The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer

  • the guest cottage (5:12) ballantineTitle:  The Guest Cottage
  • Author:  Nancy Thayer
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  May 2015 – Ballantine Books
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  When Sophie Anderson discovers her husband of sixteen years plans to ask for a divorce she takes up a friend’s offer for her and the two kids to rent a rambling Nantucket cottage for the summer. So she’s completely caught off guard when Trevor Black and his young son arrive at the same time to rent the same cottage. They decide to make the best of the situation and the two families form an unexpected bond. The Guest Cottage is a perfect beach book. It’s about family and love (on a few levels), finding new freedom and moving forward. Nancy Thayer’s descriptive prose made me feel like I was relaxing on one of the Nantucket beaches enjoying a wonderful holiday. Toss this book in the beach bag this summer. You’ll be glad you did!

A Nantucket Christmas: A Novel by Nancy Thayer

a nantucket christmas

  • Title:   A Nantucket Christmas: A Novel
  • Author:   Nancy Thayer
  • Genre:  Fiction; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2013 – Ballantine Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Known for her heartwarming observations of family life, New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer showcases her beloved Nantucket’s snowy off-season in this emotionally gratifying and utterly entertaining story.
 
Holidays on this Massachusetts island are nothing short of magical, from the jolly decorations on the Brant Point lighthouse to the much anticipated Christmas Stroll, in which merry makers promenade through quaint streets adorned with Yuletide cheer. The season’s wonderful traditions are much loved by Nicole Somerset, new to Nantucket and recently married to a handsome former attorney. Their home is already full of enticing scents of pine, baking spices, and homemade pie.
 
But the warm, festive mood is soon tempered by Nicole’s chilly stepdaughter, Kennedy, who arrives without a hint of holiday spirit. Determined to keep her stepmother at arms’ length—or, better yet, out of the picture altogether—Kennedy schemes to sabotage Nicole’s holiday preparations. Nicole, however, is not about to let anyone or anything tarnish her first Christmas with her new husband.
 
Nancy Thayer’s wonderful tale reminds us that this is the season of miracles. Before the gifts are unwrapped, surprise visitors appear, and holiday joy comes to all, both naughty and nice.  (publisher)

My take:  A Nantucket Christmas begins with a heart-tugging, Disneyesque scene of an abandoned dog looking for his family. Then the book moves on to the warm, cozy home of older newlyweds getting ready for their first Christmas together. Their bliss is interrupted with the arrival of a spoiled, immature, very pregnant step-daughter who seems intent on reuniting her father and mother. And then the weather takes a dramatic turn. Oh boy! The drama unfolds at a brisk pace that continues to the very end.

Nancy Thayer’s Nantucket setting is so inviting it made me want to plan an off-season visit! It provides a charming backdrop to the often frantic goings on at the Somerset home.

I liked A Nantucket Christmas but recommend you read it on a calm day when you can curl up in your favorite chair with a warm cup of cocoa. You’ll want to be relaxed in your own world as you read about this particular Christmas.

Expected publication:  Oct. 29, 2013

Summer House by Nancy Thayer

The wealthy Wheelwright family meets each summer at their home on Nantucket. Matriarch Anne (called Nona by everyone) lives there year-round along with her nurse/housekeeper, Glorious. Nona’s granddaughter Charlotte also lives there and maintains a prosperous organic garden. The men (who all work for the family-owned bank in Boston) commute to the island on the weekends while their wives and children move in for the season. This creates an opportunity for plenty of interesting interactions. I enjoyed reading about the multigenerational relationships.

I like Nancy Thayer’s writing. I think she is spot on with her portrayal of extended family dynamics. I come from a large family and I easily related to a few things. Importance is given to the issues involving each main character – and they’re all dealing with some personal struggle.

Thirty-year-old Charlotte isn’t taken seriously by her family and she feels pressured to settle down and marry the right man. Her mother Helen has just discovered a betrayal and is trying to figure out what to do. Nona is feeling every bit of her ninety years. Her days consist mostly of trying to avoid family strife. She dozes during the day and dreams about things that happened in her life (which fills in a lot of family background for the reader). She’s not looking forward to Family Meeting – the annual discussion of family investments, etc. that usually results in disagreements. And then there’s the relationship between Helen’s youngest child Teddy and his father. Worth refuses to believe that Teddy has changed his errant ways. As the book progresses, secrets are revealed and some are life-changing.

Summer House is exactly what I love a novel to be – I found it almost impossible to put down. I recommend it to any fan of Women’s Fiction and anyone looking for a good book to read on vacation (or any other time).

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Nancy Thayer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Hot Flash Club, The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again, Hot Flash Holidays, The Hot Flash Club Chills Out, and Moon Shell Beach. Nancy lives on Nantucket. You can visit her website at www.nancythayer.com.

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion and Ballantine Books for sending the review copy.