Winter in Paradise


Read by Erin Bennett

By Elin Hilderbrand

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A husband's secret life, a wife's new beginning: escape to the Caribbean with #1 New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand.

Irene Steele shares her idyllic life in a beautiful Iowa City Victorian house with a husband who loves her to sky-writing, sentimental extremes. But as she rings in the new year one cold and snowy night, everything she thought she knew falls to pieces with a shocking phone call: her beloved husband, away on business, has been killed in a helicopter crash. Before Irene can even process the news, she must first confront the perplexing details of her husband's death on the distant Caribbean island of St. John.

After Irene and her sons arrive at this faraway paradise, they make yet another shocking discovery: her husband had been living a secret life. As Irene untangles a web of intrigue and deceit, and as she and her sons find themselves drawn into the vibrant island culture, they have to face the truth about their family, and about their own futures.

Rich with the lush beauty of the tropics and the drama, romance, and intrigue only Elin Hilderbrand can deliver, Winter in Paradise is a truly transporting novel, and the exciting start to a new series.

"I will just say that, 24 hours after I started this book, I purchased its sequel, What Happens in Paradise, and I did not leave either book to be enjoyed by strangers at the end of my vacation." —Elisabeth Egan, New York Times





It’s the first night of the new year.

Irene Steele has spent the day in a state of focused productivity. From nine to one, she filed away every piece of paperwork relating to the complete moth-to-butterfly renovation of her 1892 Queen Anne–style home on Church Street. From one to two, she ate a thick sandwich, chicken salad on pumpernickel (she has always been naturally slender, luckily, so no New Year’s diets for her), and then she took a short nap on the velvet fainting couch in front of the fire in the parlor. From two fifteen to three-thirty, she composed an email response to her boss, Joseph Feeney, the publisher of Heartland Home & Style magazine, who two days earlier had informed her that she was being “promoted” from editor in chief of the magazine to executive editor, a newly created position that reduces both Irene’s hours and responsibilities by half and comes with a 30 percent pay cut.

At a quarter of four, she tried calling her husband, Russ, who was away on business. The phone rang six times and went to voicemail. Irene didn’t leave a message. Russ never listened to them, anyway.

She tried Russ again at four thirty and was shuttled straight to voicemail. She paused, then hung up. Russ was on his phone night and day. Irene wondered if he was intentionally avoiding her call. He might have been upset about their conversation the day before, but first thing this morning, a lavish bouquet of snow-white calla lilies had been delivered to the door with a note: Because you love callas and I love you. Xo R. Irene had been delighted; there was nothing like fresh flowers to brighten a house in winter. She was amazed that Russ had been able to find someone who would deliver on the holiday, but his ingenuity knew no bounds.

At five o’clock, Irene poured herself a generous glass of Kendall-Jackson chardonnay, took a shower, and put on the silk and cashmere color-block sweater and black crepe slim pants from Eileen Fisher that Russ had given her for Christmas. She bundled up in her shearling coat, earmuffs, and calfskin leather gloves to walk the four blocks through Iowa City to meet her best friend, esteemed American history professor Lydia Christensen, at the Pullman Bar & Diner.

The New Year’s Day dinner is a tradition going into its seventh year. It started when Lydia got divorced from her philandering husband, Philip, and Russ’s travel schedule went from “nearly all the time” to “all the time.” The dinner is supposed to be a positive, life-affirming ritual: Irene and Lydia count their many, many blessings—this friendship near the top of the list—and state their aspirations for the twelve months ahead. But Irene and Lydia are only human, and so their conversation sometimes lapses into predictable lamentation. The greatest unfairness in this world, according to Lydia, is that men get sexier and better-looking as they get older and women… don’t. They just don’t.

“The CIA should hire women in their fifties,” Lydia says. “We’re invisible.”

“Would you ladies like more wine?” Ryan, the server, asks.

“Yes, please!” Irene says with her brightest smile. Is she invisible? A week ago, she wouldn’t have thought so, but news of her “promotion” makes her think maybe Lydia is right. Joseph Feeney is sliding Irene down the masthead (and hoping she won’t notice that’s what he’s doing) and replacing her with Mavis Key, a thirty-one-year-old dynamo who left a high-powered interior design firm in Manhattan to follow her husband to Cedar Rapids. She came waltzing into the magazine’s offices only eight months ago with her shiny, sexy résumé, and all of a sudden, Joseph wants the magazine to be more city-slick and sophisticated. He wants to shift attention and resources from the physical magazine to their online version, and, using Mavis Key’s expertise, he wants to create a “social media presence.” Irene stands in firm opposition. Teenagers and millennials use social media, but the demographic of Heartland Home & Style is women 39–65, which also happens to be Irene’s demographic. Those readers want magazines they can hold, glossies they can page through and coo over at the dentist’s office; they want features that reflect the cozy, bread-and-butter values of the Midwest.

