The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand 

Read Time:4 Minute, 10 Second

Hollis Shaw’s seemingly perfect life takes a tragic turn when a heated argument with her husband, Matthew, ends in his untimely death. The fractures in her marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline, deepen, casting shadows over her idyllic facade. Seeking solace, Hollis learns about the concept of a “Five-Star Weekend,” where a woman organizes a gathering with her closest friends from different stages of life. Intrigued, Hollis decides to host her own weekend on Nantucket, hoping for a blissful escape. However, her plans go awry. Tatum’s husband arranges a reunion between Hollis and her first love, Jack Finigan, reigniting unresolved emotions. Tatum must also contend with Dru-Ann, Hollis’s abrasive friend from college, whose professional life is in jeopardy due to an online misunderstanding. Brooke, another friend, faces the turmoil of her husband’s recurring infidelity. Amidst it all, a stranger named Gigi, who contacted Hollis through her blog, harbors secrets and possesses an uncommon grace that influences the course of events.

Book review of The Five-Star Weekend

The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand is a captivating novel that rivals my favorite, The Perfect Couple. From the very beginning, the concept intrigued me, and as the story progressed, it gained even more momentum. What impressed me the most was how every character in the ensemble cast had a unique personality and a compelling storyline. I’ve always been drawn to narratives that explore female friendships, and this book delivered.

While I initially noticed similarities to Winter in Paradise, The Five-Star Weekend quickly developed a life of its own. Elin Hilderbrand’s descriptive writing style makes you feel as if you’re right there, soaking in the atmosphere of the story. Her novels have become an essential part of my summer reading tradition, and I’ll miss her yearly releases as she enters retirement. I’m determined to collect all of her books because they are pure literary treasures.

What sets this book apart from Hilderbrand’s already impressive collection is the seamless flow of her writing. The narrative unfolds effortlessly, with every word carefully chosen. The story masterfully weaves together six different tales, combining elements of suspense, delectable food, and enduring friendships. It’s the ideal beach read, offering some predictable moments alongside surprising twists. The thought of choosing my own “Five Stars” among my friends lingered in my mind as I savored the pages.

I devoured this book in a single day, making it the perfect companion during this busy summer. However, I must admit that halfway through, I found myself struggling to maintain the same level of enthusiasm. While I usually adore Hilderbrand’s novels, this particular one didn’t resonate with me. The recurring theme of infidelity within marriages became somewhat disheartening, and the constant upheaval in the lives of these beautiful characters started to feel overwhelming.

Despite my reservations, I must highlight the delightful inclusion of recipes, such as the one for Black Pepper Butter. It added a flavorful touch to the overall experience. Although I personally preferred “Hotel Nantucket” as Hilderbrand’s best work, I still acknowledge her talent and remain a devoted fan. While The Five-Star Weekend might not be my favorite among her novels, it’s still worth reading, albeit not as addictively captivating as her previous works.

Final verdict

In conclusion, The Five-Star Weekend presents an intriguing concept and a well-crafted ensemble of characters, but it falls short of surpassing my personal favorites. Elin Hilderbrand’s seamless writing style, coupled with her ability to transport readers to idyllic settings, remains impressive. Despite my minor criticisms, her books are treasures to be cherished, and I eagerly await her future endeavors.

Our Score


  • Intriguing Concept: The Five-Star Weekend introduces a captivating concept of organizing a trip with friends from different stages of life, providing a unique premise that hooks the reader from the start.
  • Engaging Ensemble Cast: The book impresses with its well-developed characters, each possessing real personalities and compelling storylines that draw the reader in, making it easy to connect with and root for them.
  • Female Friendship Focus: The exploration of female friendships is a standout aspect of the book, appealing to those who enjoy narratives that delve into the complexities and bonds of women supporting each other.


  • Recurring Themes: The prevalence of infidelity within marriages and the constant upheaval in the characters’ lives may become overwhelming or disheartening for some readers, potentially leading to a sense of repetitiveness.
  • Predictability: While the book offers some surprising twists, it also contains predictable elements, which may reduce the level of suspense or anticipation for readers seeking more unexpected plot developments.
  • Initial Character Confusion: Some readers may find it challenging to keep track of the various characters in the ensemble cast, potentially leading to confusion and requiring time to become fully immersed in their individual stories.
The Five-Star WeekendPublisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown and Company (June 13, 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316258776
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316258777
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.33 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.4 x 1.5 x 10.55 inches

About Article Author

Sophia Martinez

Writer, critic and columnist with more than 20 years of experience, Sophia Martinez has dedicated her entire professional career to the publishing world. She considers herself an amateur cook who always manages to surprise her guests with a dish from her native Costa Rica.
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