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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 Nantucke 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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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 Nantucke 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.

30 review for Here's to Us

  1. 4 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    I mean, even for a "summer read" i.e. so fluffy and insubstantial that "brain candy" is an insult to other books deemed as such, this book was utter crap. Not much of a plot (as evident in the summary). More of a tour guide to Nantucket than anything. The most entitled, stupid, vapid, annoying cast of women I have encountered in a chick lit. Insultingly simple resolution to major events, i.e. "Oh my god I'm so sorry I'm a drug addict. I've come to see the light and I will quit right now." I'm chuc I mean, even for a "summer read" i.e. so fluffy and insubstantial that "brain candy" is an insult to other books deemed as such, this book was utter crap. Not much of a plot (as evident in the summary). More of a tour guide to Nantucket than anything. The most entitled, stupid, vapid, annoying cast of women I have encountered in a chick lit. Insultingly simple resolution to major events, i.e. "Oh my god I'm so sorry I'm a drug addict. I've come to see the light and I will quit right now." I'm chuckling at myself as I write this review, because, reader, the joke is on me. I wasted 2 hours of my life on this drivel.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Sometimes a book turns out to be so much more than I initially give it credit for. I settled in for a light summer read, but what I ended up with was a cast of characters I fell hard for and a story I didn’t want to end. I can’t say I loved everyone (I’m looking at you Belinda), but I didn’t want to let them go. There was more depth than expected, if that makes sense. Life is messy and complicated and there isn’t always a happy ending. Sometimes life just sucks. People suck. Deacon learned that a Sometimes a book turns out to be so much more than I initially give it credit for. I settled in for a light summer read, but what I ended up with was a cast of characters I fell hard for and a story I didn’t want to end. I can’t say I loved everyone (I’m looking at you Belinda), but I didn’t want to let them go. There was more depth than expected, if that makes sense. Life is messy and complicated and there isn’t always a happy ending. Sometimes life just sucks. People suck. Deacon learned that at an early age and it bled into the rest of his life. A celebrity chef with a bad boy persona and three failed marriages, Deacon has always chased after the feeling of being wanted. He didn’t want me. But I want you. The whole time I was reading, I kept telling myself, I shouldn’t even like him. What the heck is wrong with me? He’s been married three times, is a serial cheater and a drunk/drug addict—somehow he won me over though. Underneath it all was a broken guy. I mean, he was abandoned by his parents—who wouldn’t be messed up from that? Seeing the love he had for his kids, especially the connection he shared with Angie, washed away most of his mistakes, in my eyes. I couldn't ignore the fact that he was a decent guy at his core and I could see why each of the women fell for him. For some reason, each wife thought she would be the one to save him, but it didn’t work out that way in the end. I think it says something that they all still cared enough, maybe even still loved him, to come together to say goodbye. “My father didn’t really die of a heart attack, did he? He died of heartbreak.” Can you imagine the drama with three former wives staying in the same house . . . together? Years of competitiveness and secrets surfaced and I seriously couldn’t look away. It quickly turned into a binge-reading session, for me. Of the three wives, Laurel was easily my favorite. Even after everything, I think her and Deacon shared the deepest connection. Belinda and Scarlett were such catty hypocrites most of the time, but I have to admit, they made me laugh. The house on Hoicks Hallow Road was a character in itself really. Sort of rundown and plain, but the heart of the family. I liked that each of the wives and their children were so different and lived different lives, but they all loved that house for the same reason—they knew what it meant to Deacon. I don’t think you can read an Elin Hilderbrand novel and walk away not wanting to visit Nantucket. Until then, I guess I have her words to transport me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Here's to Us is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by the well-loved Elin Hilderbrand. The story focuses on three women and their marriages to the same man...but not at the same time - it's not that juicy! I couldn't find an ounce of care for any of these characters. The only character I liked was the owner of a house that one of the wives wanted to buy and her appearance was like five seconds long. There's really no plot or ongoing storyline in this book. We just meet these three women Here's to Us is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by the well-loved Elin Hilderbrand. The story focuses on three women and their marriages to the same man...but not at the same time - it's not that juicy! I couldn't find an ounce of care for any of these characters. The only character I liked was the owner of a house that one of the wives wanted to buy and her appearance was like five seconds long. There's really no plot or ongoing storyline in this book. We just meet these three women and learn about their histories, marriages, children, and present-day lives. TONS of character information that doesn't really go anywhere in my opinion. Maybe this book was meant to be just an exploration of the three woman who were loved by this one man. In that case, maybe it succeeded. If so though, it didn't really do anything for me. I didn't learn any life lesson or take away a new perspective unfortunately which is one of my favorite things about reading women's fiction. However, Ms. Hilderbrand did squeeze in quite a few recipes and I can admit that was a fun addition. I'm always game for some new grub...minus the crack cocaine of course ;) My favorite quote: Dave Letterman: "I literally cannot stop eating this. What's in it?" Deacon: "A teaspoon of crack cocaine."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    DNF on page 152. This book was so boring, I kept confusing the characters and absolutely nothing happened. I normally like Elin Hilderbrand but this was was a really bad book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So there's some good news and then some bad news. The good news is that I didn't hate this book as badly as I thought when I first started it. The bad news is, it wasn't very good. There were too many characters, most of them dopey, vapid and shallow. JP was the most real, along with Chef Deacon. Deacon's story was really the only compelling part of this book. Buck's "indescretion" with Belinda was an eye rolling "wtf???" event. Laurel's anger and distrust of Buck over said "indescretion" turns So there's some good news and then some bad news. The good news is that I didn't hate this book as badly as I thought when I first started it. The bad news is, it wasn't very good. There were too many characters, most of them dopey, vapid and shallow. JP was the most real, along with Chef Deacon. Deacon's story was really the only compelling part of this book. Buck's "indescretion" with Belinda was an eye rolling "wtf???" event. Laurel's anger and distrust of Buck over said "indescretion" turns into "take me upstairs and make love to me" . I kid you not. And there they are for the rest of the visit. In love. After he gets a BJ in the kitchen by another woman, her ex-husband's next ex. Ugh. The children were spoiled brats, all of them. Angie dumped her married boyfriend Joel but conveniently had JP, already in love with her after 3 days, waiting for her in the wings. And Hayes' addiction was miraculously solved after a few days and a tearful confession to his mother. Everyone ended up with a perfect life. Even moronic Scarlett bagged her man, the love of her life. Ah. If life could only be that easy. I keep going back to Hilderbrand, maybe for the beachy feel good covers? I really don't know why, cause most of her stories are stinkers. Unless you really need something to read, skip this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan Becraft

