The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand: A review
The history of the Hotel Nantucket began in the gilded age and was interrupted by a tragic fire in 1922. A young chambermaid named Grace Hadley was killed in the fire, but her death was not the accident that it was believed to be.
But death was not an end for Grace. She is still hanging around the hotel, haunting it until the truth about her death is finally revealed. In the meantime, she amuses herself by performing mostly harmless "haunting" shenanigans. She is considered by many to be one of the attractions of the hotel.
Since that 1922 fire, the hotel had fallen on hard times and had become nothing more than an abandoned eyesore, but all of that changes when London billionaire Xavier Darling buys the hotel and renovates it to its former glory. To complete the project, Xavier hires Lizbet Keaton of Nantucket as the hotel's manager and she makes it her goal to pull together a staff worthy of her vision for the hotel.
Lizbet aims to make the hotel the unique and desirable destination for visitors to the island. As the new staff learn to get along and work with each other and to keep the guests satisfied, the Hotel Nantucket begins to live up to Lizbet's hopes for it.
As always in a Hilderbrand novel, we get the story from many points of view which deepens our understanding of events and gives us more choices of characters with whom to identify. That strategy can sometimes be confusing but in this case, it seemed quite effective. The main point of view that we get is from the ghostly presence of Grace who sees all and knows all. Moreover, she does everything she can to make sure that others become aware of the truth that she knows.
The author is particularly good at setting up her story and getting the reader involved in the narrative. It makes the book hard to put down because we are always wanting to learn how each particular sidebar plays out and how it all fits together in the whole.
It's all about the relationships and how those relationships affect events and the hotel itself. Hilderbrand knows Cape Cod very well and The Hotel Nantucket reveals its laid-back summer ambiance as well as the importance of those relationships. The author is on top of her game with this one, so chalk it up as another entertaining Hilderbrand summer read.