Irene’s sudden, unexpected, and unwanted “promotion” makes Irene feel like a fuddy-duddy in Mom jeans. It makes her feel completely irrelevant. She will be invited to meetings, the less important ones, but her opinion will be disregarded. She will review layout and content, but no changes will be made. She will visit people in their offices, take advertisers out to lunch, and chat. She has been reduced to a figurehead, a mascot, a pet.

Irene gazes up at Ryan as he fills their glasses with buttery Chardonnay—the Cakebread, a splurge—and wonders what he sees when he looks at them. Does he see two vague, female-shaped outlines, the kind that detectives spray-paint around dead bodies? Or does he see two vibrant, interesting, desirable women of a certain age?

Okay, scratch desirable. Ryan, Irene knows (because she eats at the Pullman Bar & Diner at least once a week while Russ is away), is twenty-five years old, working on his graduate degree in applied mathematics, though he doesn’t look like any mathematician Irene has ever imagined. He looks like one of the famous Ryans—Ryan Seacrest, Ryan Gosling. Ryan O’Neal.

Ryan O’Neal? Now she really is aging herself!

Irene has been known to indulge Lydia when she boards the Woe-Is-Me train, but she decides not to do it this evening. “I don’t feel invisible,” she says. She leans across the table. “In fact, I’ve been thinking of running for office.”

Lydia shrieks like Irene zapped her on the flank with a cattle prod. “What? What do you mean ‘run for office’? You mean Congress? Or just, like, the Iowa City School Board?”

Irene had been thinking Congress, though when the word comes out of Lydia’s mouth, it sounds absurd. Irene knows nothing about politics. Not one thing. But as the (former) editor in chief of Heartland Home & Style magazine, she knows a lot about getting things done. On a deadline. And she knows about listening to other people’s point of view and dealing with difficult personalities. Oh, does she.

“Maybe not run for office,” Irene says. “But I need something else.” She doesn’t want to go into her demotion-disguised-as-promotion right now; the pain is still too fresh.

I need something else,” Lydia says. “I need a single man, straight, between the ages of fifty-five and seventy, over six feet tall, with a six-figure income and a sizable IRA. Oh, and a sense of humor. Oh, and hobbies that include grocery shopping, doing the dishes, and folding laundry.”

Irene shakes her head. “A man isn’t going to solve your problems, Lydia. Didn’t we learn that in our consciousness-raising group decades ago?”

“A man will solve my problems, because my problem is that I’ve got no man,” Lydia says. She throws back what’s left of her wine. “You wouldn’t understand because you have Russ, who dotes on you night and day.”

“When he’s around,” Irene says. She knows her complaints fall on deaf ears. Russ joined the Husband Hall of Fame seven years earlier when he hired a barnstormer plane to circle Iowa City dragging a banner that said: HAPPY 50TH IRENE STEELE. I LOVE YOU! Irene’s friends had been awestruck, but Irene found the showiness of the birthday wishes a bit off-putting. She would have been happy with just a card.

“Let’s get the check,” Lydia says. “Maybe that barista with the beard will be working at the bookstore.”

Irene and Lydia split the bill as they do every year with the New Year’s dinner, then they stroll down South Dubuque from the Pullman to Prairie Lights bookstore. The temperature tonight is a robust thirteen degrees, but Irene barely notices the cold. She was born and raised right here in eastern Iowa, where the winds come straight down from Manitoba. Russ hates the cold. Russ’s father was a navy pilot and so Russ grew up in Jacksonville, San Diego, and Corpus Christi; he saw snow for the first time when he went to college at Northwestern. Privately, Irene considers Russ’s aversion to the cold a constitutional inferiority. As wonderful as he is, Irene would never describe him as hearty.

Lydia holds open the door to Prairie Lights and winks at Irene. “I see him,” she whispers.

“Don’t be shy. Order something complicated and strike up a conversation,” Irene says. “It’s a new year.”

