Hilderbrand’s captivating follow-up to 2018’s Winter in Paradise, continues the chronicle of Russell Steele’s family as they start over in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, after his suspicious death and the discovery of his hidden second life. After learning that Russ fathered a child with Rosie, a St. John waitress who died with him, in the first book, Russ’s widow Irene leaves her life in Iowa and accepts an offer to work on a fishing charter with Rosie’s stepdad, Huck. Huck and Irene instantly click, despite the odd circumstances. At the same time, Irene’s younger son Cash rethinks his aimless existence after hearing from Rosie’s best friend Ayers about an opening on a boat. Cash and his brother Baker, both in their 30s, are smitten with Ayers, who has gone back to her cheating boyfriend Mick. Baker also considers St. John. The group—Irene, Cash, Baker, Huck, and Ayers—rally around 12-year-old Maia, Rosie’s daughter, as she navigates tweenhood and her loss. Ayers discovers and hides Rosie’s diaries, which detail plenty of evidence regarding Russ’s illegal dealings and a motive for his murder. The book ends on a cliffhanger, setting readers up eagerly for the next book. Those who want a sweet page-turner that’s more than just beach fare will want to take a look. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"You'll be counting the days until you can return to the Virgin Islands with these characters in the concluding volume of the trilogy. Print the bumper sticker 'I'd Rather Be Living in an Elin Hilderbrand Novel.'"Kirkus (starred review)
"Once again, Hilderbrand demonstrates her mastery of immersive escapism with a carefully deployed pineapple-banana smoothie or the blue tile of an outdoor shower. . . .The absolute pleasure of the reading experience combined with a cliff-hanger ending will have readers anxiously awaiting the conclusion to the trilogy."Booklist (starred review)
Praise for Summer of '69-
"The grande dame of beach reads."Liz Egan, New York Times Book Review
"An engrossing tale of an iconic American summer"People Magazine
"Superb...Hilderbrand hits all the right notes about life in a tightly knit family, and this crowd-pleaser is sure to satisfy both her fans and newcomers alike."Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Hilderbrand's characters are utterly convincing and immediately draw us into their problems, from petty to grave...To use the parlance of the period, a highly relevant retrospective."
"She presents another breezy yet gritty novel with Summer of '69... Simple, sassy, and continuously engaging, Summer of '69 fits neatly into the nostalgic reader's beach bag."NPR
"Hilderbrand's books keep getting better and better."Bookreporter
In Winter in Paradise, Irene Steel learned that the man she loved, who had just been killed in a plane crash, had been leading a double life on the sunny island of St. John. Here, she's on St. John with her two grown sons, trying to learn about the man they all thought they knew and find ways to answer the question, What happens next? With a 200,000-copy first printing.
Back to St. John with the Steele family, whose tragic loss and horrifying discovery have yielded an exciting new life.
In Winter in Paradise (2018), Hilderbrand introduced Midwestern magazine editor Irene Steele and her adult sons, Baker and Cash, then swept them off to the island of St. John after paterfamilias Russell Steele was killed in a helicopter crash with his secret mistress, leaving a preteen love child and a spectacular villa. While the first volume left a lot up in the air about Russell's dubious business dealings and the manner of his death, this installment fills in many of the blanks. All three Steeles made new friends during their unexpected visit to the island in January, and now that's resulted in job offers for Irene and Cash and the promise of new love for single dad Baker. Why not move to St. John and into the empty villa? Mother, sons, and grandson do just that. Both the dead mistress's diary and a cadre of FBI agents begin to provide answers to the questions left dangling in Volume 1, and romantic prospects unfold for all three Steeles. Nevertheless, as a wise person once said, shit happens, combusting the family's prospects and leading to a cliffhanger ending. On the way, there will be luscious island atmosphere, cute sundresses, frozen drinks, "slender baguette sandwiches with duck, arugula and fig jam," lemongrass sugar cookies, and numerous bottles of both Krug and Dom Pérignon, the latter served by a wiseass who offers one of his trademark tasting notes: "This storied bubbly has notes of Canadian pennies, your dad's Members Only jacket, and…‘We Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together.' " You'll be counting the days until you can return to the Virgin Islands with these characters in the concluding volume of the trilogy.
Print the bumper sticker—"I'd Rather Be Living in an Elin Hilderbrand Novel."