The Love Season

The Love Season

by Elin Hilderbrand

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Overview

The Love Season by Elin Hilderbrand

It's a hot August Saturday on Nantucket Island. Over the course of the next 24 hours, two lives will be transformed forever.

Marguerite Beale, former chef of culinary hot spot Les Parapluies, has been out of the public eye for over a decade. This all changes with a phone call from Marguerite's goddaughter, Renata Knox. Marguerite has not seen Renata since the death of Renata's mother, Candace Harris Knox, fourteen years earlier. And now that Renata is on Nantucket visiting the family of her new fiancé, she takes the opportunity, against her father's wishes, to contact Marguerite in hopes of learning the story of her mother's life—and death. But the events of the day spiral hopelessly out of control for both women, and nothing ends up as planned.

Welcome to The Love Season—a riveting story that takes place in one day and spans decades; a story that embraces the charming, pristine island of Nantucket, as well as Manhattan, Paris and Morocco. Elin Hilderbrand's most ambitious novel to date chronicles the famous couplings of real lives: love and friendship, food and wine, deception and betrayal—and forgiveness and healing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429905480
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 8,893
File size: 395 KB

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand is the author of The Island, Nantucket Nights, Summer People and The Blue Bistro, among others. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in Seventeen, The Massachusetts Review, and The Colorado Review. She lives with her husband, Chip Cunningham, and their two sons in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Elin Hilderbrand is the author of The Island, Nantucket Nights, Summer People and The Blue Bistro, among others. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in Seventeen, The Massachusetts Review, and The Colorado Review. She lives with her husband, Chip Cunningham, and their two sons in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Part One

Provisions

August 19, 2006 • 6:30 A.M.

Marguerite didn't know where to start.

Each and every summer evening for nearly twenty years, she had cooked for a restaurant full of people, yet here she was in her own kitchen on a crystalline morning with a seemingly simple mission — dinner for two that evening at seven thirty — and she didn't know where to start. Her mind spun like the pedals of a bicycle without any brakes. Candace coming here, after all these years. Immediately Marguerite corrected herself. Not Candace. Candace was dead. Renata was coming tonight. The baby.

Marguerite's hands quivered as she brought her coffee mug to her lips. The grandfather clock chimed just as it had every fifteen minutes of its distinguished life — but this time, the sound startled Marguerite. She pictured a monkey inside, with two small cymbals and a voice screeching, Marguerite! Earth to Marguerite!

Marguerite chuckled. I am an old bat, she thought. I'll start by writing a list.

The phone call had come at eleven o'clock the night before. Marguerite was in bed, reading Hemingway. Whereas once Marguerite had been obsessed with food — with heirloom tomatoes and lamb shanks and farmhouse cheeses, and fish still flopping on the counter, and eggs and chocolate and black truffles and foie gras and rare white nectarines — now the only thing that gave her genuine pleasure was reading. The people of Nantucket wondered — oh yes, she knew they wondered — what Marguerite did all day, hermited in her house on Quince Street, secreted away from the eyes of the curious. Although there was always something — the laundry, the garden, the articles for the newspaper in Calgary (deadline every other Friday) — the answer was: reading. Marguerite had three books going at any one time. That was the chef in her, the proverbial more-than-one-pot-on-the-stove. She read contemporary fiction in the mornings, though she was very picky. She liked Philip Roth, Penelope Lively, as a rule no one under the age of fifty, for what could they possibly have to say about the world that Marguerite hadn't already learned? In the afternoons, she enriched herself with biographies or books of European history, if they weren't too dense. Her evenings were reserved for the classics, and when the phone rang the night before Marguerite had been reading Hemingway. Hemingway was the perfect choice for late at night because his sentences were clear and easy to understand, though Marguerite stopped every few pages and asked herself, Is that all he means? Might he mean something else? This insecurity was a result of attending the Culinary Institute instead of a proper university — and all those years with Porter didn't help. An education makes you good company for yourself, Porter had liked to tell his students, and Marguerite, when he was trying to convince her to read something other than Larousse Gastronomique. Wouldn't he be proud of her now.

