Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand
Published: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Format: via publisher
Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver share only two things; a love for the man they all married, Deacon Thorpe--a celebrity chef with an insatiable appetite for life--and a passionate dislike of one another. All three are remarkable, spirited women, but they couldn't be more different. Laurel: Deacon's high school sweetheart and an effortlessly beautiful social worker; Belinda: a high-maintenance Hollywood diva; and Scarlett: a sexy southern belle floating by on her family money and her fabulous looks. They've established a delicate understanding over the years--they avoid each other at all costs.
But their fragile detente threatens to come crashing down after Deacon's tragic death on his favorite place on earth: a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage. Deacon's final wish was for his makeshift family to assemble on his beloved Nantucket to say good-bye. Begrudgingly, Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett gather on the island as once again, as in each of their marriages, they're left to pick up Deacon's mess. Now they're trapped in the crowded cottage where they all made their own memories--a house that they now share in more ways than one--along with the children they raised with Deacon, and his best friend. Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett each had an unbreakable bond with Deacon--and they all have secrets to hide.
Before the weekend is over, there are enough accusations, lies, tears, and drama to turn even the best of friends--let alone three women who married the same man--into adversaries. As his unlikely family says good-bye to the man who brought them together--for better or worse--will they be able to put aside their differences long enough to raise a glass in Deacon's honor?
Summer wouldn’t be complete in my eyes without an amazing Elin Hilderbrand novel. In Here’s to Us we meet the eclectic family that famous chef Deacon Thorpe leaves after his death. After a life of women, drugs and drinking there are a few things that Deacon has done right in life but everyone will agree he was a great father. He loved all his children to the fullest, mainly because he felt what it was like to not have that after his father up and left the family when he was young. Although he was famous he lived like there was no tomorrow and ultimately died in debt. He did have one prized procession that was his Nantucket house that despite all the women in his life, that was the one thing that was his and was not to be touched or changed.
In this novel, we get the back story of each of Deacon’s wives: Laurel his high school love and some say true love and wife of his only son. Belinda: the famous movie star who stole him away from Laurel and mom to their adopted daughter Angie who of all his kids he was closest to and shared his love for cooking. Scarlett: former nanny to Angie and his current wife and mother to his youngest daughter who has always pined for her ex-Bo. We see while all women are different from one another all loved him dearly even until the end. So when it is revealed that the beloved Nantucket house is to be foreclosed on soon, they must work together to get over their issues and become a family to spread his ashes and hopefully save the house.
I loved his book so much while it is a lengthy tale over 400 pages it is a read that I couldn’t stop reading. It was funny but touching at the same time, once again Elin Hilderbrand paints a picture of Nantucket that is so idyllic you can’t help but feel the sand under your toes and the cool breeze in the air. She delivers a family tale while dysfunctional one that in the end works for them. We are shown that no matter what issues we might have as families in the end, we are simply that…family. We will always have each other’s back because as corny as it might sound family and love truly conquers all.