The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand (audio)

Source: Purchased
Audiobook, 12+ hrs.
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The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand, narrated by Erin Bennett, is a rich person’s vacation but what anchors this weekend in reality is the relationships between these different women in Hollis Shaw’s life and the fractured relationship Shaw has with her daughter, Caroline. A tragic event widens the cracks in Hollis’ “Insta-worthy” life.

In the midst of her sadness, Hollis comes across a rejuvenating idea — the five-star weekend — in which you invite one friend from each of your “significant” stages of life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife. She invites her childhood friend and “sister” Tatum, her elitist college friend Dru-Ann, Brooke who went through pregnancy and childbirth with Hollis in her thirties, and Gigi who Hollis has met online through her website as they connect over tragedy.

Tragedy has a way of amplifying what is wrong in a family. Hilderbrand’s novel also reminds us that what we see of people’s lives online — social media, websites, etc. — is only a snapshot of happiest moments but not the reality of their whole lives. Hollis Shaw’s picture-perfect Nantucket/Bostonian life is no where near perfect, but neither are many of her other friends’ lives — lives she has done little to keep up with.

The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand is a far deeper story than its dressings of high-end dinners, exclusive reservations, and sailing trips make it seem. These women are stronger because of their bonds, even if the have some wear and cracks. It’s the ability to overcome the slights and miscommunications of the past that ensure these women will be stronger into the future.

RATING: Quatrain

About the Author:

Mailbox Monday #144

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch.  This month our host is Amused by Books.  Kristi of The Story Siren continues to sponsor her In My Mailbox meme.  Both of these memes allow bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I picked up from a library sale a weekend or two ago:

1.  American Sublime by Elizabeth Alexander

2.  Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

3.  Exercises for the Everyday Writer by Lex Runchiman and Francine Weinberg; there are new versions of this reference.

4.  The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry edited by Jon Silkin; I have an older version from 1979.

5.  The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White for “Wiggles”; the version I picked up for her has the blue cover with the drawing of the boy and the swan by a pond; the same version I had as a kid.

These are books I picked up at the 90% off sale at my Borders in its final days:

6.  Under Fishbone Clouds by Sam Meekings

7.  The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent; though looks like this book has been reissued with a different title.

8.  Lady Vernon and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino Bradway

9.  Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo, translated by Edith Grossman, which is part of my effort to read more translated works.

10.  The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

11.  Tethered by Amy MacKinnon

12.  From the Land of the Moon by Milena Agus, translated by Ann Goldstein

13.  Blue Nude by Elizabeth Rosner

14.  These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

15. Around Germantown (MD) (Then and Now) by Margaret Coleman, which I purchased at my new bookstore Novel Places.

What did you receive this week?

BookTrib E-VENTFUL Book Party with Elin Hilderbrand 3 PM Today

Today at 3PM on BookTrib, Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Castaways and other fun-in-the-sun books, will be discussing her latest release Silver Girl.  If you’d like to sign up for BookTrib, click the “First Visit? Sign up!” button on the top right. Party go-ers can also sign in to the party with a Chat Roll account, a Facebook account, or as a guest.

From Amazon.com about Silver Girl:

Meredith Martin Delinn just lost everything: her friends, her homes, her social standing – because her husband Freddy cheated rich investors out of billions of dollars.

Desperate and facing homelessness, Meredith receives a call from her old best friend, Constance Flute. Connie’s had recent worries of her own, and the two depart for a summer on Nantucket in an attempt to heal. But the island can’t offer complete escape, and they’re plagued by new and old troubles alike. When Connie’s brother Toby – Meredith’s high school boyfriend – arrives, Meredith must reconcile the differences between the life she is leading and the life she could have had.

Set against the backdrop of a Nantucket summer, Elin Hilderbrand delivers a suspenseful story of the power of friendship, the pull of love, and the beauty of forgiveness.

Fifteen lucky party-goers will win an exclusive Silver Girl tote bag courtesy of The Elegant Setting along with an autographed copy of the book.  Come join us.