The phone, much like the muted toll of the clock a few seconds ago, had scared Marguerite out of her wits. She gasped, and her book slid off her lap to the floor, where it lay with its pages folded unnaturally under, like a person with a broken limb. The phone, a rotary, continued its cranky, mechanical whine while Marguerite groped her nightstand for her watch. Eleven o'clock. Marguerite could name on one hand the phone calls she'd received in the past twelve months: There was a call or two from the editorial assistant at the Calgary paper; there was a call from the Culinary Institute each spring asking for a donation; there was always a call from Porter on November 3, her birthday. None of these people would ever think to call her at eleven o'clock at night — not even Porter, drunk (not even if he'd split from the nubile young graduate assistant who had become his late-in-life wife), would dare call Marguerite at this hour. So it was a wrong number. Marguerite decided to let it ring. She had no answering machine to put the phone out of its misery; it just rang and rang, as pleading and insistent as a crying baby. Marguerite picked it up, clearing her throat first. She occasionally went a week without speaking.

"Hello?"

"Aunt Daisy?" The voice had been light and cheerful; there was background noise — people talking, jazz music, the familiar clink and clatter of glasses and plates — was it restaurant noise? It threw Marguerite off. And then there was the nickname: Daisy. Only three people had ever used it.

"Yes?"

"It's Renata." There was an expectant pause. "Renata Knox."

Marguerite's eyes landed across the room, on her desk. Taped to her computer was Renata Knox's e-mail address; Marguerite beheld it every day as she binged guiltily on the Internet for an hour, but she had never sent a single message. Because what could she possibly say? A casual hello would be pointless and anything more, dangerous. Marguerite's eyes skittered from her desk to her dresser. On top of her dresser were two precious framed photographs. She dusted them carefully each week, though she rarely lingered over them anymore. Years ago she had scrutinized them so intensely that they imprinted themselves on her brain. She knew them by heart, the way she knew the streets in the sixth arrondissement, the way she knew the temperament of a soufflé. One picture was of Marguerite and Candace taken at Les Parapluies on the occasion of Renata's christening. In it, Marguerite was holding Renata, her goddaughter. How well she remembered that moment. It had taken a magnum of Veuve Clicquot and several glasses of thirty-year port to get Dan to relinquish his grip on his newborn daughter, and when he did, it was only to Candace so that the baby could nurse. Marguerite sat with Candace on the west banquette as the party thundered around them. Marguerite knew little of babies, or lactation; she fed people every day, but nothing was as captivating as watching Candace feed her daughter. When Candace finished, she eased the baby up over her shoulder until the baby burped. Then Candace passed her over to Marguerite casually, like she was a loaf of bread.

Go see your godmother, Candace said to the baby.

Godmother, Marguerite had thought. The last time she had been inside a church before that very morning was for Candace and Dan's wedding, and before that the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris the year she met Porter, and so her notion of godmother came mostly from fairy tales. Marguerite had gazed down at the baby's tiny pink mouth, which still made the motion of sucking even though the breast was gone, and thought, I will feed you your first escargot. I will pour your first glass of champagne.

"Aunt Daisy?" Renata said.

"Yes, dear," Marguerite said. The poor girl probably thought Marguerite was as crazy as the islanders said she was — self-mutilation, months in a psychiatric hospital, gave up her restaurant — or worse, she thought Marguerite didn't know who she was. How surprised the child would be to find out that Marguerite thought of her, and of Candace, every day. The memories ran through her veins. But enough of that! Marguerite thought. I have the girl on the phone! "I'm sorry, darling. You caught me by surprise."

"Were you sleeping?" Renata asked. "It's awfully late."

"No," Marguerite said. "Not sleeping. In bed, reading. Where are you, darling? Are you at school?"

"I don't start back for three more weeks," Renata said.

"Oh, right," Marguerite said. "Silly of me." Already she felt like the conversation was a dog she'd agreed to take for a walk, one that yanked on its chain, urging Marguerite to catch up. It was August now; when Renata went back to college she'd be a ... sophomore? Marguerite had sent Renata five thousand dollars for her high school graduation the spring before last — an outrageous sum, though who else did Marguerite have to give her money to? Renata had graduated first in her class, and although she'd been accepted at Yale and Stanford, she'd decided on Columbia, where Porter was still chairman of the art history department. Renata had sent Marguerite a sweet little thank-you note for the money in loopy script with a lot of exclamation points — and Dan had dashed off a note as well on his office stationery. Once again, Margo, you've done too much. Hope you are well. Marguerite noticed he had not actually said thank you, but that would have been hoping for too much. After all these years, Dan still hadn't forgiven her. He thought she sent the money out of guilt when really she had sent it out of love.

