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Discover the complete guide to all the Elin Hilderbrand books here. You’ll find summaries and reviews by a longtime fan, and you’ll get a printable checklist at the end that you can use to track your reading of this New York Times bestselling author, otherwise known as the queen of beach reads. Let’s get literary!

six elin hilderbrand books on bookshelf with bookend.

Quick List of Elin Hilderbrand Books in Order of Publication

Below is a list of Elin Hilderbrand’s books in publication order, including her short stories but not including anthologies with the works of other authors.

  1. The Beach Club (2000)
  2. Nantucket Nights (2002)
  3. The Blue Bistro (2005)
  4. The Love Season (2006)
  5. Barefoot (2007)
  6. A Summer Affair (Nantucket series, 1 of 4) (2008)
  7. The Castaways (Nantucket series, 2 of 4)(2009)
  8. Summer People (2010)
  9. The Island (2010)
  10. Silver Girl (2011)
  11. Summerland (2012)
  12. The Surfing Lesson (2013) (short story)
  13. Beautiful Day (2013)
  14. The Tailgate (2014) (short story)
  15. The Matchmaker (2014)
  16. Winter Street (Winter Street series, 1 of 4) (2014)
  17. The Rumor (2015)
  18. Winter Stroll (Winter Street series, 2 of 4) (2015)
  19. Here’s to Us (2016)
  20. Winter Storms (Winter Street series, 3 of 4) (2016)
  21. The Identicals (2017)
  22. Winter Solstice (Winter Street series, 4 of 4) (2017)
  23. The Perfect Couple (Nantucket series, 3 of 4)(2018)
  24. Winter in Paradise (Paradise series, 1 of 3) (2018)
  25. Summer of ’69 (2019)
  26. What Happens in Paradise (Paradise series, 2 of 3) (2019)
  27. Summer of ’79: A Summer of ’69 Story (2020) (short story)
  28. 28 Summers (2020)
  29. Troubles in Paradise (Paradise series, 3 of 3) (2020)
  30. Golden Girl (2021)
  31. The Sixth Wedding: A 28 Summers Story (2021) (short story)
  32. The Hotel Nantucket (2022)
  33. Endless Summer: Stories (2022) (short stories)
  34. The Five-Star Weekend (2023)
  35. Swan Song (Nantucket series, 4 of 4) (2024)


  • Elin Hilderbrand’s standalone novels can be read in any order. However, Elin Hilderbrand’s book series are best read in order, and some of her short stories should be read after the novel on which they are based.
  • Of note, technically, some standalone novels are paired up with short stories, but they are not officially considered to be book series.
  • Elin Hilderbrand has three book series: Nantucket, Winter Street, and Paradise. These books are best read in order.


Elin Hilderbrand is one of the most famous book authors today. A Pennsylvania native and graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she also attended the University of Iowa writers workshop and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree.

Notably, she has three children, lives on Nantucket island (which often serves as the setting for her beachy romance novels), is a breast cancer survivor, and has a twin brother.

She planned to retire after her 30th book, Swan Song, is released on June 11, 2024. However, she has already signed a deal to co-author two books set at a New England boarding school with her daughter, Shelby Cunningham.

Summaries and Reviews of Elin Hilderbrand’s Books

I started reading all the best Elin Hilderbrand books many moons ago, and I annually visit the Nantucket (and other Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, Massachusetts) settings of her preppy-themed books. This post focuses on Elin Hilderbrand’s books in order with brief summaries and reviews of her beach reads.

The Beach Club (2000; Debut Novel)

The Beach Club is Elin Hilderbrand’s debut novel.

It centers around the Nantucket Beach Club, where manager Mack Peterson has happily worked for twelve seasons. This year, however, owner Bill Elliot and his girlfriend Maribel are pressuring him to get married and the bellman Vance is threatening him.

Indeed, this summer will be different.

Nantucket Nights (2002)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Nantucket Nights is one of the more puzzling Elin Hilderbrand books to summarize and review because I couldn’t put it down yet found some of the plot and word choices cringe-worthy. I read it 20+ years after its initial release, and we think differently about certain things today.

