Saturday, May 27, 2017

Review: Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand (audio)

Title: Here's to Us
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Narrator: Erin Bennett
Published: June 2016, Hachette Audio
Length: 12 hours 30 minutes
Source: Library

Three romantic rivals. One crowded house. Plenty of room for jealousy.

Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver share only two things; a love for the man they all married, Deacon Thorpe--a celebrity chef with an insatiable appetite for life--and a passionate dislike of one another. All three are remarkable, spirited women, but they couldn't be more different. Laurel: Deacon's high school sweetheart and an effortlessly beautiful social worker; Belinda: a high-maintenance Hollywood diva; and Scarlett: a sexy southern belle floating by on her family money and her fabulous looks. They've established a delicate understanding over the years--they avoid each other at all costs.

But their fragile detente threatens to come crashing down after Deacon's tragic death on his favorite place on earth: a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage. Deacon's final wish was for his makeshift family to assemble on his beloved Nantucket to say good-bye. Begrudgingly, Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett gather on the island as once again, as in each of their marriages, they're left to pick up Deacon's mess. Now they're trapped in the crowded cottage where they all made their own memories--a house that they now share in more ways than one--along with the children they raised with Deacon, and his best friend. Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett each had an unbreakable bond with Deacon--and they all have secrets to hide.

Before the weekend is over, there are enough accusations, lies, tears, and drama to turn even the best of friends--let alone three women who married the same man--into adversaries. As his unlikely family says good-bye to the man who brought them together--for better or worse--will they be able to put aside their differences long enough to raise a glass in Deacon's honor?

My thoughts: One of the hallmarks of summer to me is a new Elin Hilderbrand book, and yet somehow I missed last year's new book! I'm not quite sure how that happened - but before this year's book is released, I quickly devoured last years book. One of my favorite aspects of Elin's books is of course the location - good old Nantucket! This is my ideal summer location and one of these days I swear I am going to get there, even if I have to go by myself!

I really loved the characters in this book. The three women - Laurel, Belinda and Scarlet - couldn't be more different from each other, yet they all have one thing in common - their love for Deacon, and it is that love that brings them together to mourn his passing. I loved these women for their flaws and complexities. Oh, don't get me wrong - they weren't necessarily the nicest of characters, but that's what made them so great. They were all well-developed and fun to watch interact with each other. Imagine having to spend anytime with an ex's spouse or such in close quarters...and to think that there were three of them!

There isn't a whole lot of action in this book, but there is a lot of heart. This is about a dysfunctional family and the way they deal with their grief and loss. There are a few lessons to be learned here, too, if you pay close enough attention.

All in all, this was a good book - a little different from the usual lightheartedness of Elin's typical summer books, but I enjoyed it just the same and am looking forward to picking up a copy of this year's summer book and reading it in a more timely fashion!


Audio thoughts:
Erin Bennett does such a great job narrating Elin's books. I've listened to quite a few that she has narrated - all Elin's books - and she just gets the characters and the story line. In this one, she was not only able to give each character their own voice and identity, but she brought them all to life. She gave them attitude and personality, infusing just the right amount of emotion and tension in her voice when needed. I like this pairing between narrator and author and hope it continues as it's a good fit!

 
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4 comments

  1. This isn't available to me on Audible so would have to read it. Yes I think sometimes characters who have their foibles are totally okay! Pretty much like us!

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  2. Great review! I'm glad that you enjoyed this audio book so much. Enjoy your weekend, Kristin.

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  3. I love books with a Nantucket setting too! The narrator sounds like she does an excellent job. I'm going to check my library to see if I can any of them.

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  4. I usually enjoy her books but I just didn't connect with this. I have high hopes for this summer's book.

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