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Beautiful Day

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  27,041 ratings  ·  2,488 reviews
The Carmichaels and Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride's late mother, who left behind The Notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter's future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event - but in reality, things are far from perfect.

While the
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 31st 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published June 25th 2013)
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,041 ratings  ·  2,488 reviews

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Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
even though I disliked 90% of the characters it was a decent story. well written and with an ok plot. the characters are all selfish, petty, annoying, or all three. even the dead ones.
jenna is getting married. and even though her mother is dead she doesn't have to worry, she planned out jenna's entire wedding before she died of cancer. manipulating her entire family into giving jenna the wedding she wanted, simply by planning it out just before dying. and how is she going to achieve her plan? by
I used to LOVE any book by this author. The Blue Bistro, The Beach Club, and Nantucket Nights were wonderful. But her past couple have been really awful. I mean, totally boring, nothing compelling or even all that interesting. It makes me sad :(

The characters in this book aren't even remotely likable, and there are wayyy to many of them. I had a hard time keeping up with all the characters, and so many of them weren't even critical to the plot - so they were like useless filler. The story itself
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I spent the second half of this wedding-in-Nantucket novel hoping that Jaws would Sharknado himself right into the rehearsal dinner and chomp down every single character. Horribly entitled rich people with names like Edge, Chance, Beanie, Griff and Drum run around having domestic crises, interwoven with pages and pages of porn-y descriptions of hand-sewn Irish linen tablecloths and and lemon-drizzled crab rolls and bridal bouquets with tight, NOT blooming, peonies. What kind of peasant would hav ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish there were...different scales of ratings for books. Because this is a five-star entertaining read, and it took me no time at all to read it. But it's not like I'll take anything away from it. It was JUST entertaining. It wasn't fascinating. It didn't make me think. It just diverted my attention (happily! willingly! wonderfully!) for a few hours. It was a lovely story, but that's all it was.

I don't feel sad about that, right? But rating it alongside Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel somewhat bad giving this only two stars, particularly as I finished the book but ... the characters are caricatures. There seems to be little regret over truly regrettable behavior. The marriage of the older couple (though the wife is dead) was just simply perfect, don't you know. And she's now pulling the strings for her younger daughter's wedding, per "the notebook," which might as well be another character. The husband is kind of a schmo! COme on, your former wife is dead. It's not fai ...more
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I loved this book as an audiobook. The narrator did a fantastic job with the voices and the emotions. There were a lot of characters but I was able to keep them separate. Lots of different personalities getting together for Jenna and Stewart's wedding on Nantucket. It was fun to hear the different personalities and how they interact. I liked the fact that mother Beth, who has died of cancer has left "The Notebook" for Jenna to help with planning the wedding. It brought Beth's personality out and ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually love love love Elin Hilderbrand books but this one wasn't my favorite. The whole premise of the whole book, the Notebook (yes, with a capital N) turned me off right from the getgo. The idea of a dying mom writing advice to her daughter for her wedding day sounds nice in theory, but Hilderbrand's execution of this idea turned Jenna into a pushover who got talked into a total domination of her wedding by her saintly dead mother. We are expected to feel sentimental and gushy about this mo ...more
Suzanne Graziano Publicover
Hilderbrand has lost her touch. Blue Bistro, Silver Girl, Barefoot - those stories brought the characters (one being Nantucket) alive. Her last two books have been incredibly formulaic with no depth to anyone, least of all - the island. Very disappointing. The premise of Beautiful Day is perfect for a summer read. But Hilderbrand phones it in with an undeveloped story line, uninteresting plot "twists", and general blah character development. Very disappointing.
This was good and quick.

I kept thinking that this would make a great TV movie for Lifetime.
The characters are all flawed in some way, put a wedding in the mix and those flaws are always going to come out.
The notebook The brides mom wrote was a fun touch, What daughter can argue with a notebook her mom wrote on her death bed!
I know I told my mother and mother in law' NO' several times, and I am not sure if I could have done it if she did it on her death bed.
In some ways I do think the mother m
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand and I have to say I think this is my favorite novel thus far from her. Although I do love all her chick lit stories about the beautiful majestic island known as Nantucket.