Lydia whips off her hat and shakes out her strawberry-blond hair. She’s a pretty woman, Irene thinks, and, with the confidence she’s displaying now, not at all invisible. Surely Brandon, the fifty-something barista with the thick spectacles and the leather apron—better suited to welding than to making espresso drinks—would be intrigued by Professor Lydia Christensen? She coauthored the definitive biography of our nation’s thirty-first president. Herbert Hoover has gotten a bad rap from history, but most Iowans are kindly disposed toward him because he was born and raised in West Branch.

As Lydia marches to the café, Irene floats over to the new fiction. She loves nothing better than a stack of fresh books on her nightstand. What an enriching way to start the new year. Irene spent her New Year’s Eve taking down all of her holiday decorations and packing them neatly away. She left the boxes at the bottom of the attic stairs. Russ is due back late tomorrow night or early Thursday morning, he said, and once he returns, he will be fully at her disposal. He left for a “surprise” business trip two days after Christmas. The man has more surprise business trips than anyone Irene has ever heard of and in this case, he was leaving Irene alone for New Year’s. They had quarreled about it the previous afternoon on the phone. Russ had said, “I’m fully devoted to you, Irene, and I strive to see your point of view in every disagreement. But let’s recall who encouraged whom to take this job. Let’s recall who said she didn’t want to be married to a corn syrup salesman for the rest of her life.”

Their conversation, repeated for years nearly verbatim, ended there, as it always did. Irene had pushed Russ to take the job with Ascension, and with that decision came sacrifice. Russ is away more than he’s home, but he does call all the time, and he sends flowers and often leaves her a surprise gift on her pillow when he goes away—jewelry or a pair of snazzy reading glasses, gift cards to the Pullman, a monogrammed makeup case. He is so thoughtful and loving that he makes Irene feel chilly and indifferent by comparison. Also, and not inconsequentially, his new job affords them a very nice lifestyle, luxurious by Iowa standards. They own the Victorian, with its extravagant gardens and in-ground swimming pool on a full-acre lot on Church Street. Irene had been able to renovate the house exactly the way she dreamed of, sparing no expense. It took her nearly six years, proceeding one room at a time.

Now the house is a showpiece. Irene lobbied to have it featured in the magazine, but she encountered resistance from Mavis Key, who thought it would seem like shameless self-promotion to splash pictures of their own editor’s home across their pages. Talk about navel-gazing, Mavis had said, a comment that hurt Irene. She suspects the real problem is Mavis’s aversion to Victorian homes. Like Irene, they are out of fashion.

Mavis Key can buzz right off! Irene thinks. Irene’s house is a reflection not only of years of painstaking work but also of her soul. The first floor has twelve-foot ceilings and features arched lancet windows with layered window treatments in velvet and damask. The palette throughout the house is one of rich, dark jewel tones—the formal living room is garnet, the parlor amethyst, and the kitchen has accents of topaz and emerald. There are tapestries and ornate rugs throughout, even in the bathrooms. Irene’s favorite part of the house isn’t a room per se but rather the grand staircase, which ascends two floors. It’s paneled in dark walnut and at the top of the second flight of stairs is an exquisite stained-glass window that faces east. In the morning when the sun comes up, the third-floor landing is spangled with bursts of color. Irene has been known to take her mug of tea to the landing and just meditate on the convergence of man-made and natural beauty.

Irene supervised all of the interior carpentry, the refinishing of the floors, the repairs to the crown molding, the intricate painting—including, in the dining room, a wraparound mural of the landscape of Door County, Wisconsin, where Irene spent summers growing up. Irene also handpicked the antiques, traveling as far away as Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, to attend estate sales.

Now that the house is finished, there is nothing left to do but enjoy it—and this is where Irene has hit a stumbling block. When she tells Lydia that she needs “something else,” she isn’t kidding. Russ is away for work at least two weeks a month, and their boys are grown up. Baker lives in Houston, where he day-trades stocks and serves as a stay-at-home father to his four-year-old son, Floyd. Baker’s wife, Dr. Anna Schaffer, is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Memorial Hermann, which is a very stressful and time-consuming job; she, like Russ, is almost never around. Irene’s younger son, Cash, lives in Denver, where he owns and operates two outdoor supply stores. Neither of the boys comes home much anymore, which saddens Irene, although she knows she should be grateful they’re out living their own lives.

There was a moment yesterday around dusk when everyone else in America was getting ready for New Year’s Eve festivities—showering, pouring dressing drinks, preparing hors d’oeuvres, pulling little black dresses out of closets—that Irene was hit by a profound loneliness. She had spoken to Russ, they had quarreled, and right after they hung up, Irene considered calling him back, but she refrained. There was nothing less attractive than a needy woman—and besides, Russ was busy.

Irene plucks the new story collection by Curtis Sittenfeld off the shelf; Curtis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, which Irene happens to believe is the best in the country.

She hears Lydia laughing and peers around the stacks to see her friend and Brandon engaged in conversation. Brandon is leaning on his forearms on the counter while the espresso machine shrieks behind him. He hardly seems to notice; he’s enraptured.

So much for being invisible! Irene thinks. Lydia is glowing like the northern lights.

Irene feels a twinge of an unfamiliar emotion. It’s longing, she realizes. She misses Russ. Her husband spent years and years gazing at her with love—and, more often than not, she swatted him away, finding his attention overwrought and embarrassing.

Irene is distracted by a buzzing—her phone in her purse. That, she thinks with relief, will be Russ. But when she pulls out her phone, she sees the number is from area code 305. Irene doesn’t recognize it and she guesses it’s a telemarketer. She lets the call go, disappointed and more than a little annoyed at Russ. Where is he? She hasn’t heard from him since midafternoon the day before; it’s not like him to go so long without calling. And where is he this week? Did he even tell her? Did she even ask? Russ’s “work emergencies” take him to various bland, warm locations—Sarasota, Vero, Naples. He nearly always comes home with a tan, inspiring envy from their friends who care about such things.

Irene notices the time—nine o’clock already—and realizes she has forgotten to call Milly, Russ’s mother. Milly is ninety-seven years old; she lives at the Brown Deer retirement community in Coralville, a few miles away. Milly is in the medical unit now, although she’s still cogent most of the time, still spry and witty, still a favorite with residents and staff alike. Irene visits Milly once a week and she calls her every night between seven and eight, but she forgot tonight because of her dinner with Lydia. By now, Milly will be fast asleep.

Not a worry, Irene thinks. She’ll stop by to see Milly on her way home from work tomorrow. It’ll be a good way to fill up her afternoons now that her hours have been cut. Maybe she’ll take Milly to the Wig and Pen. Milly likes the chicken wings, though of course they aren’t approved by her nutritionist. But what are they going to do, kill her?

The idea of Millicent Steele being finally done in by an order of zippy, peppery wing dings makes Irene smile as she chooses the Curtis Sittenfeld stories as well as Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple, which Irene had pretended to read for her book club half a dozen years earlier. With the house finished, she now has time to go back and catch up. Irene heads over to the register to pay. Meanwhile, Lydia is still at the café, still chatting with Brandon; her macchiato lets off the faintest whisper of steam between them.

Lydia turns when she feels Irene’s hand on her back.

“Are you leaving?” Lydia asks. Her cheeks are flushed. “I’ll probably stay for a while, enjoy my coffee.”

“Oh,” Irene says. “Okay, then. Thanks for dinner, it was fun, Happy New Year, call me tomorrow, be safe getting home, all of that.” Irene smiles at Brandon, but his eyes are fastened on Lydia like she’s the only woman in the world.

Good for her! Irene thinks as she walks home. It’s a new year and Lydia is going after what she wants. A man. Brandon the barista.

The wind has picked up. It’s bitterly cold and Irene has to head right into the teeth of it to get home. She ducks her head as she hurries down Linn Street, past a group of undergrads coming out of Paglia’s Pizza, laughing and horsing around. One of the boys bumps into Irene.

“Sorry, ma’am,” he says. “Didn’t see you.”

Invisible, she thinks.

This thought fades when she turns the corner and sees her house, her stunning castle, all lit up from within.

She’ll light a fire in the library, she thinks. Make a cup of herbal tea, hunker down on the sofa with her favorite chenille blanket, crack open one of her new books.

Maybe the “something else” she’s seeking isn’t running for office, Irene thinks. Maybe it’s turning her home into a bed-and-breakfast. It has six bedrooms, all with attached baths. If she kept one as a guest room for family, that still left four rooms she could rent out. Four rooms is manageable, right? Irene has a second cousin named Mitzi Quinn who ran an inn on Nantucket until her husband passed away. Mitzi had loved running the inn, although she did say it wasn’t for the faint of heart.