    Disappointed I have always enjoyed spending time with Elin Hildebrand on her beloved island of Nantucket and looked forward to her latest book. Here's to Us missed the mark for me. The story of three vapid women who had been married to Deacon Thorpe, a celebrity chef, now deceased, did not engage me. The story, initially related by Thorpe as a child, intrigued me, and the reunion of his wives and children in the much loved Nantucket home held promise, but to quote an old saw, there was no meat on Disappointed I have always enjoyed spending time with Elin Hildebrand on her beloved island of Nantucket and looked forward to her latest book. Here's to Us missed the mark for me. The story of three vapid women who had been married to Deacon Thorpe, a celebrity chef, now deceased, did not engage me. The story, initially related by Thorpe as a child, intrigued me, and the reunion of his wives and children in the much loved Nantucket home held promise, but to quote an old saw, there was no meat on the bone. The story had so many characters that none was properly developed. They became almost interchangeable, and I found myself bored by them. Missing was Elin Hildebrand's usual exuberance I had grown accustomed to when she painted such a vivid picture of the island that I felt as though I were making a return trip. The beachy nightlife, excellent restaurants, quaint shops and mouthwatering descriptions of lobster and clam rolls were missing. The story could have taken place anywhere. Despite this misfire, I am already looking forward to Elin Hildebrand's next book. I have read every book she has written and do not expect to be disappointed again!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Branciforte

