The Blue Bistro

Elin Hilderbrand, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-312-31953-3

The pricey, popular bistro of the title is the real star of Hilderbrand's fourth novel set on Nantucket. After years of hotel employ, peripatetic Adrienne Dealey, 28, lands her first restaurant job within hours of disembarking on the bucolic Massachusetts island. She's got a lot of learning to do as assistant to co-owner Thatcher Smith. Adrienne's soon attracted to the handsome Thatcher, and he seems to return her feelings. But just what is his relationship with his partner, the famous, utterly reclusive chef Fiona "Fee" Kemp? And why will no one talk about her? Hilderbrand specializes in beach reading (Summer People ; The Beach Club ); the plot doesn't go too far beyond standard romance and the characters don't reach beyond the conventional (though Adrienne does drink a bit more than the average heroine). But the complexities of running a bustling, ambitious restaurant in a summer hotspot are absorbing, and as Adrienne develops survival techniques with the customers and staff, readers follow her progress with genuine interest. Though the romance is a bit tepid and a subplot involving Adrienne's father's new girlfriend doesn't add much excitement, this is still a perfectly enjoyable beach book. Agent, Michael Carlisle. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/30/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 371 pages
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-312-62826-0
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4299-0549-7
Hardcover - 609 pages - 978-1-4104-4395-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-6005-5
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