Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand

It’s been much too long since I have been immersed in the Quinn family, with all of their romantic drama and hilarious situations. I truly enjoyed this book, but the only problem is that it ended far too soon and with many cliffhangers to boot!

Winter Stroll is the second installment in the Winter Street series, and I do hope Elin Hilderbrand doesn’t leave us hanging without many more books to come. Readers cannot help but fall in love with the characters, despite each of their faults or mistakes. Winter Stroll is an annual weekend in Nantucket in which the street is closed and visitors and residents shop and gather together to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. It also happens to be the weekend of the newest Quinn family member’s baptism, which is cause for a Quinn family celebration.

This winter season finds Kelley alone after his second wife, Mitzi left him last winter for the annual Winter Street Inn Santa Claus, George, after a 12 year affair. Kevin, his French girlfriend Isabelle, and their newborn, Genevieve, also live at the Inn with Kelley, where Kevin and Isabelle manage most of the day-to-day affairs. Kelley’s daughter, Ava, an elementary music teacher, also holds residence at the Inn, and she is still dating Scott, the school’s assistant principal. The oldest sibling, Patrick, is serving his time in jail after being charged with insider trading, while his wife Jennifer and three young sons try to keep the home fires burning until he is released in the summer. Jennifer, always the good girl and pleasing everyone, has developed a bad habit of her own as she struggles to deal with the stress. Kelley and Mitzi’s son, Bart, a Marine, is still missing after being captured in Afghanistan last Christmas.

The Quinn family, though quite dysfunctional, is loving and resilient. One of the things I love most about them is that they do not hold long grudges, but embrace the current, former, and future family members with love and acceptance.

On the weekend of the annual Winter Stroll in Nantucket, quite a few individuals from the Quinn family’s past happen to be in town and cause quite a stir.  There’s Nathaniel, Ava’s former heart-throb boyfriend, Norah, Kevin’s estranged ex-wife, and Mitzi, who is having an awful time worrying about her only son Bart, and missing Kelley as well.

And to top off the fun, Kelley’s first wife and mother to Patrick, Kevin, and Ava, Margaret, a famed Today show anchor is spending the weekend at the Winter Street Inn with her family, and her new boyfriend, a well-to-do surgeon who has never really minded being without a family until meeting Margaret.

As with Winter Street, Winter Stroll has plunged me into the holiday spirit longing for cozy nights beside the Christmas tree with its twinkling lights. The story is pure enjoyment, with lighthearted moments, love triangles galore, jealousy, rekindled romances, forgiveness, longing, and perhaps most important of all, hope for the future. A beautiful story through and through.

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