    Well, my summer can officially start! Loved this book! Could be one of my favorite Elin Hilderbrand books. Binge read it this weekend- I thought it was a good story with a bunch of likable (and some not so likeable) characters. I always like the way Elin goes back and forth with the story and fills in the background, everything neatly tied up in the happy ending. A highly unlikely story, but hey, just enjoy the visit to Nantucket. I have never been to Nantucket (will be going in September for th Well, my summer can officially start! Loved this book! Could be one of my favorite Elin Hilderbrand books. Binge read it this weekend- I thought it was a good story with a bunch of likable (and some not so likeable) characters. I always like the way Elin goes back and forth with the story and fills in the background, everything neatly tied up in the happy ending. A highly unlikely story, but hey, just enjoy the visit to Nantucket. I have never been to Nantucket (will be going in September for the first time), but I feel I know all about it just from reading Elin Hilderbrand novels! Just a really enjoyable beach/ summer book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    The story Here's to us is sad and brilliantly fast paced. Elin Hilderbrand is skilful adapting brilliant story lines. I enjoyed reading about the characters and I found myself having great sympathy for a dysfunctional family. A popular television chef Deacon Thorpe was found dead at the age of 53 from a heart attack in his summer cottage named America Paradise on Nuntucket Island. He was married to his high school sweetheart Laurel they had a son Haynes Thorpe. Then Deacon married an actress Bel The story Here's to us is sad and brilliantly fast paced. Elin Hilderbrand is skilful adapting brilliant story lines. I enjoyed reading about the characters and I found myself having great sympathy for a dysfunctional family. A popular television chef Deacon Thorpe was found dead at the age of 53 from a heart attack in his summer cottage named America Paradise on Nuntucket Island. He was married to his high school sweetheart Laurel they had a son Haynes Thorpe. Then Deacon married an actress Belinda Rowe and they had a daughter Angela Thorpe. After divorcing his wife Belinda, he married Scarlett Oliver, they had a nine year old daughter Ellery Thorpe. All the women only shared one thing in common, the love for the man they all married. Naturally the women all dislike one another. But now the women must all come together in order to see out Deacons final wish to have his own dysfunctional family wives children and all return to his favourite place on earth, the idyllic eastern bluff of Nuntucket. I was impressed with the whole story line and the secrets that are revealed. Will the wives bond as they say their goodbyes to the man they loved? I highly recommend this emotional novel about a grieving family that finds solace where they least expect it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    Ok, normally I love Hilderbrand's novels, especially in the summertime, but this one didn't work for me. I couldn't stomach a bunch of insufferable women fighting and squabbling over every damn thing. I get that they were all once wives of Deacon, but I just couldn't.do.it. I am so tired of reading about women that don't support other women and quite frankly the first 75 pages of this book depressed me. This ex-wife will get the much coveted master bedroom at the Nantucket house, this wife will Ok, normally I love Hilderbrand's novels, especially in the summertime, but this one didn't work for me. I couldn't stomach a bunch of insufferable women fighting and squabbling over every damn thing. I get that they were all once wives of Deacon, but I just couldn't.do.it. I am so tired of reading about women that don't support other women and quite frankly the first 75 pages of this book depressed me. This ex-wife will get the much coveted master bedroom at the Nantucket house, this wife will have to endure the cheap sheets, etc. Blah. I'm sure the story ends up happily, but I didn't want to take the journey to get there. I want summertime fluff that puts a smile on my face. If I want to be depressed, all I need to do is read the most recent headlines. This book just isn't for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I'm actually shocked at how bad this was. I've been a huge fan of Hilderbrand for years and I've read all of her books. Every summer I get excited to see what else she releases because I find her books so easy to read and fun - the definition of summer reading. As a fan, I thought I knew what I would be getting myself into: rich, white, self-absorbed people on Nantucket, who would somehow be likeable or at least interesting (or both). Not with this one.(view spoiler)[ I found first wife Laurel t I'm actually shocked at how bad this was. I've been a huge fan of Hilderbrand for years and I've read all of her books. Every summer I get excited to see what else she releases because I find her books so easy to read and fun - the definition of summer reading. As a fan, I thought I knew what I would be getting myself into: rich, white, self-absorbed people on Nantucket, who would somehow be likeable or at least interesting (or both). Not with this one.(view spoiler)[ I found first wife Laurel to be insufferable and unusually holier than thou, considering that she doesn't notice or ultimately seem to care all that much that her only son has a heroin addiction. Second wife Belinda is a successful, famous actress whom we are supposed to hate because her life didn't revolve around her husband and daughter. We barely get to know third wife Scarlett, the nanny turned wife, stereotypical southern gold digger. (hide spoiler)] I hope Hilderbrand can get it together for her next book because this was worse than I thought she could be.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cammie