For two decades, Kayla, Antoinette, and Val have been “Night Swimmers.” This is an annual tradition by which they drink champagne, swap secrets, and swim naked. However, this year, one of the women doesn’t return from her swim.

The investigation and aftermath reveal layers of dark secrets that are pretty shocking. The mystery elements of this novel kept me completely hooked. At the same time, I found some of the diverse language, as well as more than one romantic relationship, to have unsettling content (without revealing too much). Talk about frenemies!

I’m not saying that “these things” don’t occur or shouldn’t be written about, but they did feel out of place to me in a book that’s supposed to feel more escapist in nature.

The Blue Bistro (2005)

My Review: ★★★★☆

Going into The Blue Bistro, I only knew that it was a Summer romance taking place at a Nantucket restaurant.  I was not expecting the emotional ride this book took me on!

Adrienne lands an assistant manager position during the last summer the acclaimed restaurant The Blue Bistro will be in business. In the span of three months, she starts dating her boss, Thatcher Smith, but there’s a third wheel in this relationship—Thatcher’s business partner and lifelong friend, Chef Fiona, who is hiding a very big secret.

The descriptions of the food in The Blue Bistro were nothing short of tantalizing, from the full menu of farm-fresh delights to the daily tomato specials. 

The restaurant environment feels so real and alive that you can envision yourself actually working there, from the bustling bar to the melodic piano and the ocean views. 

There were some plot issues, and most of the reviews I read reflect that.  All three of the main characters had some really unlikable personality traits, and the ending leaves multiple loose ends.  That being said, I was still fully immersed in The Blue Bistro and really enjoyed it overall.  I also know that MANY avid fans of Elin Hilderbrand’s books consider this to be one of her best.

The Love Season (2006)

My Review: ★★★★☆

Never has a book ever reminded me more of the coastal grandmother aesthetic!

The Love Season takes place in the course of one day on Nantucket, in which a middle-aged chef who made it on her own, Marguerite, goes about the day running island errands and preparing for a delectable homemade dinner with her recently engaged goddaughter, to whom she must reveal secrets about her past.

Throughout the day, Marguerite also recounts her past and sets the reader off on a jet to luxurious places like Paris, Morroco, and New York.

The novel’s short timeframe of one day and the promise that deep secrets will be revealed add suspense. It’s everything a coastal grandmother will cherish, and I loved it!

Barefoot (2007)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Barefoot is an emotional summer saga about three women who are facing unique life challenges and retreat to Nantucket.

Vicki’s story is the most compelling and heartfelt, as she battles cancer. It’s a detailed look at the physical and emotional toll the disease takes on a young mother, which may be triggering to some but is still bound to make you root for her.

Brenda is her sister, reeling from being fired from her job after a scandalous affair. Melanie is a friend, newly pregnant after years of infertility, but also coping with her husband’s betrayal and her attraction to Vicki’s adult male babysitter on the island.

While set on the beach, it’s much deeper than a traditional beach read, and it contains a lot of trauma besides what’s already been mentioned, including suicide, death, and grief. So, this is one book for those who are prepared for the complex content.

A Summer Affair (Nantucket Series, 1 of 4) (2008)

My Review: ★★☆☆☆

I initially loved the premise of A Summer Affair: the drama behind planning a charitable summer gala. The setting is just so ripe for lighthearted conflict!

But, the gala isn’t the only “affair” in this book, as long nights of planning lead to an illicit romance between a married man and a married mom of young children.

It will be tough to read if you struggle to get past storylines involving cheating. But it’s also compulsively readable, and it was hard for me to put it down.

The Castaways (Nantucket series, 2 of 4)(2009)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

The Castaways is a beachy mystery and a very guilty pleasure about a group of Nantucket couples who are friends and hold secrets about their relationships.

When one of the couples drowns and dies on a sail to Martha’s Vineyard, the friends cope with their grief and question the circumstances surrounding these deaths.

