Review - The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand


Having read over two dozen of her books, Elin Hilderbrand is one of my favourite authors. My local library has recently purchased several of her older audiobooks, and I jumped on the chance to read The Blue Bistro.

The book is set in the author’s home of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The story is told from the point of view of both Adrienne Dealey and Thatcher Smith. Adrienne is in her late twenties and has recently fled a toxic relationship. She arrives on the island seeking employment and a place to stay. She meets Thatcher, co-owner of the Blue Bistro, who offers her a position in this highly sought after restaurant. Now thirty-five, Thatcher has owned the restaurant for more than a decade. The restaurant will be closing at the end of the summer season. Despite having no previous working experience in the restaurant business and only limited, generalized information provided by Thatcher, Adrienne soon learns the inner workings of the business. She becomes Intrigued by the food and the culture of the restaurant.

Much of the book discusses the workings of the restaurant, and the impact of the restaurant on Adrienne. She has led a transient life for many years - one initiated by her father after the death of her beloved mother and one she has continued into adulthood. Thatcher’s business partner and life long friend is also the restaurant’s chef, Fiona. There is a shroud of secrecy surrounding Fiona who, despite her popularity and accomplishments, has never given an interview. Indeed, no one except for staff are allowed in the kitchen.

Adrienne and Thatcher become romantically involved, but there is always a mysterious connection between Thatcher and Fiona. Adrienne eventually learns why, and learns to accept this. For the first time in many years, Adrienne feels the security and happiness she hasn’t felt since her mother’s death. As the end of the summer looms, will this new found contentment last?

I really enjoyed this book and the detailed character development which the author employs. I loved the information that is shared on the restaurant business and the descriptions of the food offered. I could feel the deep grief that Adrienne carried, and the impact of this loss on her life. I also appreciated the heart-warming relationship between Thatcher and Fiona, and the consequences that this relationship has had on Thatcher. I did, however, feel that the detailed background to this relationship felt a little too late in the story. As a result, I felt this part of the book felt to be an add-on to an already finished story. Having said that, the book is a beautiful read and one I certainly recommend.

I listened to the audiobook version of the book which was narrated by Christina Delaine. I listened to this book at my usual 1.25x speed. This is one of my favourite performances of the past several years and I commend Ms Delaine for her compassionate delivery and realistic portrayal of both Adrienne and Thatcher. I highly recommend the audiobook version of the book to those who enjoy this format.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great read, and even with the heavier bits it sounds really sweet. Lovely review!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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  2. Great review. I'm glad your local library purchased a good collection. Sounds like a beautiful read :)

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  3. I love that this has an audio book to as I would love to listen to more books! Thankyou for sharing this review it sounds like something I would enjoy x

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  4. Ooh I'm intrigued by the mysterious connection between Thatcher and Fiona! Sounds like a lovely heart-warming read, especially to see that Adrienne has a sense of happiness and security after such a sad loss. Great review!

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  5. Oooh this sounds intriguing - fab review. I'd like to give it a try!

    Tash - A Girl with a View

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  6. This sounds like an amazing book! Loved reading about the book and your thoughts on it! I'm definitely going to check it out!

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  7. A mysterious connection sounds very intriguing! Glad you enjoyed it Jodie, I need to investigate audio books again, I think!

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  8. I haven't listened to many audiobooks lately, but your review makes me want to start listening to more again. This sounds like an interesting read - thanks for sharing!

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  9. I loved the sound of this book and your review is so fab! xx

    http://www.dellalovesnutella.co.uk/

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  10. Oo, this book sounds amazing! I particularly love books where the people come not only to love a person but also a place. Since I worked in a restaurant and find so many stories related to food, restaurant settings connect with me.

    Thank you for sharing this!

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  11. Sounds so interesting and looks inviting with the charming
    seaside restaurant. Thank for recommending..

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  12. Sounds like something interesting and fun to read.

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  13. This sounds like a great read! I love the setting already! Thanks so much for sharing; this is a great review!

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