    Following his death, the family of Deacon Thorpe gathers at the family summer home on Nantucket, American Paradise, to scatter his ashes and celebrate him. Deacon is a celebrated chef with his own TV show and restaurant, three children, a third ex-wife in the works, and a bad boy image, but he's heartbroken. The story opens with Deacon on Nantucket as a boy with his father and the epilogue closes the story with Deacon on Nantucket where he dies, realizing the brokenness in his life from three fra Following his death, the family of Deacon Thorpe gathers at the family summer home on Nantucket, American Paradise, to scatter his ashes and celebrate him. Deacon is a celebrated chef with his own TV show and restaurant, three children, a third ex-wife in the works, and a bad boy image, but he's heartbroken. The story opens with Deacon on Nantucket as a boy with his father and the epilogue closes the story with Deacon on Nantucket where he dies, realizing the brokenness in his life from three fractured marriages and his current financial situation to his relationship with his father and his own children. Most of the novel focuses on the family gathered at American Paradise, revealing the lives of the many people in Deacon's life: Laurel, Deacon's high school sweetheart and mother to Hayes; Belinda, the moviestar with whom Deacon adopted Angie; and Scarlett to whom Deacon is currently married and has daughter Ellery with. Over the few days of the novel, the family members jockey for position--who gets the master bedroom, who is the favorite, and so forth--before realizing they are all literally in the same boat, and working together instead of against each other will help everyone in the end. If not for the Deacon-focused opening and epilogue, I probably wouldn't have given this one five stars. There aren't many likeable characters, even Deacon, but I found the opening and epilogue with Deacon touching and unexpected, especially the epilogue.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    3.5 stars ⭐️