"Where are you then?" Marguerite asked. In his annual Christmas letter, Dan had written about Renata's infatuation with her literature classes, her work-study job in the admissions office, and her roommate, but he had hinted nothing about her summer plans.

"I'm here on Nantucket," Renata said. "I'm at 21 Federal."

Marguerite suddenly felt very warm; sweat broke out on her forehead and under her arms. And menopause for her had ended sometime during the first Clinton administration.

"You're here?" Marguerite said.

"For the weekend. Until Sunday. I'm here with my fiancé."

"Your what?"

"His name is Cade," Renata said. "His family has a house on Hulbert Avenue."

Marguerite stroked the fraying satin edge of her summer blanket. Fiancé at age nineteen? And Dan had allowed it? The boy must be rich, Marguerite thought sardonically. Hulbert Avenue. But even she had a hard time believing that Dan would give Renata away while she was still a teenager. People didn't change that fundamentally. Daniel Knox would always be the father holding possessively on to his little girl. He had never liked to share her.

Marguerite realized Renata was waiting for an answer. "I see."

"His parents know all about you," Renata said. "They used to eat at the restaurant. They said it was the best place. They said they miss it."

"That's very nice," Marguerite said. She wondered who Cade's parents were. Had they been regulars or once-a-summer people? Would Marguerite recognize their names, their faces? Had they said anything else to Renata about what they knew, or thought they knew?

"I'm dying to come see you," Renata said. "Cade wants to meet you, too, but I told him I want to come by myself."

"Of course, dear," Marguerite said. She straightened in bed so that her posture was as perfect as it had been nearly sixty years ago, ballet class, Madame Verge asking her students to pretend there was a wire that ran from the tops of their heads to the ceiling. Chins up, mes choux! Marguerite was so happy she thought she might levitate. Her heart was buoyant. Renata was here on Nantucket; she wanted to see Marguerite. "Come tomorrow night. For dinner. Can you?"

"Of course!" Renata said. "What time would you like me?"

"Seven thirty," Marguerite said. At Les Parapluies, the bar had opened each night at six thirty and dinner was served at seven thirty. Marguerite had run the restaurant on that strict timetable for years without many exceptions, or much of an eye toward profitability.

"I'll be there," Renata said.

"Five Quince Street," Marguerite said. "You'll be able to find it?"

"Yes," said Renata. In the background there was a burst of laughter. "So I'll see you tomorrow night, Aunt Daisy, okay?"

"Okay," Marguerite said. "Good night, dear."

With that, Marguerite had replaced the heavy black receiver in its cradle and thought, Only for her.

Marguerite had not cooked a meal in fourteen years.

8:00 A.M.

Marguerite left her house infrequently. Once every two weeks to the A&P for groceries, once a month to the bank and to the post office for stamps. Once each season to stock up at both bookstores. Once a year to the doctor for a checkup and to Don Allen Ford to get her Jeep inspected. When she was out, she always bumped into people she knew, though they were never the people she wished to see, and thus she stuck to a smile, a hello. Let them think what they want. And Marguerite, both amused and alarmed by her own indifferences, cackled under her breath like a crazy witch.

But when Marguerite stepped out of her house this morning — she had been ready for over an hour, pacing near the door like a thoroughbred bucking at the gate, waiting for the little monkey inside her clock to announce that it was a suitable hour to venture forth — everything seemed transformed. The morning sparkled. Renata was coming. They were to have dinner. A dinner party.

Armed with her list and her pocketbook, Marguerite strolled down Quince Street, inhaling its beauty. The houses were all antiques, with friendship stairs and transom windows, pocket gardens and picket fences. It was, in Marguerite's mind, the loveliest street on the island, although she didn't allow herself to enjoy it often, rarely in summer and certainly never at this hour. She sometimes strolled it on a winter night; she sometimes peered in the windows of the homes that had been deserted for fairer climates. The police once stopped her; a lone policeman, not much more than a teenager himself, started spinning his lights and came poking through the dark with his flashlight just as Marguerite was gazing in the front window of a house down the street. It was a house Marguerite had always loved from the outside; it was very old, with white clapboard and wavy leaded glass, and the people who owned it, Marguerite learned from nosing around, had fine taste in French antiques. The policeman thought she was trying to rob it maybe, though he had seemed nervous to confront her. He'd asked her what she was doing, and she had said, Just looking. This answer hadn't satisfied the officer much. Do you have a home? he'd asked. And Marguerite had laughed and pointed. Number Five, she'd said. I live at Number Five. He'd suggested she "get on home," because it was cold; it was, in fact, Christmas. Christmas night, and Marguerite had been wandering her own street, like a transient, like a ghost looking for a place to haunt.

