Title: The Blue Bistro
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: June 1st 2005
Pages: 356
Genre(s): Romance
Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon
❝ Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she is desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket’s hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business…and they share an instant attraction. 
But there is a mystery about their situation: What is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro’s chef, who captures Thatcher’s attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether she’ll move on, as she always does–or finally open her heart…❞
I expected The Blue Bistro to be an easy read, something you can take with you to the beach or the park to lose your mind in for a couple of hours. It turned out to be exactly that. The plot is somewhat predictable but this very predictability and the summer setting makes it an enjoyable summer read. You don’t have to make the gears in your brain work to figure out details as the plot progresses, and sometimes that is just the kind of book you need. 

One particular thing that stood out in The Blue Bistro was the restaurant setting. Hilderbrand obviously put a lot of effort into the descriptions about the restaurant and this made the entire setting come alive in my mind. Furthermore, I actually loved reading about the tasks Adrienne had to during her shifts in the bistro. Normally I would not really care about what people do when they work in a restaurant, but for some reason Hilderbrand’s detailed and fast-paced scenes filled me with wonder and interest. More than once while reading, my heart ached with desire to visit the Bistro myself.

Something that surprised me while reading – given the fact that this is categorized as a chick-lit – was the fact that Adrienne’s character was actually really well-developed. Most of the book’s characters  were very one-dimensional, but Adrienne wasn’t. She had an elaborate back story, good and bad traits. I also really liked her as a character, how she was not afraid to try out something new and how she voiced her opinions strongly when she didn’t agree with something. 

I only wish the author would have put more thought in the relationship between Thatcher and Adrienne. They decide they felt attracted to one another, went on a date, fought a bit, then started a relationship, had sex a couple of times and sometimes hung out somewhere other than the restaurant. All the while, I as a reader could gather very little details about his romantic relationship with Adrienne, while  Thatcher’s friendship Fiona was constantly emphasized. I thought they were cute as a couple but could not really understand it because the reader is given so little information about them. Given the fact that the author did put a lot of effort in the setting, but could not give additional details about their relationship disappointed me a bit. 

Last but not least I join pretty much everyone in the bandwagon that the ending was abrupt and sloppy. I hadn’t expected the Blue Bistro to finish in such an un-detailed, open ending. I disliked it and it made the book less good as a whole, which is why in the end I’m giving it three stars. Yes, it is enjoyable and I recommend it greatly as a beach/summer read, but watch out for the ending which I think angered many a reader.

The Blue Bistro






Writing Style







  • Multi dimensional protagonist
  • Fun setting


  • Romance bit superficial
  • Abrupt, bad ending