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

    Deacon Thorpe was well-known for his career as a tv-chef and the owner of an elite restaurant in NYC. Deacon was equally known for his social life as he was his career. He’s been married 3 times and had a child with each wife. Deacon struggled with alcohol and substance abuse and the fidelity of marriage. When Deacon passes away unexpectedly, his best friend and agent, Buck, is left to handle his affairs. To make matters worse, Deacon had more money troubles than he ever lead on, and now it’s Bu Deacon Thorpe was well-known for his career as a tv-chef and the owner of an elite restaurant in NYC. Deacon was equally known for his social life as he was his career. He’s been married 3 times and had a child with each wife. Deacon struggled with alcohol and substance abuse and the fidelity of marriage. When Deacon passes away unexpectedly, his best friend and agent, Buck, is left to handle his affairs. To make matters worse, Deacon had more money troubles than he ever lead on, and now it’s Buck’s responsibility to break the news to Deacon’s family. Deacon’s wives, kids and Buck all stay together in Deacon’s Nantucket home to spread his ashes. All hell breaks loose when the three wives—Laurel, Belinda and Scarlett—are under one roof. It’s safe to say that the 3 wives don’t get along and they couldn’t be more different. Laurel, Deacon’s high school sweetheart. Belinda, a scandalous actress. Scarlett, a southern debutante, and Belinda’s ex-nanny. Deacon’s older children, Hayes and Angie, are almost as messed up as Deacon. Angie is sleeping with a married man and Hayes can’t go more than 12-hours without getting his heroin fix. For the sake of the children and to respect Deacon, the wives attempt to keep the peace in Deacon’s most cherished place, his Nantucket home—American Paradise. But when Buck breaks the news that Deacon left the house to all 3 of his wives, split equally, everyone is quite shocked. And to make matters worse, the house is so behind in payments (over half a million dollars worth), that it’s going to be foreclosed on. Deacon’s death brought his unconventional family together in a way that never would’ve happened otherwise. They’re all facing their own sets of problems in their personal lives and find it within themselves to forgive for the sake of Deacon. Through the memories of Deacon’s wives and his children, it’s revealed that Deacon was far from a saint. He made mistake after mistake. He couldn’t abide by the vows of marriage to save his life. But one thing is for certain—Deacon loved his kids unconditionally and wholly until the very end. And as much as his family holds transgressions against him, they can’t help but look past his flaws and love him whole-heartedly, too. A story about a seriously messed up family, Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand is about the importance of family, the rebuilding of trust and forgiving mistakes, no matter how hard that may be. I enjoyed getting to know these highly flawed characters. By the end, I felt like I truly got to know Deacon, even though I only learned about him second hand, for the most part. Some characters were easy to like, while others were quite rough around the edges. It’s a story about grief and a family coming together to celebrate a man they all loved. I enjoyed this story, but not as much as my first Elin Hilderbrand read—3.75/5 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Rada

    I have loved everyone of Elin Hilderbrand's books. Some more than others...But Here's to Us is one of my favorites. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants a "beach read" that isn't all fluff. I have loved everyone of Elin Hilderbrand's books. Some more than others...But Here's to Us is one of my favorites. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants a "beach read" that isn't all fluff.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    What could be more perfect than a Memorial Day weekend and a new book from Elin Hilderbrand. Deacon Thorpe, the highly successful chef and star of Pitchfork dies of a sudden heart attack at his beloved summer home on Nantucket Island. His "family" which is composed of two x-wives and one current wife who was going to file for divorce plus their 3 children gather to spread his ashes and remember the complicated man that Deacon was. Naturally, there are complications--the most significant of which What could be more perfect than a Memorial Day weekend and a new book from Elin Hilderbrand. Deacon Thorpe, the highly successful chef and star of Pitchfork dies of a sudden heart attack at his beloved summer home on Nantucket Island. His "family" which is composed of two x-wives and one current wife who was going to file for divorce plus their 3 children gather to spread his ashes and remember the complicated man that Deacon was. Naturally, there are complications--the most significant of which is that Deacon was broke and the beloved house on Nantucket is mortgaged to the hilt, the 3 wives don't get a long, his oldest son, Hayes has a serious drug addiction, his oldest daughter, Angie has relationship issues, and his agent and best friend is in love with Deacon's first wife. Combined it makes a delicious summer stew of family love and discord coupled with Hilderbrand's vivid descriptions of Nantucket island and several mouth watering recipes, fans won't be disappointed in this latest installment.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    What a massive group of dysfunction. I really only liked 2 of the characters, the rest were just unlovable and never did redeem themselves. And once more, infidelity runs rampant. Not sure what it is with this author's love of that subject but I very well may be done trying to figure it out. What a massive group of dysfunction. I really only liked 2 of the characters, the rest were just unlovable and never did redeem themselves. And once more, infidelity runs rampant. Not sure what it is with this author's love of that subject but I very well may be done trying to figure it out.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan Crowe

    So good!! Highly recommended!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    “It's not a house to us. It's a home. And it's not a home, it's a way of life. Our summertime happens here. This house is part of our past, it's our present, it'll be our future. It's who we are.” “It's not a house to us. It's a home. And it's not a home, it's a way of life. Our summertime happens here. This house is part of our past, it's our present, it'll be our future. It's who we are.”