Marguerite reached Centre Street, took a left, then a quick right, and headed down Broad Street, past the bookstore, past the French bistro that had absorbed all of Marguerite's old customers. She was aimed for Dusty Tyler's fish shop. Marguerite's former restaurant, Les Parapluies, had been open for dinner seven nights a week from May through October, and every night but Monday Marguerite had served seafood from Dusty Tyler's shop. Dusty was Marguerite's age, which was to say, not so young anymore. They'd had a close professional relationship, and on top of it they had been friends. Dusty came into the bar nearly every night the year his wife left him, and sometimes he brought his ten-year-old son in for dinner. Dusty had gotten very drunk one night, starting at six thirty with vodka gimlets served up by Lance, Marguerite's moody bartender. He then ordered two bottles of Mersault and drank all but one glass, which he sent to Marguerite back in the kitchen. By the time dinner service was over, the waitresses were complaining about Dusty — he was out-of-bounds, obnoxious, bordering on criminal. Get him out of here, Margo, the headwaiter, Francesca, had said. It was a Sunday night, and the fish shop was closed on Mondays. Marguerite overruled the pleas of her staff, which was rare, and allowed Dusty to stay. He stayed long after everyone else went home, sitting at the zinc bar with Marguerite, sipping daintily from a glass of Chartreuse, which he had insisted he wanted. He was so drunk that he'd stopped making any kind of sense. He was babbling, then crying. There had been spittle in his beard, but he'd smelled salty and sweet, like an oyster. Marguerite had thought they would sleep together. She was more than ten years into her relationship with Porter at that point, though Porter spent nine months of the year in Manhattan and — it was well known to everyone — dated other women. It wasn't frustration with Porter, however, that led Marguerite to think of sex with Dusty. Rather, it was a sense of inevitability. They worked together every day; she was his first client every morning; they stood side by side, many times their hips touching as they lifted a bluefin tuna out of crushed ice, as they pried open sea scallops and cherrystones, as they chopped the heads off shrimp. Dusty was destroyed by the departure of his wife, and Marguerite, with Porter off living his own life in the city, was lonely. It was late on a Sunday night; they were alone in the restaurant; Dusty was drunk. Sex was like a blinking neon sign hanging over the bar.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Love Season"
by .
Copyright © 2006 Elin Hilderbrand.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Part One Provisions,
August 19, 2006 • 6:30 A.M.,
Part Two The Dinner Party,
August 19, 2006 • 6:32 P.M.,
A Reading Group Gold Selection,
In Her Own Words,
Food for Thought,
Keep on Reading,
Reading Group Questions,

Reading Group Guide

Food for Thought

The Dinner Party


She pulled out her blender and added the ingredients for the pots de crème: eggs, sugar, half a cup of her morning coffee, heavy cream, and eight ounces of melted Scharffen Berger chocolate. What could be easier?
- Marguerite Beale, self-exiled chef in The Love Season

Nantucket author Elin Hilderbrand is making dinner. This is not the Black Angus steak cheeseburgers and Bartlett corn she would normally serve her husband and three children on a steamy summer day. This is a very special dinner--the same dinner her protagonist, Marguerite Beale, makes in Hilderbrand's fifth novel, The Love Season.

A fictitious chef who has given up cooking to punish herself after her best friend's death, Beale crafts the dinner only because her godchild is coming for the first time--to learn more about her dead mother.

Hilderbrand is making the dinner for twelve people who helped inspire the novel, which she originally titled ''The Dinner Party.'' The group is gathering at 5 Quince St., in the circa 1730s home where the novel is set.

