Summary (from the publisher): Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she is desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket’s hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business…and they share an instant attraction. But there is a mystery about their situation: what is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro’s chef, that captures Thatcher’s attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether to open her heart for the first time, or move on, as she always does.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
You probably know that I’ve been on an Elin Hilderbrand kick in 2021. It’s my reading goal over the next few years to read her entire backlist – I say a few years only because I feel like I’ll save her books for summer since they are the PERFECT summertime reads for their ‘summer on Nantucket’ setting (although I do plan on reading her Paradise and Winter series later this year) and she will be only publishing three more Nantucket books before her retirement. I read this recent article about her retirement and it kind’ve made me hopeful that we might still get more books from her, just not one every year or necessarily set on Nantucket?
Elin Hilderbrand fangirling set aside, while I’ve read 11 of her books so far (I’m hoping to get at least two more this month), The Blue Bistro is by far my favorite out of all her books, with 28 Summers and Summer of ’69 at the #2 and 3 spots. The book follows Adrienne, who has spent most of her twenties working in hotels across the world and after another not-so great break-up, finds herself on Nantucket for the summer. Almost as soon as she arrives, Adrienne receives a job offer from a man named Thatcher, the co-owner of Nantucket’s best restaurant that will be closing its doors at the end of summer. Adrienne soon finds herself caught up in life at The Blue Bistro, a relationship with Thatcher, and figuring out the mystery behind the restaurant’s chef, Fiona, and the reason why The Blue Bistro will close at summer’s end.
All of Elin Hilderbrand’s books capture the summer well, but there was something even more atmospheric about The Blue Bistro. The book is inspired by the restaurant, Galley Beach, on Nantucket – I think I’ve come to the realization that I need to get to Nantucket and honestly might look into going next summer (or somewhere off Massachusetts!). I’ve read a few books with restaurant or even bakery type settings, but nothing has captured such an in-depth at restaurant life like this book. I loved the extravagance of it all, from Adrienne’s work uniform and pink champagne as the assistant manager to the menu and food (foodie or not, this book will leave you with some serious cravings). I love, love books that are so descriptive and slice-of-life while also hooking me on the plot. There are so many dinner services described at the restaurant, but we also flash back to Adrienne’s past relationships, her days spent with co-workers on Nantucket, her relationship with Thatcher, and time spent trying to figure out the elusive Fiona. The pacing felt so, so right and it’s been such a long time where I wish a book didn’t have to end – I 100% admit that as soon as I finished, I ran to Google to figure out if there was some sort of sequel or novella (unfortunately not, as of right now.) In her interview with Bad on Paper Podcast, Elin Hilderbrand mentioned that she is writing a book about a Nantucket hotel that is similar to The Blue Bistro.
Have you read The Blue Bistro? What is your favorite Elin Hilderbrand book? Share in the comments!