The novel begins with a wedding invitation advising of the pending nuptials of Jenna Carmichael and Stuart Graham which are to be held on the beautiful island of Nantucket. While almost every bride hopes to recruit the advice, help and wisdom of their mother in planning
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. Because it made me feel like I was in the story living it with the characters.
Sep 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
This was my first attempt at an Elin Hilderbrand novel, and while the Nantucket setting was intriguing, I had to abandon the audiobook a little less than halfway in. All of the characters were insipid, whiney and annoying. The plot was absurd; of all the years and events for all her family members, the dead mother chose her youngest daughter's wedding as the single most important day in the family's lives, worthy of expending all her deathbed energy to plan every last detail. I kept hoping there ...more
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilderbrand is a fantastic writer of families and emotions. In this story, Jenna and Stuart go to Nantucket to be married. Jenna is one of four siblings. Her mom and dad were happily married for 35 years until her mom died from ovarian cancer. Knowing that she would not be around for the marriage of her youngest daughter, she decides to write a notebook of advice on how to plan the perfect day. Jenna and her sister, Margot (who is also the maid-of-honor) plan the day following her mom's instruct ...more
I loved the premise of this book with the bride's late mother leaving behind a notebook of her wishes for her daughter's wedding. I have always enjoyed the beach setting and the family dramatics in the books I have read by Elin Hilderbrand and this one did not disappoint. This was an enjoyable, light read with a great touch of emotion. It was touching that the daughter was adamant on following her mother's wishes for the wedding and that the family respected it.
Stephanie Tracy
Interestingly enough, Elin Hilderbrand managed to make me dislike just about every single character I was supposed to like and sympathize with, while also managing get me to really enjoy this book (which I listened to via Audible). How she did this is beyond me. I chock it up to her impressive writing skills and entertaining, witty, and lighthearted story-crafting. This really was a fun story, and it was perfect because I'm newly engaged and planning a wedding myself - so this story line centere ...more
I wasn't going to review this one, even though I so enjoyed it. However....after my decision, I read the first few reviews listed on Goodreads....and I I felt a bit irritated! So here I am....So many of the 2 star reviews were from people that have read Elin Hilderbrand in the past and just didn't think this one was as good as the some others....several said, "good characters, good story, good writing, but I liked x or y better".....So this kind of validates Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee's de ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2013
I really enjoyed this light fluffy bit of Chick Lit. Hilderbrand throws together all the catastrophes that can happen in a large family wedding and organizes it all with an instructional wedding notebook written for the bride by her dying mother. While this sounds constricting, it was a clever way to ground some of the zany moments during the weekend on Nantucket.
Many, many laugh out loud the mother of the groom, distressed that her husbands ex wife shows up at the ceremony in a
Apr 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What an utter disappointment. I have really enjoyed the previous Elin Hilderbrand books & picked this hot mess up before I read any reviews.The writing was fine, but very flat. The story was about a dead control freak mother who dictated the terms of her youngest daughter's wedding. Each & every character was so unlikable. It was as if the author just threw together a bunch of entitled 1%'ers in a gorgeous setting and created monsters out of each & every person...even the children we ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, Hilderbrand runs hot and cold. I wasn't crazy about her last book but enjoyed this one thoroughly. Sure it was predictable and you'll know how everyone's problem is going to be resolved (although there were a couple of little surprises) but it was the perfect book for a beautiful day at the lake.

Recommend for readers of Nancy Thayer and Anne Rivers Siddons, or for that vacation when it doesn't matter if you never really get to know the characters because, really, it's just for fun.
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read; no one's perfect and everyone's got issues.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know why but I’m swooning over Elin Hilderbrand. This is an unusual swoon for me because I’m not really an overly romantic sort and I never really thought I would gravitate to books about weddings. But here I am.

Sometimes maybe I fall in love with characters or stories but here I think it’s a girl crush on Elin’s unique point of view. I’m guessing she might be my age or lived similar circumstances because she writes how I think.