At 11:30 a.m., Hilderbrand darts into the fish market to pick up smoked mussels, which she will serve with a homemade aioli. ''In the book, Marguerite smokes the oysters herself, but that's beyond me,'' Hilderbrand says, driving toward Bartlett's Farm to pick up fresh dill, basil, and thyme, along with island-grown tomatoes and zucchini. In the novel, Hilderbrand specifically notes that Marguerite does not go to Bartlett's Farm, but says the farm she does visit is modeled on the local landmark.

Making a novel dinner

Then, it's back to the house Hilderbrand and her family are renting while their own home-just down the street--is being remodeled. Although some of her equipment--like her tart pan--has disappeared into a box marked ''assorted kitchen stuff,'' Hilderbrand is unfazed.

The biggest challenge to making dinner for twelve, she says, is the refrigerator-finding ingredients in it and then finding space for things like the chocolate pots de crème, which need refrigerating until the 7 p.m. dinner. She plops down in front of the open refrigerator, to start rearranging from the bottom shelf up. Reading The Love Season and then watching Hilderbrand make this meal is a little odd--like playing with a set of nesting dolls or strolling through a house of mirrors.

One can see Hilderbrand in Marguerite, in the list each makes to plan the dinner; in the way the author expertly cracks eggs into the blender for pots de crème and uses her own morning coffee; and the fact that she actually says, ''What could be easier?''--unaware she is echoing the words she put in Marguerite's mouth when writing the book sitting on the beach a year ago.

''There's a little bit of me in Marguerite, in how I cook,'' Hilderbrand says.

And, yes, that's her jogging in Morocco, unaware--like her character, Candace Harris Knox--that her blonde hair, baseball cap, and running shorts would draw so much attention in the Muslim country.

"The Love Season's scene in Morocco was a conscious effort on my part to get one of our travels into a book,'' says Hilderbrand, who traveled extensively with her husband, Cliffside Beach Club manager Chip Cunningham, in Southeast Asia before they started a family.

Capturing the island

But The Love Season and Hilderbrand's other novels are also a reflection-and usually a composite-of the people, places, and experiences she encounters living on Nantucket.

Cunningham (a character in his wife's first Nantucket book) says many repeat customers at the hotel he manages look forward to his wife publishing a new novel each season.

''It's part of what they associate with Nantucket,'' he says. ''I'll have Elin come down and sign it for them.''

Hilderbrand sees her books as souvenirs-little pieces of the island visitors can take home with them to evoke the feeling of Nantucket long after they've left.
The Love Season earned a four-star critic's choice rating in June from People magazine reviewer Sue Corbett, who wrote, ''Hilderbrand, who wrote 2002's Nantucket Nights, serves up a mouth-watering menu, keeps the Veuve Clicquot flowing and tops it all with a dollop of mystery that will have even drowsy sunbathers turning pages until the very satisfying end.''

Hilderbrand honed her writing skills at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop. Her cooking got its polish from taking lessons with cookbook author and former Que Sera Sarah owner, Sarah Leah Chase, one of the guests she has invited to this dinner. Hilderbrand explains how she decided to write a couple of novels (The Love Season and The Blue Bistro) based specifically on Nantucket's food scene: ''I did the hotel books, and a restaurant owner came up and said to me, 'You could never write about a restaurant. It would be too scandalous.' I thought, 'Aha, then I have to write it.' ''
She prepped by reading copiously, from Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential to Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires. She redoubled her usual food magazine reading of publications like Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Food&Wine.

''Rarely do I come across something on a menu that I don't know what it is,'' says Hilderbrand, who eats out frequently with her husband.

Foodie stories

To further give her books a sense of behind-the-scenes restaurant work, Hilderbrand volunteered to work at Nantucket's well-known 21 Federal restaurant during Christmas Stroll one year. They told her she could pour water, then demoted her to the coat room, saying they were afraid she would spill the water. But she interviewed chefs, bartenders, and waiters, soaking in details--like the banter among kitchen workers--which she re-creates in the conversation between brothers who work in the kitchen of The Blue Bistro.

Jane Silva, former owner of the Galley at Cliffside Beach Club (the model for The Blue Bistro), is one of several muses Hilderbrand invited to this re-creation of The Love Season dinner. Silva spent hours telling Hilderbrand stories about The Opera House, a now-closed, glamorous restaurant where the island's artists gathered and Silva once saw Judy Garland sitting on the piano to sing. Silva says that The Opera House chef, the late Lucien Van Vyve, was her mentor and friend, who often hosted elaborate dinner parties, with hand-painted menus, at his home in the off-season.