Well, Irene’s heart is as indestructible as they come.

What would Russ say if she proposed running an inn? She guesses he’ll tell her to do whatever makes her happy.

It would solve the problem of her loneliness—people in the house all the time.

Would anyone want to come to Iowa City? Parents’ weekend at the university, she supposes. Graduation. Certain football weekends.

It has definite appeal. She’ll think on it.

When Irene opens the front door, she hears the house phone ringing. That will definitely be Russ, she thinks. No one calls the house phone anymore.

But when Irene reaches for the phone in the study just off the main hall, she sees it’s the same 305 number that showed up on her cell phone. She hesitates for a second, then picks up the receiver.

“Hello?” she says. “Steele residence.”

“Hello, may I please speak to Irene Steele?” The voice is female, unfamiliar.

“This is she,” Irene says.

“Mrs. Steele, this is Todd Croft’s secretary, Marilyn Monroe.”

Marilyn Monroe, Todd Croft’s oddly named secretary. Yes, Irene has heard about this woman, though she’s never met her. Irene has only met Todd Croft, Russ’s boss, once before. Todd Croft and Russ had been acquainted at Northwestern, and thirteen years ago, Russ and Irene had bumped into Todd in the lobby of the Drake Hotel in Chicago. That chance meeting led to a job offer, the one Irene had been so eager for Russ to accept. Now Todd Croft is just a name, invoked by Russ again and again. The man has become synonymous with the unseen force that rules their lives. Todd needs me in Tampa on Tuesday. Todd has new clients he’s courting in Lubbock. “Todd the God,” Irene calls him privately. And yet everything she has—this house, the swimming pool and gazebo, the brand-new Lexus in the garage—is thanks to Todd Croft.

“Happy New Year, Marilyn?” Irene says. There’s a hesitation in her voice because Irene can’t imagine why Marilyn Monroe—Irene has no choice but to picture this woman as a platinum blonde, buxom, with a beauty mark—would be calling. “Is everything…?”

“Mrs. Steele,” Marilyn says. “Something has happened.”

“Happened?” Irene says.

“There was an accident,” Marilyn says. “I’m afraid your husband is dead.”


Servers across the country—hell, across the world—regard New Year’s Eve with dread, and although Ayers Wilson is no exception, she tries to keep an open mind. It’s just another night at La Tapa, the best restaurant in St. John, which is the best of the Virgin Islands—U.S. and British combined—in Ayers’s opinion. Tonight, for the holiday, there are two seatings with a fixed menu, priced at eighty-five dollars a head, so in many ways it’ll be easier than regular service and the tips should be excellent. Ayers will likely clear four hundred dollars. She has no reason to complain.

Except… Rosie is off tonight because the Invisible Man is in town. This means Ayers is working with Tilda, who is not only young and inexperienced but also a relentless scorekeeper, and she has a crush on Skip, the bartender; it’s both pathetic and annoying to watch her flirt.

The first seating, miraculously, goes smoothly. Ayers waits on one of the families who came on her snorkeling trip to the British Virgin Islands that morning. The mother looks like a woman plucked from a Rubens painting, voluptuous and red-haired, with milky skin. She had wisely spent most of the day under the boat’s canopy while Ayers snorkeled with her two teenagers, pointing out spotted eagle rays and hawksbill turtles. Now the mother tilts her head. She knows she recognizes Ayers, but she can’t figure out how.

“I’m Ayers,” she says. “I was a crew member on Treasure Island today.”

“Yes!” the mother says. The father grins—kind of a goofy guy, perfectly harmless—and the kids gape. This happens all the time: people are amazed that Ayers works two jobs and that she might appear in their lives in two different capacities on the same day.

Ayers’s other tables are couples who want to finish eating so they can get down to the Beach Bar to watch the fireworks. In past years, Ayers has managed to squeak out of work by quarter of twelve. She and Mick would change into bathing suits and swim out to Mick’s skiff to watch the fireworks from the placid waters of Frank Bay.

Ayers and Mick broke up in November, right after they returned to St. John from the summer season on Cape Cod. Mick, the longtime manager of the Beach Bar, had hired a girl named Brigid, who had no experience waiting tables.

Why on earth did you hire her, then? Ayers asked, but she figured it out in the next instant.