More mysterious than thrilling per se, this group’s interconnectedness feels as juicy as a reality TV show.

Summer People (2010)

In Summer People, the Newton family patriarch and prominent New York attorney, Arch Newtown, has died in a plane crash, so this Summer on Nantucket will be different.

It’s up to his widow Beth, who’s struggling with her grief, to continue the family traditions and fulfill Arch’s promises.

The Island (2010)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

In The Island, Birdie Cousins is heavily invested in planning every detail of her daughter Chess’s Connecticut wedding when she learns the engagement has been called off.

On a break from her post-divorce relationship, Birdie gathers her other daughter, Tate, her sister, India, and Chess on Tuckernuck Island, just off the coast of Nantucket. It’s a rustic location with no connections to the “real world,” so she’s hoping for a distraction-free summer.

Of course, what she gets is a whole lot more, including secrets, romance, and family drama.

This book was another solid Elin Hilderbrand read. I especially loved how it transported the reader to a different part of the Nantucket community.

Silver Girl (2011)

My Review: ★★★★☆

Silver Girl is a popular book on Elin Hilderbrand’s backlist, and it lived up to my expectations. It has some common themes characteristic of her books and some unique themes.

One thing I really liked about it is that it was about middle-aged women, who aren’t often at the heart of books.  

Meredith Martin Delinn has lost everything, all because her husband Freddy cheated investors out of billions of dollars.  Looking at this type of scandal from the perspective of the wife of an imprisoned man was unique. I had empathy for Meredith’s struggles in dealing with public notoriety and managing feelings of guilt that she benefited from Freddy’s wealth as his wife.

Silver Girl is also very much about friendship, as Meredith’s old friend Connie contacts her to heal together in a summer on Nantucket, after Connie’s husband’s death.

The story weaves in the history of their lives, loves, and friendships as they came of age in the Philadelphia suburbs.  It’s a great read about starting over later in life and looking back on your past decisions.

Summerland (2012)

Summerland begins with a Nantucket tradition in which the high school students have a bonfire on the beach. This year, it ends in a tragic car accident, killing Penny Alistair and leaving her twin brother in a coma.

Meanwhile, the remaining passengers, Jake (Penny’s boyfriend) and Demeter (Penny’s friend), struggle with the emotional toils of their grief and post-traumatic stress.

As Summer marches on, the truth about what happened that night is revealed.

The Surfing Lesson (2013) (short story)

The Surfing Lesson is a short story about the background of Beautiful Day‘s Margot Carmichael. It was actually published just before Beautiful Day, so you can read these stories in whatever order you wish.

The flame in Margot’s marriage to surfer Drum is burning low when she seeks to rekindle it through his ex-girlfriend, Hadley Axelram. Margot plans a joint surfing lesson with Hadley and her son to see if it can make her feel jealous.

The anticipation causes her to think about the good old days of her relationship’s beginning, and she wonders whether seeing Hadley will help or hurt her marriage.

Beautiful Day (2013)

My Review: ★★★★☆

Beautiful Day is Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket wedding novel. Years earlier, while Carmichael matriarch Beth was living her final days, she detailed instructions for daughter Jenna’s wedding in a “Notebook.”

Years later, she has passed and Jenna is planning her lavish wedding in the backyard of the Nantucket family home per her mother’s wishes. While the idea of a “Notebook” (capital “N”) seems hokey in theory, it worked well in practice. The tone and details were quirky and unique while never being too sentimental or sappy.

Along the way, there are “outtakes” by the guests and all the family drama that comes along with weddings, to keep you entertained and wondering how (and if) the wedding will play out.

I flew through this one!

The Tailgate (2014) (short story)

The Tailgate tells the backstory of Dabney Kimball and Clendenin (“Clen”) Hughes from The Matchmaker. It was actually published just before The Matchmaker, so you can read these stories in whatever order you wish.

Clendenin and Dabney have been the perfect couple since their freshman year of high school. Now, Dabney is studying at Harvard and Clen is at Yale. As their big game approaches, Dabney excitedly heads to Yale, but sparks seem to be flying with Clen and a girl named Jocelyn.

