cover image Winter Storms

Winter Storms

Elin Hilderbrand. Little, Brown, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-0-316-26117-3

The complicated web of familial turmoil created by Hilderbrand in this concluding chapter of her Winter Street trilogy is almost too much to bear as the Quinn family prepares for one last holiday season on Nantucket Island. This fictional depiction of a family working through the tragedies of loss, love, divorce, and addiction brings to the forefront the issues of living in a dysfunctional family and surviving the repercussions of each other’s decisions. As readers follow career-driven Margaret, romantically confused Ava, Jennifer, the interior designer addicted to pharmaceuticals, and Margaret’s ex-husband, Kelley, now undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, they become exhaustively entangled in the events that unfold. Unfortunately, Hilderbrand’s writing does not construct a thrilling plot line. By developing all of her characters at once, leaping from one character’s perspective to another, she leaves the story without a solid, defining climax. By the time the reader becomes invested in Jennifer’s battle against addiction, Ava takes over the story as she, once again, tries to sort out her tangled love life. Those already familiar with the series will find solace in learning the fate of the main characters, but readers looking for a light read will be disappointed by this emotionally-wrought, scattered conclusion to the trilogy. Agent: David Forrer and Michael Carlisle, InkWell Management. (Oct.)