Book Review: Winter in Paradise



Winter in Paradise

By: Elin Hilderbrandt


Taking you from the cold Midwest USA to the tropical US Virgin Island of St. John, Hilderbrand does it again with her descriptive, in depth writing.  Irene Steele has a great life in her quaint, but not so modest Iowa City home. Her husband, Russ lives a life of much secrecy and quiet, but Irene doesn’t pry at that as he continuously professes his love for her with surprise gifts (even when he’s away on business) and a very comfortable lifestyle.  Her two grown sons, Cash and Baker both life on their own in different states and live lives of their own.


Life is comfortable, until Irene receives a phone call notifying her that her husband has died on a helicopter crash off the coast of USVI St. John and in the crash with his is a “local woman”.


Irene’s life quickly changes as the pages turn and the more about the idyllic life she thought she and her sons had quickly unravels.  Soon after the crash she travels to USVI St. John with her two sons and discovers her husband may not have been exactly the man she, Cash and Baker thought he was.


Hilderbrand’s writing is polished and to the point.  Her deep description really transports you to another time and place.  You can smell, feel and hear the details of St. John that make it such an amazing destination.  I often found myself Googling places and bookmarking them for future travel spots.  Her usage of actual locations make the novel all the more “real” even though it is a work of fiction.


Hilderbrand I believe deliberately leaves a lot of loose ends in this novel as she plans to write a sequel(s) to it which I cannot wait to read!  She write from multiple characters viewpoints which is a writing style I have always loved.  The beginning is a little confusing to follow because the Reader is thrown into so many viewpoints so quick, but as the storyline begins to unfold and the reader gets the know the characters and their relationships, it all slowly begins to make more sense.


If you’re looking for a winter escape but cannot afford the airfare, this is a novel with grave tropical descriptions and in depth knowledge of the Virgin Islands.  Within the pages of Winter in Paradise you will quickly be transported to warm weather, palm trees all with a rum punch in hand.

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