Book Review: Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

December 17, 2014 Book review 2 ★★★½

This is one of those books that make me glad I use half stars in my ratings.  I can’t say I love it and stamp it with a four star but it’s just MORE than a three star.  So I’m rating it slap bang in the middle with a very respectable 3.5 stars.

Book Review: Beautiful Day by Elin HilderbrandBeautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
Published by Hodder & Stoughton Genres: Contemporary Women, Emotions & Feelings, Family Life, Love & Romance
Pages: 416
Source: Bookbridgr

The Carmichaels and the Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride's late mother, who left behind The Notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter's future nuptials.

Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event--but in reality, things are far from perfect.While the couple-to-be are quite happy, their loved ones find their own lives crumbling. In the days leading up to the wedding, love will be questioned, scandals will arise, and hearts will be broken and healed.

First Line of Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

 “I have finally reached the point with my prognosis where I accept there are certain things I will not live to see.”

My Thoughts on Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

This book is a bit of an escapism read for me.  Do I know anything about the lifestyle these characters lead?  One where they have a holiday home on Nantucket, one where they can splash 150K plus dollars on a wedding, one where they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  Nope, I don’t.  Do I love reading about it and the tantalising glimpses I get of a privileged lifestyle?  Hell, yes!

The book revolves around the letters that Jenna’s mother left before her death to help her daughter organise a wedding that she would one day have.  It did make me wonder what Jenna would have felt if she never got married but that’s not the story so we’ll let that thread go.

At first I thought the letters were sweet and would be lovely to read for any daughter.  But then they got ridiculous as her mother micro managed everything from beyond the grave.  No detail was too small for these letters – the type of glasses to used, what dress she should wear, what vegetables should be served and exactly how they should be cooked.  Gah, if she were around her daughter would be screaming BACKOFF, IT’S MY WEDDING.  Or maybe that’s just me!  Diva brides are one thing, diva-dead-mother’s-of-the-bride are another thing altogether.

But as much as this annoyed me, I also loved it!  It was compulsive reading, perfect for a lazy afternoon or a day at the beach.  The characters while undeniably shallow have interesting storylines and I loved all the drama that surrounded the lives of all the bridal party.  There was loads going on to keep my attention and I found the story was thoroughly entertaining.

Overall I really enjoyed it in much the same way as I like watching an episode of the TV Show Revenge.  Manipulative characters, screwed up family dynamics, champagne lifestyles and confetti all added up to a messy and compelling read.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Who should read Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand?

I’d recommend this to those who like family drama, wedding commotions and luxury settings.  And I know summer is over now but if you want to bring a little flavour of summer fun back into your life; turn up the heat, pour a glass of wine and put your feet up with this book.

Thanks to Bookbridgr and Hodder & Stoughton Ltd for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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2 Responses to “Book Review: Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I love these escapism type reads too but I’m not sure if I like all the drama and manipulation. Though I can’t imagine spending 150K on a wedding no matter how much money I had! Just the thought makes me queasy. Great review! I want to try this author but I don’t think this would be the best fit for me. It still sounds fun though!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…All He Wants for Christmas – Review

    • trish

      I know, it’s a bit repulsive flashing all the cash and I kept thinking why all the instructions about the wedding, that’s just one day. Some tips about married life would be much more valuable. But it got there eventually. It’s OTT but still a really good read.

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