The Matchmaker (2014)

The Matchmaker is Dabney Kimball Beech, a forty-eight-year-old Nantucket resident married to economist John Boxmiller Beech. Their daughter, Agnes, seems to be engaged to the wrong man, so Dabney gets to work.

Meanwhile, her ex, Clen, who left to become a journalist, is back and has her feeling sparks all over again. Is this a second-chance romance for the woman who makes matches for others?

Winter Street (Winter Street Series, 1 of 4) (2014)

My Review: ★★★★☆

In Winter Street, Kelley Quinn owns the Nantucket Winter Street Inn. He is the proud father of four grown children, all of whose personal lives are in a state of chaos as the holiday season approaches.

The oldest, Patrick, is a hedge fund manager dealing with a white-collar crime. Bartender Kevin has a secret relationship with the Inn’s housekeeper. Teacher Ava can’t get her dream boyfriend to commit. And Bart, the youngest, and the only child of Kelley’s second marriage to Mitzi, is fighting overseas in the Marines.

Christmas approaches, and Kelley walks in on Mitzi kissing the Inn’s Santa Claus, bringing all of the family drama to a head. It becomes up to Kelley’s first wife, famous news anchor Margaret Quinn, to attempt to save Christmas.

It’s a light yet heartfelt holiday novel filled with all of the family drama that can be characteristic of this festive season.

The Rumor (2015)

The Rumor centers on two Nantucket-based best friends, Madeline King and Grace Pancik, who are known for their seemingly “perfect” lives.

But the gossip around town is that novelist Madeline made a bad decision in the face of writer’s block and mounting bills, and that Grace is getting too close to her landscaper.

The women are forced to come clean, and the truth may be more shocking than it seems.

Winter Stroll (Winter Street Series, 2 of 4) (2015)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Winter Stroll picks up during the following Christmas season after Winter Street, particularly during Nantucket’s Christmas Stroll. But, all is not as happy-go-lucky as it may seem.

Kelley is single, but he is getting along with his first wife, Margaret, who is using her fame to make the Winter Street Inn a hit. Kevin and the Inn’s housekeeper, Isabelle, have a daughter named Genevieve. Ava is dating Scott, her dedicated co-worker. Patrick is in jail, and his wife, Jennifer, is struggling. Lastly, Bart’s whereabouts are unknown.

The family looks forward to celebrating Genevieve’s baptism, but Kelley’s second ex-wife, Mitzi, makes appearances, along with another guest from Christmases past, to stir the pot. This year, the Quinns must find a balance between old and new loves in order to have a happy holiday season.

It’s a super quick read that keeps the storylines moving while also anticipating what may happen next Christmas.

Here’s to Us (2016)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Here’s to Us is the story of what happens after the unexpected death of middle-aged celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe on his beloved getaway island of Nantucket.

His three very different ex-wives gather at his Nantucket cottage to spread his ashes and honor his memory: Laurel (a social worker who was his high school sweetheart), Belinda (a Hollywood star), and Scarlett (a Southern belle who was his family’s nanny).

Together with Deacon’s children, this makes for a full house, naturally filled with the drama and “rich people problems” characteristic of Hilderbrand’s novels.

Here’s to Us is about mending fractures and moving forward. With a celebrity chef at the heart of the novel, it’s also filled with foodie references and actual recipes, reminiscent of Hilderbrand’s beloved book, The Blue Bistro. Her love of food shines through her words.

I found it to be longer than necessary, but overall it’s a nice light novel to read.

Winter Storms (Winter Street Series, 3 of 4) (2016)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

In Winter Storms, Mitzi returns, Patrick is about to be released from prison, Kevin’s new business is thriving, and news about Bart in Afghanistan is hopeful. While all may seem well, the remaining family members struggle with really big issues like health, addiction, and a love triangle.

