Sunday, June 19, 2016

(55)Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand


The only thing that Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlet have in common is Deacon Thorpe.  They were all married to the famous television chef and now they are called to gather at Deacon's Nantucket home to scatter his ashes.  Laurel was his first wife and the mother of his son.  Their love goes all the way back to their teen years and Laurel was absolutely devastated when she found out that Deacon was having an affair.   Deacon married his mistress, award winning actress, Belinda, and they lived a pretty charmed life.  Except for the fact that Belinda couldn't get pregnant, so they adopted a baby, Angie.  Between Deacon't restaurants and Belinda's filming schedule, it was clear they needed a nanny.  So they hired Scarlet. And well, you can see where this is going.  Deacon lived a life of excess.  Food, women, booze, and drugs.  Yet they were all shocked when they got the news that Deacon was gone.  They have gathered to say their final good-byes, but what they don't know is that there are still a few things about Deacon that they didn't know and those truths may be the most painful of all.

Nantucket, oh beautiful Nantucket.  The non-traditional family of Deacon Thorpe have gathered at his beach house to say their final good-byes.  Nantucket was the one place where Deacon had fond memories of his father and unfortunately the same could be said for Deacon's three children.  Through all the wives and all of the years, the Nantucket home was the only place that really felt like home for his children.  It is where Deacon could relax and play Monopoly or go biking and just be a dad, not a personality. I think my favorite character in the book was the house.  The charming home seemed stuck in a time warp, but that is why it is so comfortable.  Old furniture, old games, old ghosts.  I think of all the wives, Laurel was my favorite.   And I think of all the children, Angie was my favorite.  Unfortunately,  Deacon's two older kids inherited some of his less desirable traits.  Like addiction and infidelity, but they were still very likable characters.   In the end, this unconventional family faces the demons of the past and the present and decide that family means everything.

Bottom line - I love Elin Hilderbrand and her love affair with the magical island of Nantucket.  Once again, she makes summertime feel special by transporting us to the wonderful island.  For those of us in "flyover" states,  we look forward to her books every summer for that very reason.  Here's to Us was well worth the wait.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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