And sure enough, there followed days of Mick staying late to “train” the new hire, whom he later described to Ayers as “green” and “clueless” and “a deer in the headlights.” On the third day of this training, Ayers climbed out of bed and drove down to the Beach Bar. It was two thirty in the morning and the town was deserted; the only vehicle anywhere near the bar was Mick’s battered blue Jeep. Ayers tiptoed around the side of the building to see Brigid sitting up on the bar counter and Mick with his head between her legs.

Ayers hasn’t been to the Beach Bar once since she and Mick split, and she certainly won’t go tonight. She has bumped into Mick—alone, thankfully—once at Island Cork and once, incredibly, out in Coral Bay, at Pickles in Paradise, the place “they” always stopped to get sandwiches (one Sidewinder and one Sister’s Garden, which “they” shared so “they” could each have half) before “they” went to the stone beach, Grootpan Bay, where “they” were always alone and hence could swim naked. Ayers had been stung to see Mick at the deli—he was picking up the Sidewinder, which was funny because she was picking up a Sister’s Garden—and she could tell by the look on his face that he was stung to see her. They probably should have divided the island up—Pickles for her, Sam & Jack’s for him—but St. John was small enough as it was.

Ayers has also seen Mick driving his blue Jeep with Brigid in the passenger seat—and worse, with Mick’s dog, an AmStaff-pit bull mix, Gordon, standing in Brigid’s lap. Gordon used to stand in Ayers’s lap, but apparently Gordon was as fickle and easily fooled as his owner.

Tilda taps Ayers on the shoulder and hands her a shot glass of beer, which Ayers accepts gratefully.

“Thanks,” Ayers says. “I need about forty of these.” They click shot glasses and throw the beer back.

“Yeah, you do,” Tilda says. “Because look.

Ayers turns to see Mick and Brigid walking into La Tapa, hand in hand. Clover, the hostess, leads them over to Table 11, in Ayers’s section.

“No,” Ayers says. “Not happening. No way.”

“I’ll take them,” Tilda says. “You can have Table 2. It’s the Hesketts. You’re welcome.”

“Thank you,” Ayers says. The Hesketts own a boutique hotel in Chocolate Hole called St. John Guest Suites; they’re lovely people, with excellent taste in wine. It’s a good trade, and very kind of Tilda, although a part of Ayers, of course, would like to wait on Mick and Brigid and dump some food—ideally the garlicky paella for two—right into Brigid’s lap. She’s wearing white.

What is Mick thinking? And why isn’t he working? It’s New Year’s Eve, he’s the manager of the Beach Bar, it will be mayhem down there, even now at a quarter to ten. How did he get the night off? The owners never


  • “I will just say that, 24 hours after I started this book, I purchased its sequel, What Happens in Paradise, and I did not leave either book to be enjoyed by strangers at the end of my vacation.”

    Elisabeth Egan, New York Times
  • "What do you do once you've become queen of the Summer novel and mastered the art of the Christmas novel? You start a new series, of course! This Fall, the incomparable Elin Hilderbrand brings us to St. John for the first novel in her new The Paradise series...Another compulsively readable hit by Hilderbrand."—Brenda Janowitz, PopSugar
  • "A new series from Nantucket author Elin Hilderbrand-that's set in St. John!"—Modern Mrs. Darcy
  • "With great verve, [Hilderbrand] has done it again with her latest novel, WINTER IN PARADISE, the first book in a planned trilogy. She is witty and engaging, and keeps her readers intrigued with a memorable set of characters...As always, she delivers a story with much detail, weaving her characters and storylines expertly...Be prepared to read a fast-paced and entertaining novel for several hours, which will keep you longing for the second book in the series."—Bookreporter
  • "The perfect vacation read."—Hasty Book List
  • "As she does in her books set on Nantucket, Hilderbrand excels at establishing a setting (the food! the luxury! the sea turtles!) that will inspire wanderlust...Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer blockbuster; her fans will be thrilled that she's looking to take on winter."—Susan Maguire, Booklist
  • "This fast-paced novel offers the voices of several different characters, as well as a hefty load of intrigue."—Nancy Carty Lepri, New York Journal of Books

On Sale
Sep 17, 2019
Hachette Audio

Elin Hilderbrand

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand is the proud mother of three, a dedicated Peloton rider, an aspiring book influencer, and an enthusiastic at-home cook (follow her on Instagram @elinhilderbrand to watch her Cringe Cooking Show). She is also a grateful seven-year breast cancer survivor. GOLDEN GIRL is her 27th novel.

Learn more about this author