Book Reviews: Winter Series (Winter Street, Winter Stroll, Winter Storms, Winter Solstice) {Elin Hilderbrand}

Thank you all so much for your kind words on yesterday’s post, 4 Best Friends, 1 Alma Mater. That post came straight from my heart and it makes me so happy that many of you reached out to tell me how much you enjoyed reading it.  I loved writing it. 🙂

I’m excited to share today’s reviews with you!  I love this book series so much and it doesn’t get nearly enough of the recognition that it deserves.

There are 4 total books in the Winter Street series (need to be read in order).  Book #1: Winter Street: A Novel Book #2: Winter Stroll (Winter Street) Book #3: Winter Storms (Winter Street) Book #4: Winter Solstice (Winter Street Book 4) (affliliates).

My blog review is about the series as a whole (no spoilers given!) but the Goodreads synopsis is strictly summarizing book #1 to give you an idea of what this series is about.


Synopsis from Goodreads (Book #1: Winter Street):

In bestseller Elin Hilderbrand’s first Christmas novel, a family gathers on Nantucket for a holiday filled with surprises.

Kelley Quinn is the owner of Nantucket’s Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four, all of them grown and living in varying states of disarray. Patrick, the eldest, is a hedge fund manager with a guilty conscience. Kevin, a bartender, is secretly sleeping with a French housekeeper named Isabelle. Ava, a school teacher, is finally dating the perfect guy but can’t get him to commit. And Bart, the youngest and only child of Kelley’s second marriage to Mitzi, has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines.

As Christmas approaches, Kelley is looking forward to getting the family together for some quality time at the inn. But when he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa Claus (or the guy who’s playing Santa at the inn’s annual party), utter chaos descends. With the three older children each reeling in their own dramas and Bart unreachable in Afghanistan, it might be up to Kelley’s ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to save Christmas at the Winter Street Inn.

Before the mulled cider is gone, the delightfully dysfunctional Quinn family will survive a love triangle, an unplanned pregnancy, a federal crime, a small house fire, many shots of whiskey, and endless rounds of Christmas caroling, in this heart-warming novel about coming home for the holidays.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

4 Stars

This is going to be a strange holiday season for me without a visit with my favorite fictional family, the Quinns.  For the past 4 years, I have enjoyed the next installment of this lovely series during the month of December.  I LOVE the holiday season, and these books have become a holiday staple for me!  I waited to read each of them during December and I believe they were even more special because of it.

These books are very short, the writing is absolutely nothing award winning, there truly is zero depth into anything…BUT there is something so special about these characters and this charming little inn that had me waiting all year to return to Winter Street.

These are quick yet lovely reads and the further I read into the series, the more connected to the characters I became.  A fun surprise was a visit from a character from another of Hilderbrand’s novels which I had previously read and loved (The Rumor) in the last book of this series (Winter Solstice)!  I love when authors do that and are able to connect characters and story lines from their different works together!

When I finished the last book of this series, I felt an immediate emptiness…I was already missing spending time with the Quinns. Whether you start reading these now and finish by the holidays or whether you wait and read 1 each year during December as I did, you will absolutely fall in love with this family.

Bottom Line

Quick, easy, and delightful holiday season reads

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1 Awesome Book And It’s Not Nearly As Awesome Sequel


These books have been loved by readers for years and will continue to be loved by readers for years to come. The messages and lessons within them will continue to be relevant, important, and meaningful for generations to come.


Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.

From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.

Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .

For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.

Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.

My Thoughts

5 Stars

Oh this is one beautifully written book.  Talk about being taken on a JOURNEY.  When I closed the cover once I finished, I was emotionally exhausted in the very best way possible.  You know those brilliantly written books where once you finish, you look around and realize that somehow you need to say good-bye to the characters but aren’t quite sure how to move on?  This book was such a perfect example of that for me.  Thank God there was a sequel!

I absolutely loved everything about this book.  It spans over the course of 30 years—30 years!—-and throughout so many settings.  Memorable characters, such interesting story lines, such meaningful lessons.

I can’t recommend this one highly enough.  I laughed, I sobbed, and I realized for the zillionith time just how lucky I am to have the best friends that I do.  If you haven’t read this one yet…it’s time 🙂


My Thoughts

4 Stars

I don’t want to even include the synopsis of this sequel as it contains major spoilers from Firefly Lane.  I enjoyed this book because I was so invested in the characters and their stories before I even began reading…but…this book just doesn’t compare to Firefly Lane.  If you read Firefly Lane, you definitely should read this one, but I was a bit disappointed because I just loved the first one so, so much.

Bottom Line

Firefly Lane = amazing. Fly Away = very good.

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Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo