Chapter One Breakfast Adrienne needed a job. She arrived on Nantucket Island with two maxed-out credit cards, forty borrowed dollars, and three rules scribbled on an Amtrak cocktail napkin. She spent seven of the dollars on a dorm bed at the hostel in Surfside and slept with the cocktail napkin under her pillow. When she awoke the next morning in a room full of slumbering college students, she read the rules again. Rule One: Become self-sufficient. Rule Two: Do not lie about past. Rule Three: Exercise good judgment about men. The last thing Adrienne had done before leaving Aspen was to turn her boyfriend, Doug, in to the authorities. Doug had been living with Adrienne in the basement of the Little Nell, where Adrienne worked as a concierâ‰¥ he had been stealing money from the hotel rooms to buy cocaine, and he had stolen more than two thousand dollars from Adrienne. Adrienne quietly slipped into clothes and stashed her belongings in a locker, which was free until noon. She set out into the bright but chilly May morning with her money and the napkin, repeating a tip that a man had given her on the ferry the night before. A tip about a job. The Blue Bistro, 27 North Beach Extension. The man who suggested this place was a freelance writer who had been coming to Nantucket for over twenty years. He came across as a normal guy, despite his square wire-rimmed glasses, thirty years out of style, and the way he licked his lips every five seconds, as though Adrienne were a T-bone steak. They had started chatting casually over the ketchup dispenser at the snack bar. He asked her if she was coming to Nantucket for a vacation. And Adrienne had laughed and said, Hardly. I need a job. I need money. If it's money you want, the man had said, the Blue Bistro is where you should go. I don't work in restaurants, Adrienne had said. I work in hotels. At the front desk. I'm a hotel person. There's a hotel down the street from the bistro, the man had said. He paused, wet his lips. But, like I said, if it's money you want . . . Adrienne walked to the North Beach Extension, stopping twice for directions. The road was quiet. There were a few houses along the way but most of them were still boarded up; one had a crew of painters working. Then, to the right, Adrienne saw a parking lot and a one-story cedar-shingled building with a green slate roof, all by itself on a stretch of windswept beach. Adrienne stopped in the road. This was the restaurant. The hotel, as the man on the ferry had described it, was down the street on the left. She should go to the hotel. But then she caught a scent of roasting meat and she thought about money. She decided it couldn't hurt to check the place out. A sign taped to the front door read: the blue bistro, opening for its final season june 1st. Adrienne perused the menu. The food was expensive, it sounded delicious, and her stomach complained. She'd trekked halfway across the island without any breakfast. She peered in the dark window, wondering what she might say. She had never worked in a restaurant before; she knew nothing about the business except that it was, prostitution aside, the quickest way to make money. She supposed she could lie and say that she'd waited tables in college. She could pick up the skills once she started. Kyra, her desk manager at the Little Nell, had told her that waiting tables was a piece of cake. Nantucket had been Kyra's idea. After the whole disaster with Doug, Kyra suggested that Adrienne get as far away from the Rocky Mountains as possible. If it's money you want, Nantucket is where you should go. Adrienne tried the door. Locked. She tapped on a windowpane. Hello? She felt like the Little Match Girl, hungry andHilderbrand, Elin is the author of 'Blue Bistro' with ISBN 9780312319533 and ISBN 0312319533.