Now a T-shirt and souvenir shop, The Opera House is the model for Marguerite's restaurant, Les Parapluies, which, in the book, drew ardent fans willing to eat whatever chef Marguerite felt like having on the prix fixe menu that night.

''It wasn't so much a reflection of The Opera House as it was that she captured the mood of those grand old restaurants,'' Silva says, sitting on the terrace at 5 Quince St.

Dining with friends

On the night of the dinner party, it is quickly apparent that the dining room of the 275-year-old house was not built to accommodate a dozen. Since her book focuses strongly on female friendship, Hilderbrand asks the guys if they would mind sitting in the kitchen. After some good-natured ribbing about being relegated to the kids' table, they cordially agree.

But first, Hilderbrand says raising her glass: ''All of you were important to me while I was writing this book, and that's why we're here. A toast to all of you!''
Dusk is falling hard outside the dining room's bay window as the women sit down to feast on dinner and conversation. Someone asks Wendy Hudson how things are going at the bookstore she owns downtown; someone else asks about when a neighbor will be back on island. As wineglasses are refilled, there's talk about how local produce compares to hothouse; and about the stifling hot weather, which has caused Hilderbrand's homemade baguettes to rise beyond the edges of the pan and form tasty globs of bread.

But quickly, conversations around the table shift to more personal topics: how couples met, children, grandchildren, and friendships. In the wash of words, in the candlelit dining room, it is easy to see these island ties; to imagine Marguerite Beale and her godchild, Renata Harris, in this place, resurrecting secrets of past and present.

By Gwenn Friss, Food Editor
Excerpted from Cape Cod Times © 2006

Customer Reviews

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Love Season 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is wonderful, but the typos are VERY VERY distracting! Unacceptable for an e-book. This needs a complete re-read by whoever edited it for this format.
KarenCO More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Was so sad to see it end. I recommend every book this author has written. They are FABULOUS!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Currently I am raising a teenager and as I watch him/her venture in the twists and turns of discovering themselves and trying to guide them. This book has opened my eyes to allow him/her to make his/her own choices and ask me for my wisdom or guidance. Through this book we see how time has elapsed and forgiveness was never given or received until years later. This has occurred in my life and as I mend fences and move forward to forgive, I find myself feeling happier and accepting the death of my mother. My family is healing from six years of guilt we have all placed on ourselves. This book made me experience emotions I have not experienced in some time and I am grateful.
JeanieJF More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy this story very much, as I have with other books by this author. HOWEVER - I bought this as a Nookbook and I have to say the quality of the text was abysmal. I've been annoyed by other nookbooks type quality previously, but this one really made it difficult to follow the story. VERY frustrating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Love Season, by Elin Hilderbrand had me intrigued from page one. The interesting layout- one day documented hour by hour- captured my attention throughout the whole story. It is hard to believe that this entire story was expanded from just twenty four short hours! The characters all had such depth and complexity, and I felt like I was really able to dive into each character's point of view. Marguerite, a former restaurant owner, is preparing for a very important dinner with her goddaughter Renata, whom she had been forbidden to see since the death of Renata's mother fourteen years earlier. In preparing for this dinner, Marguerite left her home for the first time in a long time, seeing people for the first time in a long time that she had a past with. This span of twenty four hours in which Marguerite revisited her social life had her reminiscing on her past: in Paris, with her first love Porter, her beloved customers at her restaurant, the owners of local markets, and her distanced goddaughter. With the reunion of Marguerite and Renata, they give each other the strength to acknowledge the past and courage to move forward. The outlying theme in The Love Season is the journey to self discovery. Instead of dwelling on the past, it is best to move onward and find the positive outlooks about life while in search of finding one's place in the world. I was truly touched by this story, from beginning to end. I found myself diving into it whenever I could, because I was felt like I could relate to the journey of self discovery, as I am currently in that stage of my life. I would highly recommend The Love Season to any young adult that is looking for a simple, romantic, moving novel that is sure to be a great catch.
AngelaCT More than 1 year ago
Again the author grabs your attention from the begining and you come to love all the charactors. It was hard to put this book down. This author has new story lines, she is so refreshing.
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You will not be disappointed. She is one of my favorite authors.
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