?Have You Heard??Audiobooks for Your Listening Pleasure?Here’s To Us Written by Elin Hilderbrand and Narrated by Erin Bennett?

Posted October 10, 2018 by RobbieLea in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand
Also by this author: Summerland, The Identicals
Published by Hachette Audio on June 14, 2016
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 410
Format: Audiobook
ISBN: 0316375144
ASIN: B01D53X7H6

An emotional, heartwarming story from New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand about a grieving family that finds solace where they least expect it.Celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe has always been a force of nature with an insatiable appetite for life. But after that appetite contributes to Deacon's shocking death in his favorite place on earth, a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage, his (messy, complicated) family is reeling. Now Deacon's three wives, his children, and his best friend gather on the island he loved to say farewell. The three very different women have long been bitter rivals, each wanting to claim the primary place in Deacon's life and his heart. But as they slowly let go of the resentments they've held onto for years and remember the good times, secrets are revealed, confidences are shared, and improbable bonds are formed as this unlikely family says goodbye to the man who brought them all together, for better or worse--and the women he loved find new ways to love again.

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I’m sure all of you have favorite authors whose new releases you anticipate because you’ve come to expect a certain quality of work from them. I am rarely disappointed by my favorites which is why they’re my favorites. Maybe the consistency of their work has spoiled me or maybe my expectations have changed, but for whatever reason Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand is the second book I’ve read recently by a favorite author which has disappointed me. Not to say the storyline isn’t good or that the characters aren’t appealing, but the way the book is written seemed almost like an experiment that didn’t quite work out. Like most of you, I’m used to books written from multiple perspectives, but this one was a bit over the top. The focal male character is Deacon Thorpe, a dead celebrity chef. The storyline revolves around a gathering of his two ex-wives and his current wife and their children to memorialize him and spread his ashes. Throw in a couple of best friends, his daughter’s married lover, a limo driver dressed as a pirate (argh!), and his second ex-wife’s current husband and you have a lot of characters – most of whom get chapters with their names on them. The author uses a strange device she calls an “Intermezzo” to fill in some of the backstory, and she also includes several of Deacon’s recipes. Although they sound like 5 star vittles to me, I’m not sure if they add anything to the plot. The result is like a potluck meal laid out in a picturesque setting on the island of Nantucket. The book is saved by the fact that the characters are engaging and, at times, funny. I’m just hoping the dissonance in the writing is a one time thing and has been tossed into the sea like Deacon’s ashes!

Erin Bennett is an excellent narrator and she gives an outstanding performance of a book which must have presented a challenge with its patchwork quality of writing.

Do I recommend Here’s to Us? Of course I do . . . especially if you like Elin Hilderbrand and her other work. She has a gift for character development and her storylines always pluck the highest and lowest of your heart strings. The drama, angst, and humor which are characteristic of her books are all present in this one. Her descriptions of the island always make me want to visit Nantucket, a place I’ve never really considered going, and the recipes make me want to break out the pots and pans and cook!


About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

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