After a tragic fire in 1922 that killed 19-year-old chambermaid Grace Hadley, The Hotel Nantucket descended from a gilded age gem to a mediocre budget-friendly lodge to an abandoned eyesore—until it's purchased and renovated top to bottom by London billionaire Xavier Darling. Xavier hires Nantucket sweetheart Lizbet Keaton as his general manager, and Lizbet, in turn, pulls together a charismatic if inexperienced staff who shares the vision of turning the fate of the hotel around. They face challenges in getting along with one another (and with the guests), in overcoming the hotel's bad reputation, and in surviving the (mostly) harmless shenanigans of Grace Hadley herself—who won't stop haunting the hotel until her murder is acknowledged.
The Hotel Nantucket, by Elin Hilderbrand...tries mightily to be a beach read...[and is] likely to be successful as such ... But [it] neither captured my heart or attained that overused marketing promise of 'unputdownability' ... Hilderbrand revels in the granular details of the Matouk-sheet-swathed lodging, which boasts showers thoughtfully tiled in oyster shells and complimentary minibars stuffed with bluefish pâté. The author sets sumptuous scenes ... I only wished for the same richness in the characters and their stories ... Hilderbrand’s spiky, astute observations...are too fleeting ... High stakes are heaped upon their secrets ... But their truths, once revealed, don’t deliver on the hype. Stylistically, Hilderbrand...overdo[es] it on distracting, dated internet-y slang...that barely survived a few quick digital eras, much less the glacial pace of publishing.
Hilderbrand once again captures life on Nantucket, from the beaches to the food to the chorus of locals who comment on the goings-on at the hotel, complete with a travel guide at the end of the book. Readers will be transported by this breezy, engrossing beach read.
A satisfying look behind the scenes of a luxury Nantucket hotel ... Beyond the intrigue, readers will learn something of the way a luxury hotel runs, including the long hours and dedication of the staff ... References to pop culture (music, celebrities, social media, fashion) will please a modern crowd, and readers will cheer for Lizbet, the crew of the Hotel Nantucket, and the ghost.