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda McGill

    What a perfect beach read, which is what I ended up doing when we were travelling in Switzerland earlier this week! I recently read Hilderbrand’s most recent novel – The Perfect Couple and to my surprise my husband got me one of her earlier novels for my birthday! This novel wasn’t as mysterious as The Perfect Couple, but it had drama and was hard to put down! Here’s To Us focused on Deacon Thorpes’ 3 wives – his current wife and his two ex-wives – as well as his two children as they dealt with t What a perfect beach read, which is what I ended up doing when we were travelling in Switzerland earlier this week! I recently read Hilderbrand’s most recent novel – The Perfect Couple and to my surprise my husband got me one of her earlier novels for my birthday! This novel wasn’t as mysterious as The Perfect Couple, but it had drama and was hard to put down! Here’s To Us focused on Deacon Thorpes’ 3 wives – his current wife and his two ex-wives – as well as his two children as they dealt with their grief once he had surprisingly passed away. I loved the drama that the book had. Each of Deacon’s marriages didn’t end very well and he jumped into a next marriage fairly quickly after the divorce of his previous wife. This obviously caused a ton of tension between the wives and they don’t speak to each other. Of course, all that tension has to come out when they need to live in a house together for Deacon’s funeral in Nantucket. I really enjoyed Laurie (Deacon’s first wife) and Angie (Deacon’s daughter), but the other characters were fairly unlikable and I never really warmed up to them (especially Scarlett). My favourite part of the novel was that all of the wives (even though they hated each other) didn’t have any hatred towards any of Deacon’s children (he had a child with each wife) and treated them as part of the family. If you are looking for a light read, I would highly recommend Elin Hilderbrand! Can’t wait to read more of her books!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I'm sitting here on the island of Mauritius, famous for being the home of the dodo, and wondering if my love of Elin Hilderbrand books has gone the same way because I really didn't enjoy this book. Of all of Hilderbrand's many books, this is one of the most read and highest-rated. But I just didn't care for it. As far as dysfunctional family stories told from multiple viewpoints, I much prefer the Winter Street series. For a stand-alone Hilderbrand, my favorite so far is A Summer Affair. Something I'm sitting here on the island of Mauritius, famous for being the home of the dodo, and wondering if my love of Elin Hilderbrand books has gone the same way because I really didn't enjoy this book. Of all of Hilderbrand's many books, this is one of the most read and highest-rated. But I just didn't care for it. As far as dysfunctional family stories told from multiple viewpoints, I much prefer the Winter Street series. For a stand-alone Hilderbrand, my favorite so far is A Summer Affair. Something about the characters in this book was very unlikable for me. The entire, extended Thorpe family was tough and tough to love. There was very little loving feeling in this book; the atmosphere was toxic, hostile and hatefully vengeful. I was at a loss to find one character on whom I could latch to help navigate this family weekend. The characters felt vapid and synthetic (especially Scarlett and Belinda), and I couldn't generate a strong liking for patriarch Deacon or any of his three kids either. At times I wanted to rate this 1-star. I'll keep reading the next Hilderbrand (I have another 6 or 7 on my shelf, unread) and hope this rating was a one-time fluke and that as a go-to author, she hasn't gone the way of the dodo.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Although Hilderbrand is one of my favorite contemporary, women's fiction authors, this book was not my favorite. Not even in my top 10 of this author's books. It's extremely repetitive and could have been written in 1/2 the pages if all the repeated details of Deacon's, the father and/or ex- husband of all of the characters in the book, life were in the 400+ book. Deacon is a successful celebrity chef but he has his demons. He has frequent bouts of alcoholism, he uses drugs on and off, and has c Although Hilderbrand is one of my favorite contemporary, women's fiction authors, this book was not my favorite. Not even in my top 10 of this author's books. It's extremely repetitive and could have been written in 1/2 the pages if all the repeated details of Deacon's, the father and/or ex- husband of all of the characters in the book, life were in the 400+ book. Deacon is a successful celebrity chef but he has his demons. He has frequent bouts of alcoholism, he uses drugs on and off, and has cheated on all of his wives. The only thing he has done right is his job and being a father. The problem is that in the book we hear about this dead man from every character's viewpoint. Oh yeah...the books plot is that Deacon has just died and all 3 of his ex's, 3 children, and best friend have gathered at his summer home on Nantucket to spread his ashes. So there is a lot of drama and extremely annoying repetition about what Deacon was like when he was alive, when they were married, when the kids were little, etc. If you are looking for a good Elin Hildebrand novel to read, would pick a different one. 2.5 rounded up to 3 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Lane

