Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Women's Fiction/Chick Lit/Realistic Fiction
Format: Hardcover; 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (June 14, 2016)
Author's Website: http://www.elinhilderbrand.net/
Notes: I received an ARC at BEA.
Nantucket, Massachusetts--Deacon Thorpe, 53, chef-owner of the Board Room, in midtown Manhattan, and host of the popular Food Network program Pitchfork, died of a heart attack at his summer cottage Thursday evening, according to Nantucket police chief Edward Kapenash.
Thorpe arrived on Nantucket Island on Thursday morning ferry, officials at the Steamship Authority confirmed. He was found by island resident JP Clarke on Friday morning...
'Everything comes to an end--the days ends, the summer ends, an era ends'
I will start this review off by saying this was not my favorite story. It sums up all the things that are wrong with today's society. We've gotten used to disposable things and somewhere along the line marriage has entered into the mix. There are people who don't respect the union of marriage and could care less if children get hurt when those ties are broken and this story touches upon that. Deacon Thorpe was a rather selfish person who put himself first. He fooled himself into thinking of himself as a good guy because he occasionally did the right thing. When it comes to the big things in life, however, he failed and failed brilliantly.
Some would say Deacon's father's desertion followed by his mother's are what shaped him into the man that he became, but that's.only partially true, What we do with our own life is ultimately left up to us. We have the choice to do what's right or fool ourselves into thinking what we do doesn't affect others and they'll be all right. Deacon prided himself on telling his children that his father "didn't want me, but I want you." quite frequently. While words are lovely, he ultimately wasn't all that different from his own father. While he didn't fully abandoned his son, upon his death the following statement summed up his relationship with his son. "Hayes had loved his father, but he and Deacon had been more like casual, easygoing friends, and really, that was only later in life," If I was to assign a song to Deacon Thorpe it would be 'You Came in Like a Wrecking Ball' by Miley Cyrus.
While I disliked the story, it was well written which is what kept me reading until the end. The way the author showed how the actions of one individual can effect the lives of so many others and have a trickle down effect was right on the money. The animosity and cattiness of the three wives who find themselves in the impossible position of being under the same roof while planning the funeral could have been comedic, but the author chose to make the situation something more hefty, awkward, and dysfunctional. Eventually the three made peace with one another as best they could, under the circumstances, for the sake of their children, but this was a rather depressing read. It went from bad to worse to awkward.
So why the title, 'Here's to Us?" Well it's used a couple of times in toasts in the book. Once by Buck, Deacon's best friend, and a second time by Deacon's wives. Of the two the toasts made, to me Buck's seemed the one more appropriate one for the title:
"Here's to us, two selfish bastards."
I'm giving this one a 1 out of 5 roses. It was well written but was like watching a train wreck. I just couldn't seem to look away. It's the first book I've read by this Ms. Hildebrand, but because so many of her fans were shouting her accolades while I was standing in line at BEA waiting to get a copy of this one, I'll give her books another try. This novel just wasn't to my liking. I like happy stories, or at least ones with happy endings, and this was a far cry from that. I'm foregoing the romance rating scale in this one because, frankly, there was no real romance in this one. It was just the story of a very dysfunctional family after the death of the person who connected everyone together. In a way, this could be called a cautionary tale about how the grass isn't always greener on the other side--That sometimes what you really want you already have. You just have to open your eyes to see it.