With all of this family joy and drama as a backdrop, this Christmas brings Kevin’s and Isabelle’s wedding at the Winter Street Inn, where a massive blizzard threatens their happy day.

In this third of four books in the series, I really felt like both the storylines of the characters and the festivity of the season all really reached a climax. There’s a lot more action in this particular book, and it kept me super engaged in the events and feeling all the feelings of the holidays as well.

The Identicals (2017)

My Review: ★★★★☆

I loved the concept of The Identicals from the outset. Identical female twins nearly 40 years old were split by their divorcing parents as children. Tabitha Frost stayed in Nantucket with their fashion designer mother and Harper went to Martha’s Vineyard with their father. 

Around age 25, the twins became further estranged by a tragic event, the exact details of which unfold over the course of the novel. 

When they experience difficult events with their parents, they “switch” islands for summer and tackle both their past and present lives.

I loved how The Identicals incorporated more of Martha’s Vineyard (my favorite of the two islands) than most of Hilderbrand’s other books.

One thing that did make me cringe was some of the twins’ adult behavior toward each other. I really don’t like it when adult siblings take “revenge” on each other.

Those parts of The Identicals were small, though, and overall, it was another really enjoyable read.

Related Post: Best Books About Martha’s Vineyard

Winter Solstice (Winter Street Series, 4 of 4) (2017)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Winter Solstice concludes the Winter series of Elin Hilderbrand books. Bart arrives home safely from Afghanistan, and the remainder of the family is finally experiencing joyful times as well… that is, except for one very important family member whose health is in crisis.

It wouldn’t be Christmas at the Winter Street Inn without some drama in this epic finale to the holiday tales of the Quinn family. This book is filled with happiness, sadness, and change, as the solstice arrives and the days begin to get longer again.

This book truly felt to me like the end of the story of the Quinn family Christmases.

The Perfect Couple (Nantucket Series, 3 of 4)(2018)

My Review: ★★★★★

The Perfect Couple truly transports you to the island of Nantucket while indulging in this “death at a wedding” mystery.

As you try to figure out whether the death was an accident or murder (and if so, whodunnit?), you learn that all the major players have secrets making them darker than their glossy exteriors.

While the bride and groom may not be the “perfect couple” after all, this is quite literally the “perfect” book for summer.

And, by the way, I did not correctly guess this ending of The Perfect Couple, so bonus points!  It’s easily one of Elin Hilderbrand’s best works.

Winter in Paradise (Paradise series, 1 of 3) (2018)

  • National bestseller

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Winter in Paradise will whisk you away to St. John for a change of scene. As a middle-aged Irene Steele rings in a cold Midwestern New Year, she learns that her beloved husband, Russ, who was away on “business,” was killed in a helicopter crash on the Caribbean island.

After Irene and her two sons, Baker and Cash, arrive at St. John, they discover that Russ was living a secret life involving some of the locals. In the process of coping with their shock and grief, they, too, begin to develop bonds with the islanders he knew.

It’s pure drama and winter escapism, with some heart. It’s a great “pool” read I still see being devoured at the pools I visit to this day.

Summer of ’69 (2019)

  • #1 New York Times bestseller

My Review: ★★★★★

Summer of ’69 is my favorite Elin Hilderbrand book and one of my favorite summer books! It perfectly combines historical fiction, family drama, and pop culture.

The plot follows the Levin family during a monumental summer on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

While they usually all spend the summer in Nantucket with their grandmother, this year, Blair is pregnant with twins in Boston, Kirby is working on Martha’s Vineyard, Tiger is fighting in Vietnam, and only young Jessie is with their grandmother on Nantucket.

When the Summer of ’69 heats up, Senator Ted Kennedy’s car sinks in Chappaquiddick on Martha’s Vineyard, causing the death of a woman. Additionally, a man flies to the moon, all amidst a backdrop of civil rights and war.

Summer of ’69 keeps you immersed in the family’s lives and transports you to the 60s at the same time, making for an extremely satisfying read. I simply could not stop searching about the book and the historical context!