    This wasn't my favorite Hilderbrand novel but it was more than "ok". Best line in the book, I think, was "look how we have grown". This wasn't my favorite Hilderbrand novel but it was more than "ok". Best line in the book, I think, was "look how we have grown".

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mahoghani 23

    A very good read. This family is brought together, under one roof, to celebrate the passing of someone they loved dearly. The time spent together is full of arguments, laughter, regrets, and honesty. I like the writing style of this author. She takes the reader from the present to the past to define how things got this way. It's a drama full of people who have real feelings of hatred toward another person in the family but within the three days spent on Nantucket Island, will change the hearts o A very good read. This family is brought together, under one roof, to celebrate the passing of someone they loved dearly. The time spent together is full of arguments, laughter, regrets, and honesty. I like the writing style of this author. She takes the reader from the present to the past to define how things got this way. It's a drama full of people who have real feelings of hatred toward another person in the family but within the three days spent on Nantucket Island, will change the hearts of many and develop a closeness that was needed all along.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    4.5 stars Here's To Us is Elin Hilderbrand at her best! I got lost in the Thorpe family, and as dysfunctional as they could be, I wanted to be a part of them and their Nantucket home. This book packs quite as emotional punch as the family members deal with their grief and loss, and as they revisit and come to terms with past hurts and betrayals. The characters were well developed and really came to life for me for the most part. I loved Laurel, hated Belinda, and found Scarlett to be silly and an 4.5 stars Here's To Us is Elin Hilderbrand at her best! I got lost in the Thorpe family, and as dysfunctional as they could be, I wanted to be a part of them and their Nantucket home. This book packs quite as emotional punch as the family members deal with their grief and loss, and as they revisit and come to terms with past hurts and betrayals. The characters were well developed and really came to life for me for the most part. I loved Laurel, hated Belinda, and found Scarlett to be silly and annoying. I have mixed feelings about Deacon, but that is the intent with his character, it seems. He is flawed and hurts everyone, yet you can't help but love him. I'd be eager to see a sequel for this one-I want to see what happens next for all of the members of the Thorpe family.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Walker

    I love Elin Hilderbrand's books - I am always anxious for a new one. It seems I always fall in love with her characters and the lives they lead and I would love to visit Nantucket!!! This has nothing to do with the fact that my maiden name was Hilderbrand (no relation) and I live in Michigan and we have spent many a summer in the Eastern UP of Michigan which has many characteristics of Nantucket and that beautiful summer life. I hated to leave these characters and reading about Deacon. I hope th I love Elin Hilderbrand's books - I am always anxious for a new one. It seems I always fall in love with her characters and the lives they lead and I would love to visit Nantucket!!! This has nothing to do with the fact that my maiden name was Hilderbrand (no relation) and I live in Michigan and we have spent many a summer in the Eastern UP of Michigan which has many characteristics of Nantucket and that beautiful summer life. I hated to leave these characters and reading about Deacon. I hope that Elin would consider revisiting Angie and the characters in her life while she pursues a new cooking career on Nantucket. Wonderful book and can't wait for a new one!!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bowen Tibbetts

