Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer
Publication Date : May 26th 2020
Publisher : Ballantine Books
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Pages : 320
From star-crossed matches to unexpected love triangles, summer on Nantucket always holds the promise of romance in this sensational novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.
Lisa Hudson feels more alive than she has in a long time after hiring hunky carpenter Mack Whitney to renovate her old Nantucket home. There’s no denying the spark growing between them–despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior. But her twentysomething children, Juliet and Theo, on the island for the summer, worry that the new relationship will only lead to Lisa’s heartbreak.
Yet Juliet and Theo are in for tangled love stories all their own. When dreamy Cooper Hastings moves to the island to pursue a new environmental venture, Juliet feels an unwelcome attraction, her rocky romantic history pushing her to steer clear of love. Theo only has eyes for Mack’s daughter, Bethany, with whom he was bound by an unspeakable tragedy in high school–but can they overcome their past? By August, when an impending storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, everyone discovers what they can and cannot control. Nancy Thayer dazzles again with this new tale of a magical summer.
*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***
Girls of Summer was heartwarming and feel good women’s fiction that revolved around Lisa Hawley. It was about family, love, complicated relationship, unpleasant past, loneliness, companionship, hopes, dreams, and marine environment issues.
Writing was phenomenal and gripping. It was multiple third person narrative from Lisa, Juliet, Theo, and Beth’s perspective that made it easy to know them better, their life at Nantucket island, and what they each think about their feelings and situation.
Plot was simple and yet interesting. It was character driven story. Girls of Summer was, like title says, three women’s life and love story but men played equally important role. All characters were realistic and relatable, and they each had gone through a lot, were still scarred from the past but as story progressed, they developed gradually and learned to embrace life and love.
Lisa was 58 years old, mother of two adult children-Theo and Juliet- and successful business woman. But her journey was not pleasant. First few chapters were her backstory– her relationship with her parents, her childhood and friends at Nantucket, how she met her pathetic, pretentious husband, her suffocating married life and how that husband cheated on her and left her and children. It was biggest blow to her heart, soul and confidence, left her not wanting to date any man for life. Thank to her friend Rachel who pushed her back on her feet and now she was successful woman but when it came to her love life and body she still doubted herself. Ghost of her husband’s barbed words still haunted her until Mac came in her life. But there was age difference issue and she wasn’t ready for another heart break. I’m glad how she eventually she gave it chance, stood for herself, and bloomed in this lovely relationship.
Mac was 48 years old who lost his wife when his daughter was just 3 years old. He was handsome restoration carpenter who dated only few times but didn’t find someone special until he met Lisa and started working in her house. I loved his love for island and his work, how he loved to preserve the history of island by being in restoration rather than working for big company that demolished old historical buildings and built modern big houses. I admired him for being serious and upfront and how he made Lisa feel what she deserved- love, admiration and respect.
Mac and Lisa’s relationship wasn’t that easy. Small town community gossiped about their age difference and their children too worried about it. Moreover, their past life made it more complicated. Romance between them was slow and we don’t know if they are going to make it official or not until climax.
Natalie had job in tech company. She was brilliant at building websites and life was good until she too tasted bitterness of betrayal that made her want to spend summer with her mom at Nantucket where she met Ryder Hastings, environmental scientist working on his new organization Ocean Matters and was starting a branch on island. Spark between them was instant but Natalie was not sure if she can trust a man who was like her father- rich with old money and travelled a lot because of work- moreover, he was 10 years older. Her confidence and self-worth was wounded because of absent father and betrayal. She feared she wouldn’t be enough for him. It was interesting to find out what she would do and if Ryder really loved her and we don’t know about it until climax.
Theo was 2 years younger than Natalie. He wasn’t smart like Natalie and absence of father figure affected him more than he let on. Suicide of his best friend, Atticus, was biggest blow in life that sent him away from home. He was surfer. He didn’t trust himself with any job except surfing but after accident he didn’t want to get back to surfing. When he arrived back to Nantucket he acted like a teen expecting his mother to do all chores but then he started helping Mac’s crew and enjoyed the work. When it came to his mother’s relationship, he was more mature than Natalie and Beth. He supported Lisa most even though he knew what would it mean for him and Beth.
Beth was Mac’s daughter and she loved Theo from the beginning, even when she was dating his best friend. Now all her decisions were bit weird. She thought Theo was out of her league and wouldn’t want to be with her so she date Atticus. Her reasons sounded bit silly, I mean why wouldn’t you just talk to the guy and then Atticus’s suicide sent her to guilt trip. When she knew Theo was back, her buried feelings rushed back. But when she knew her father was dating Lisa, she acted childishly, was being cold to Lisa, and thought it was end to hers and Theo’s chance of dating. She was working for Ocean Matters and moved to Ryder’s garage house after raw with her father. You see where this was going. She was not my favourite character.
I wasn’t expecting of environmental issues when I started this book. It was unique and well written. Climax was interesting with all characters at different places during storm, helping each other and islanders with tension between relationships and uncertainty of outcome. I liked how their decision strengthened after fighting the storm. End was perfect.
Why 4 stars-
I didn’t like the way Lisa and Mac’s children switched from dislikes and disagreement to understanding and ‘it doesn’t matter’ attitude. One minute they didn’t want their parents together, act selfishly and next all of sudden they support parents’ relationship and didn’t mind if they have relationship to possible step-brother/sister!
Girls of Summer was feel good and enjoyable summer read with interesting character and setting. I recommend this to fans of women’s fiction.Tweet
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this book and my review, have you read this book already or going to add it to TBR. Which is your favourite set on island?
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