My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oh how I adore Elin Hilderbrand! If you’re looking for an author who nails the “beach read” category, this is your girl. Her covers always draw me in with their brightness, sunshine, and touch of mystery. They never show faces and leave me wondering who the people are on these beaches and what they’re doing there.
Winter in Paradise was one of my selections from Book of the Month that I just got around to reading. I was pleasantly surprised by the change of location for Hilderbrand. Typically her stories are set in Nantucket, but the Paradise series is set in the U.S. Virgin Islands which was a nice change of scenery but still achieved Hilderbrand’s beachy signature feel.
This book has a lot going on. But at its core, it is about the death of a man and woman in a helicopter crash. After the crash, the man’s wife is notified of her husband’s death only to find out that he was living a double life in the U.S. Virgin Islands. His wife and children come down to identify his body and end up unearthing facts about their husband/father’s secret life. Meanwhile, the female victim’s friend is devastated by the news of her friend’s demise and finds herself shocked as pieces of her friend’s secret life are revealed. The family and friends of these two secret lovers will find their lives intertwined in a way they never imagined.
I loved the complexity of this story. There were a lot of relationship dynamics that gave the book a lot of depth. Mother/son. Father/son. Brother/brother. Husband/wife. Friend/friend. Just a lot of interesting character interaction and development. Since this book is the first in a series, I did feel like there was a lot of time spent building character relationships that will hopefully be expounded on in future books.
This is a great book to read poolside this summer or to save for the winter when you’re feeling tired of the snow and need to mentally escape to the beachy sands of the Caribbean. Bravo to Elin Hilderbrand. I can’t wait for the second book, What Happens in Paradise, which will be out later this year!