What Happens in Paradise (Paradise series, 2 of 3) (2019)

  • National bestseller

My Review: ★★★☆☆

What Happens in Paradise picks up shortly after Irene Steele and her sons learn that the patriarch of their family, Russ, has been living a double life on the island of St. John.

They return to St. John, where they become more entangled in the islanders’ lives and discover more questions surrounding Russ’s mysterious life and death.

This one has a very “middle of a trilogy” feel to it. It expands on the first book, but it also leaves a cliffhanger for the third and final book in the series. Hilderbrand writes in the beginning that it can be read as a standalone, but I think it works best after reading Winter in Paradise.

Summer of ’79: A Summer of ’69 Story (2020) (short story)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Reading Tip: Summer of ’79 should only be read after Summer of ’69.

Summer of ’79: A Summer of ’69 Story picks up, you guessed it, ten years later in the lives of the Levin family, as they unite to say their goodbyes to a cherished family member.

Without spoiling anything, know that you will definitely hear what the characters are all up to, and some of it may surprise you.

Since Summer of ’69 is my favorite of the Elin Hilderbrand books, I found it especially satisfying to peek back into the lives of the characters as they aged a full decade, and I think most readers will feel the same way.

28 Summers (2020)

  • #1 New York Times bestseller

My Review: ★★★★★

28 Summers has it all: a preppy Nantucket setting. It’s light but still has substance. It has well-drawn-out characters and realistic (yet clever) dialogue. Lastly, it’s compulsively readable.

It’s a summer romance novel about two people, Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud, who decide to have a “same time next year” meeting that lasts each Labor Day weekend over the course of, you guessed it, 28 Summers. Naturally, this becomes more complicated with age, marriage, and kids.

While I can normally be critical about books that glamorize affairs, this book did it in a really smart way. It showed that all relationships are different and complex.

Finally, my favorite part was that each “year” included a rundown of all the pop culture items we were talking about at the time. It was a really fun addition to a book set over a few decades.

28 Summers was a 5-star read for me. I read it during the beginning of the Coronavirus quarantine, and I honestly felt like it “saved” me during this dark experience.

Troubles in Paradise (Paradise series, 3 of 3) (2020)

  • #1 New York Times bestseller

In Troubles in Paradise, Irene is back in St. John, having uprooted her American life and settled into her deceased husband’s villa.

Yet again, Irene is delivered shocking news about her husband, via a visit from the FBI. As Irene and her sons try to create a fresh start for themselves, it becomes more clear that the helicopter crash that killed the patriarch of their family may not have been an accident after all.

The whole island is watching as an ominous story gathers strength in the Atlantic Ocean, threatening trouble.

All is finally revealed in this satisfying conclusion.

Golden Girl (2021)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

In Golden Girl, tragedy strikes when Vivian Howe, a beach novel author and the mother of three nearly-grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident near her Nantucket home. As she ascends to “the Beyond,” she watches what happens on earth for one last summer.

She also has three “nudges” to change the outcome of the earthly events. Her daughter Willa is on her third miscarriage, her son Carson is partying until all hours, and her son Leo is currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, so she must use her nudges wisely.

But her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her youth. When truths come to light, her family is left to sort out their mistakes.

Golden Girl is an emotional and heartwarming beach read that’s unlike any other Elin Hilderbrand plot.

The Sixth Wedding: A 28 Summers Story (2021) (short story)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Reading Tip: The Sixth Wedding should only be read after 28 Summers.

The Sixth Wedding: A 28 Summers Story is a satisfying short story that takes you right back into the 28 Summers characters’ lives, a few years later, as Jake McCloud returns to Nantucket for Labor Day weekend 2023.

It centers around Mallory’s brother, Cooper, and tells what happens next in the lives of the gang, including Jake’s daughter, Bess, and Malloy Blessing’s son, Link.

As usual, it was nice to peek back into the lives of some of the most memorable characters in Elin Hilderbrand’s books.

The Hotel Nantucket (2022)

  • Instant #1 New York Times bestseller

My Review: ★★★★☆

Reading Tip: There are lots of references to The Blue Bistro and The Beach Club for fans of those novels, but you need not read them first by any means.