There is always the first floor story going on but then th
Colette Byfield
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Beautiful Day’ Shines, With A Few Clouds”
Review Written by Colette Byfield

**Spoiler Alert
***Advanced Copy

A wedding story about divorce. “Divorce is paying for this wedding,” declares Margot, the divorced, slightly embittered, matron of honor and central character of this un-wedding story. It is Margot’s caustic observations of life and family that transform “Beautiful Day” from being a wedding story into a marriage story.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to fully relate to “another wedding story”
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I won a free arc copy of BEAUTIFUL DAY and was asked to give my honest review and I can honestly say, I loved it.
Jenna Carmichael and Stuart Graham are getting married this weekend in a wedding planned and orchestrated by Jenna's mother, Beth, who's been dead for seven years. When Beth was dying of cancer and realized she would not live to see her youngest daughter fall in love and get married, she wrote a Notebook (with a capital N), to help Jenna plan het wedding in Beth's absence.
Marriage is
Mostly  Books
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think every year around this time we mention how much we love Elin Hilderbrand’s writing. She is the perfect summer read (although we do read her all year round) her books almost always take place during a summer on the small island of Nantucket. She has the perfect combination of sunshine, beaches, and amazing food in her books. However, her books are much more than summer fun. Her characters are rich, engaging, and easy to relate to. Beautiful Day is her new novel and it will be in our store ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I was reading this book, I kept thinking that the premise - the bride's late mother who apparently was a saint - has left a notebook for her youngest daughter, with detailed plans for the wedding. Everything is planned, down to the flowers in the bouquets, music, wedding invitations etc. and the bride and her family follow the notebook down to the smallest detail. Even though I felt the notebook was too precise, I loved the message on the last page of the notebook. The numerous personal relat ...more
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely devoured this book! From the very first page, I was pulled in. The characters were compelling, the plot interesting and enjoyable and as always, the setting of Nantucket was perfect.

I was impressed with the format that the author used. She somehow took the time frame of a weekend and told an entire story over many years. This was my fourth Hilderbrand book and she doesn't fail to disappoint. I feel from the first page her characters are real and people who I want to get to know bett
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up- Hildebrand is my go to when I want an easy, enjoyable read. While not great works of literature, I can count on her boos for enjoyable characters, family drama that is not too heavy, romance without excessive sexual descriptions and humor. In this book I liked the “outtakes” which were commentary from various characters about what just occurred.
I listened to this book while doing all of the endless back and forth drives to camp this summer, and it was exactly what I needed. The narrator was absolutely great - not annoying at all and very effective with all of the voices. I wasn't enamored with the deceased mother. We were supposed to be so taken with her and I just found her too good to be true and the notebook a little bit overbearing. I thought the adult sibling relationships were very well done. And I absolutely loved the grizzled, ...more
Alyson Larrabee
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm continuing on my Elin Hilderbrand binge and enjoying it. The Nantucket summertime setting is perfect right now, as we New Englanders battle seventy mile per hour winds and blizzard conditions caused by something called a bomb cyclone. It's fun to watch her characters fall apart and then pull themselves back together. Her women cook interesting food, garden and wear expensive designer clothes, all of it portrayed in detail. (Some reviews that I've read call this "boring", but I like it.) Many ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. I liked this story for the most part, but it didn't rock my world, leave me with any valuable life lessons or even much food for thought. I like family drama stories, and there is certainly plenty of that here but I just don't feel compelled to give it more than 3 stars. Most of the characters were various degrees of annoying and I didn't connect with many of them, but I like weddings and am a sucker for any story set in Nantucket, so therein lies the third star.
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Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.
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“And Margot should have made a rule about no cell phones. What was it about life now? The people who weren't present always seemed to be more important than the people who were.” 3 likes
“She could hear the voices and laughter coming from the yard, and she thought, really, this was the best part of any wedding, not the ceremony or the cake or the dancing but the downtime when they were all together without the lights shining on them.” 3 likes
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