The Five-Star Weekend is a novel by Elin Hilderbrand, a bestselling author of contemporary fiction set on Nantucket Island. It is a story of friendship, love and self-discovery that follows five women who spend an unforgettable weekend together after a tragedy.
The protagonist of the novel is Hollis Shaw, a popular food blogger and the creator of Hungry with Hollis. She has a seemingly perfect life with her husband Matthew, a heart surgeon, and her daughter Caroline. However, her life is shattered when Matthew dies in a car accident after they have a heated argument.
Hollis decides to host a “Five-Star Weekend” on Nantucket, a concept she learned from a magazine article. It involves inviting one best friend from each phase of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties and midlife. She hopes to reconnect with her old friends and heal from her grief.
However, the weekend does not go as planned. Hollis’s childhood friend Tatum brings along Hollis’s first love, Jack Finigan, who stirs up old feelings and regrets. Tatum also clashes with Dru-Ann, Hollis’s college friend and a successful sports agent who is facing a scandal. Brooke, Hollis’s friend from their thirties, is dealing with marital problems and trust issues. And Gigi, a stranger who contacted Hollis through her blog, turns out to have many secrets and an unusual grace.
As the weekend unfolds, the five women face their pasts, their present and their futures. They also discover the power of friendship, forgiveness and hope.
Reception and Awards
The Five-Star Weekend was published in June 2023 and received positive reviews from critics and readers alike. It became an instant bestseller and reached #4 on the Amazon Charts. It was also nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction in 2023.
Some of the reviews are:
- “A captivating and heartwarming story of friendship and healing. Hilderbrand’s characters are realistic, relatable and flawed. The setting of Nantucket is vividly described and adds to the charm of the novel. The plot is engaging and full of surprises. A perfect summer read.” (Publishers Weekly)
- “Hilderbrand delivers another winner with The Five-Star Weekend. The novel explores the themes of loss, love, loyalty and self-discovery with humor, warmth and sensitivity. The five women are complex and compelling, each with their own struggles and secrets. The weekend on Nantucket is filled with drama, romance and revelations. A satisfying and uplifting read.” (Kirkus Reviews)
- “I loved this book! It made me laugh, cry and cheer for the five women who share their stories and support each other. Hilderbrand writes with such skill and insight that I felt like I was part of their weekend. The Five-Star Weekend is a wonderful novel that celebrates friendship, resilience and hope.” (Goodreads reviewer)