The Hotel Nantucket is about the summer in which a haunted old hotel is restored to the epitome of luxury and the staff who aims to get it a coveted “5 keys” rating.

Like the TV show Below Deck (which takes place on a luxury boat), the storyline follows drama and love amongst both the staff and the guests throughout the summe. There are even some twists!

Many readers rate it as their favorite Hilderbrand novel to date. For me, it was excellent but still fell below my top 3.

I should also mention there’s an amazing guide to Nantucket by Elin at the end, which I saved for future visits.

Related Post: Discussion Questions for The Hotel Nantucket

Endless Summer: Stories (2022) (short stories)

Endless Summer is a collection of all of the short stories mentioned above in this article plus more. It would be great to keep on your shelf and pull out when you’re reading one of her related books or to devour at once after you finish all of the long-form Elin Hilderbrand books.

The Five-Star Weekend (2023)

  • New York Times bestseller

My Review: ★★★☆☆

In The Five-Star Weekend, Hollis is a food blogger whose husband is tragically killed. In the aftermath, she invited her best friend from each stage of her life for a weekend on Nantucket. Naturally, this weekend comes with its share of drama.

Brooke, Hollis’s adult friend, meets with the leaders of the group that ousted her. Childhood friend Tatum’s husband brings Hollis’s first love along, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, college friend Dru-ann, a Black female sports agent, is in the middle of a Twitter storm after something she said was misconstrued. And Gigi is a mystery to all — she’s Hollis’s internet friend who’s hiding a very big secret.

As the weekend gets underway, Hollis’s student documentarian daughter films it ALL.

I flew through this book and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I also have some critiques. The setup was that of a guilty pleasure Bravo reality show, but the payoff wasn’t totally there. Most of the drama occurred within the minds of the women. Even when it came to the surface, the interactions amongst the women weren’t as impulsively passionate as I expected given the premise.

Still, it was an excellent escape read.

Swan Song (Nantucket Series 4 of 4) (2024; Last Book)

My Review: ★★★★★

Swan Song brings an extravagant new couple, the Richardsons, to Nantucket, but before summer’s end, their flashy multi-million dollar estate burns to the ground and their personal concierge goes missing.

This swiftly thwarts longtime police chief Ed Kapenash’s retirement plans, who becomes embroiled in the investigation one last time.

I always find stories that begin with a house burned to the ground immensely propulsive, and this one certainly did not disappoint. Elin Hilderbrand blended everything her readers crave into one final narrative: characters we know and love, Nantucket references, pop culture references, summer fun, drama, romance, mystery, and “rich people problems.”

In addition, she incorporated the most extravagant parties I’ve ever read about. The pink and white party absolutely blew me away as a reader!

While the loose ends of the mystery tied up a little too quickly and neatly for me, the final chapter was exquisite. I’m tearing up just thinking about the last few sentences!

Related Post: Swan Song Book Club Questions

Elin Hilderbrand Books in Order: PDF Printable List

elin hilderbrand's book list.


Get instant access to this free Elin Hilderbrand printable checklist when you subscribe to The Literary Lifestyle’s free email newsletter community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Elin Hilderbrands first book?

Elin Hilderbrand’s first book, The Beach Club, was published in 2000. It centers around a Summer of love and scandal at the Nantucket Beach Club.

Do you have to read Elin Hilderbrand books in order?

Elin Hilderbrand’s standalone novels can be read in any order. However, Elin Hilderbrand’s book series are best read in order, and some of her short stories should be read after the novel on which they are based.

What is Elin Hilderbrand’s last book?

Elin Hilderbrand’s last book, Swan Song, was published in 2024. It involves the case of a new Nantucket couple’s house fire and missing assistant.


This guide to all of Elin Hilderbrand’s books helped you track your reading of the popular works of the “queen of the beach reads.”

If you still can’t decide what to read first or next, check out my personal favorite, Summer of ’69.

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