another romance going on that no one knew about.

There are a lot of threads to this story and Hilderbrand artfully weaves them all together, enmeshing us in this unputdownable book. In addition to the fabulous novel, she includes a travel guide of sorts to Nantucket, with hotels, restaurants, and all the sights rated and recommended. If you are planning a trip to Nantucket, (and who doesn’t want to go after reading this book!) you are all set. Another winner from one of my most dependable authors out there – Hilderbrand never disappoints.

7/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE HOTEL NANTUCKET by Elin Hilderbrand. Little, Brown and Company (June 14, 2022). ISBN:‎ 978-0316258678. 416p.





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