PRAISE FOR WINTER IN PARADISE:
"What do you do once you've become queen of the Summer novel and mastered the art of the Christmas novel? You start a new series, of course! This Fall, the incomparable Elin Hilderbrand brings us to St. John for the first novel in her new The Paradise series...Another compulsively readable hit by Hilderbrand." Brenda Janowitz, PopSugar
"A new series from Nantucket author Elin Hilderbrand-that's set in St. John!" Modern Mrs. Darcy
"With great verve, [Hilderbrand] has done it again with her latest novel, WINTER IN PARADISE, the first book in a planned trilogy. She is witty and engaging, and keeps her readers intrigued with a memorable set of characters...As always, she delivers a story with much detail, weaving her characters and storylines expertly...Be prepared to read a fast-paced and entertaining novel for several hours, which will keep you longing for the second book in the series." Bookreporter
"The perfect vacation read." Hasty Book List
"As she does in her books set on Nantucket, Hilderbrand excels at establishing a setting (the food! the luxury! the sea turtles!) that will inspire wanderlust...Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer blockbuster; her fans will be thrilled that she's looking to take on winter." Susan Maguire, Booklist
"This fast-paced novel offers the voices of several different characters, as well as a hefty load of intrigue." Nancy Carty Lepri, New York Journal of Books
Launching her new winter-set "Paradise" series, Hilderbrand takes us to the Caribbean warmth of St. John's, where Irene Steele's husband is found dead. Why so far from home? He had a second family and shady dealings on the island. With a 150,000-copy first printing.
When a Midwestern businessman is killed in a helicopter crash in the Caribbean, his wife and sons learn that he had a secret life.
The prodigious Hilderbrand (The Perfect Couple, 2018, etc.), author of high-style beach reads set on Nantucket, looks to a new island for her 22nd novel—St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In an introduction, she explains that she has been going to St. John to write for years now and has finally decided to break the mold and share her love of the place in her fiction. However, the story begins in Iowa City, where magazine editor Irene Steele is ringing in the New Year alone, as her husband, Russell, is away on business. The next day she receives a call from a secretary named Marilyn Monroe informing her of his death, and before long, she and her sons, Baker and Cash, are on their way to St. John, a place they've barely heard of, where they will be escorted to a $15 million villa that Russell apparently owned and shared for years with an also-dead longtime lover, Rosie. They will meet Huck, Rosie's stepfather, and Ayers, her best friend, and develop romantic entanglements accordingly. As in the Nantucket novels, Hilderbrand delights in studding her fiction with the real, whether she's telling us what books the characters are reading—the new Curtis Sittenfeld, Lilac Girls, and The Hate U Give, among others—or sending them to actual shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars, with food and drink described in detail. We learn a great deal about the characters' pasts, but little light is shed on the shocking secret at the core of the book, and suspicions raised about Russ Steele's business dealings and the details of the helicopter crash are also left unresolved. Perhaps further volumes of the planned trilogy will tackle all this, but it's a lot to leave up in the air.
The island setting and characters are done in classic Hilderbrand style, but the balance of backstory to resolution seems off.