    I don't think this book passes the Bechdel Test. The only time it might is on page 226 (in the ARC) where two women fight over the master bedroom, but one of them is thinking about her ex-husband during the conversation. Does that count? Ending's a little too neat, which is a shame because Hilderbrand finally gets everything crashing into each other near the end but doesn't really pay off to anything. Come for the Nantucket references, stay for the manufactured drama. I really liked the flashbac I don't think this book passes the Bechdel Test. The only time it might is on page 226 (in the ARC) where two women fight over the master bedroom, but one of them is thinking about her ex-husband during the conversation. Does that count? Ending's a little too neat, which is a shame because Hilderbrand finally gets everything crashing into each other near the end but doesn't really pay off to anything. Come for the Nantucket references, stay for the manufactured drama. I really liked the flashback scenes featuring Deacon, it's a shame he dies on like the 10th page of the book because he is by far the most intriguing and complex character.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Montanaro

    This was my first book by this author and I really loved it! What a wonderful surprise. The writing was really great, the plot was very interesting, the characters were well-developed, and I found the book just being extremely real. It dealt with real life in all of its messy beauty. I liked that it was told from each character's perspective and that there were interesting flashbacks that added to the story but didn't pull you away from it too much. This was my first book by this author and I really loved it! What a wonderful surprise. The writing was really great, the plot was very interesting, the characters were well-developed, and I found the book just being extremely real. It dealt with real life in all of its messy beauty. I liked that it was told from each character's perspective and that there were interesting flashbacks that added to the story but didn't pull you away from it too much.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melike

    I loathed most of the characters, the ex wives are a miserable bunch and the kids are not a whole lot better. The plot is weak, I found myself rolling my eyes repeatedly. This was my first Elin Hilderbrand book and it was pretty disappointing. It won't stop me from reading another one of her books though. I know she is well loved and maybe this particular book did not click for me. I loathed most of the characters, the ex wives are a miserable bunch and the kids are not a whole lot better. The plot is weak, I found myself rolling my eyes repeatedly. This was my first Elin Hilderbrand book and it was pretty disappointing. It won't stop me from reading another one of her books though. I know she is well loved and maybe this particular book did not click for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    KathyB

    I'm a fan of this author, unfortunately this book was not good. I don't mind flawed characters, but this cast was really awful. The theme throughout was cheating, it was pathetic. I felt like I was reading a Jackie Collins novel instead of a beach read, it was odd. Needless to say, I would not recommend. This was a miss for me. 2.25 Stars I'm a fan of this author, unfortunately this book was not good. I don't mind flawed characters, but this cast was really awful. The theme throughout was cheating, it was pathetic. I felt like I was reading a Jackie Collins novel instead of a beach read, it was odd. Needless to say, I would not recommend. This was a miss for me. 2.25 Stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Magpie67

    Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand was a new author for me to venture into with the book club at the library that meets on the third Wednesday of the month. It was a lighter version of a Jackie Collins title, but nevertheless a juicy gossip tale of three women who had all loved the same man and married him at different times of his life. He had children with these women, loved life and loved to cook except he had a dark side. A side that he fed drugs and alcohol to, where he wallowed in self pity, Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand was a new author for me to venture into with the book club at the library that meets on the third Wednesday of the month. It was a lighter version of a Jackie Collins title, but nevertheless a juicy gossip tale of three women who had all loved the same man and married him at different times of his life. He had children with these women, loved life and loved to cook except he had a dark side. A side that he fed drugs and alcohol to, where he wallowed in self pity, destruction, loneliness, and depression. An ever turning wheel of dysfunction for all involved. Did Deacon's growing years without a father cause his inability to just accept one day at a time, love his family, and  love his chef career? Why was he always searching for something better in the horizon? Maybe Scarlett was his last down fall that took him further into the abyss of spending, Maybe Belinda's continued success was a slap in the face since he raised their child, or maybe it was never going back to the love of his life, Laurel. Maybe he just felt like he disappointed his children even though he was trying to be a good dad. Everyone wanted a piece of his soul and Deacon didn't know how to say no. He was big hearted and a walking disaster with a brilliant mind. It's the last weekend before the funeral and Deacon's family has a lot to grieve together as a group, hash out old hurts,  and learn new things... as they say goodbye to a beloved husband, father and friend.

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