Inspired by her home island, Nantucket resident and first-time novelist Hilderbrand maps out a sprightly summer saga at the exclusive Nantucket Beach Club and Hotel, from the season's May opening through the October finale. Transplanted Iowa farmboy Mack Petersen begins his 12th summer as hotel manager, wondering if the time has come to ask for a share in the ownership of his beloved adopted home; meanwhile, his gorgeous girlfriend, Maribel Cox, is dropping strong hints about getting married. Aging owner Bill Elliott returns from winter in Aspen with several conundrums: he begins to receive mysterious, anonymous letters from someone insistently offering to buy the property; his rebellious 18-year-old daughter, Cecily, refuses to learn about managing the family business; he fears growing old and broods on the uncertain future of his hotel. Besides the usual duties of housekeeping and keeping wealthy guests happy, Mack also contends with the subtle hostility of Vance Robbins, the African-American bellman who envies Mack's position and his girl; a hurricane that threatens to destroy the hotel; and tempting job offers that promise a new life away from Nantucket. Newcomer Love O'Donnell has been hired to work the hotel's reception desk, but her real mission is to find a man to father the child she desperately wants before her biological clock runs out, while callow college graduate Jem Crandall develops a hopeless crush on Maribel. Faithful to the easy rhythm of a real-life summer resort, the novel is lively with guests new and old who bring fresh problems to the plot. Though somewhat predictable, these summer escapades have a strong emotional pull, and readers will remain absorbed until the surprising denouement. Agent, Michael Carlisle. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000 Release date: 06/01/2000 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.