Two of my favorite pastimes are reading and cooking (ok, make that 3 – add eating to the list) – and one of my favorite authors is Elin Hilderbrand. Her novels are the perfect summer beach reads – pure escapism. All of her books are set on Nantucket – where she lives year-round – and she literally takes you there, she is so descriptive. I have never actually been to Nantucket, but thanks to Elin I feel as if I have. Not only have I been transported to the island, I have eaten the food there - in restaurants, at parties and in the beach homes of Elin’s major characters, who are often caterers, restaurant owners, chefs, or fantastic home cooks.
I had read all of Elin’s 12 books and knew her latest book – Beautiful Day – was due to come out this summer. I had it pre-ordered on Amazon. Honestly, her books are so addictive I have read many back-to-back and it can be a problem for my family when I start a new one – they lose me for a day or two.
I was beside myself when earlier this summer I was with a friend and her sister-in-law mentioned she was hosting a book club to discuss Beautiful Day and Elin Hilderbrand was going to be there. I almost fell off my chair. I invited myself on the spot and put the date in my calendar – the countdown began. Of coure my first question was “what food will you serve” since food figures so prominently in Elin’s books. The setting of Beautful Day is a Nantucket wedding, so the hostess served the food that was served at the wedding in the book – brilliant. We had chicken skewers with a peanut sauce, grilled shrimp, mini beef wellingtons, blanched asparagus with a cold herby sauce, BLT green salad in mason jars (so cute!), and wedding cupcakes.
It was truly a special night – here is the group with the author (holding her new book Beautiful Day).
We had a lively discussion about the book (note to skeptics – yes, book clubs DO discuss their books) and Elin answered questions both about Beautiful Day, including the character she relates to the most (Margot), would she ever consider a setting other than Nantucket for upcoming books (maybe?), her writing process (she writes one book per year, long hand), and upcoming books (she has one in the can, and a Christmas trilogy coming up).
It was a memorable night all around. If you are looking for a perfect summer book, I highly recommend Beautful Day. Two thumbs up.