Title: Family Reunion
Author: Nancy Thayer
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Page Count: 304
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
A longtime Nantucket resident is trying to make the best of a lonely summer. Her spirited granddaughter is learning what she wants out of life. Unforgettable surprises await them both in this magical, multigenerational novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.
“Readers come to Nancy Thayer novels for the idyllic Nantucket beaches and lifestyle, but they stay for the characters.”—New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe
Eleanor Sunderland loves living on Nantucket, in a gorgeous cliffside home that has been in her family for decades. Yet this year she can’t help but feel a bit isolated, even as the island begins to come alive with summer tourists and travelers. Her best friend has skipped town on a last-minute cruise, leaving Eleanor feeling lonely and nostalgic about her family’s weekend trips to the island, made less frequently in the years since her husband’s passing. Now, her money-driven children contact her mostly to complain and to beg her to sell her beloved home for a steep payout. Hoping to kick the season off on a good note, Eleanor decides her seventieth birthday may be the perfect occasion for a much-needed reunion.
Fresh off the heels of her college graduation, Eleanor’s dear granddaughter, Ari, has just ended an engagement that felt less like true love and more like a chore. She longs for a change of scenery and to venture far from her parents’ snobbish expectations. Taking advantage of her newfound freedom, she heads to Nantucket to clear her head before graduate school, moving in with her grandmother and taking a job at the local beach camp. As she watches Eleanor begin to form a bond with an old acquaintance, Ari herself becomes completely smitten with a friend’s charming older brother. But just as grandmother and granddaughter fall into a carefree routine, a few shocking discoveries throw them off course, and their ideas of the future seem suddenly uncertain.
Eleanor and Ari make exciting connections, old and new, over the course of an unpredictable, life-changing few months, and learn to lean on each other through every new challenge they face in life and love, in this tale filled with Nancy Thayer’s signature Nantucket magic.
Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer is a contemporary novel with a touch of romance falling firmly in the woman’s fiction genre. This is a multigenerational tale encompassing the family of Eleanor Sunderland, the seventy year old matriarch along with her children and granddaughter.
Eleanor has a beautiful family home on Nantucket and even as she has her seventieth birthday approaching she has no plans of leaving her home or Nantucket. Eleanor’s children has other plans in mind for her though and jump at the opportunity for a visit to try to talk Eleanor into selling when an offer for millions of dollars is on the table.
Eleanor’s granddaughter Ari on the other hand decides that she would love nothing other than spending the next few months on the island with Eleanor. Air’s life is rather up in the air after a break up with her long time fiance so a summer working at a local children’s camp and spending time with her grandmother is just what Air finds that she needs.
When I see a book such as this one with such a beautiful cover I am immediately drawn in and sometimes that doesn’t always work out for me. However, having read a few books by Nancy Thayer previously I had high hopes that this would be as nice on the inside as it was on the outside. This one was definitely full of family drama that pulled me in making the pages fly by as I read although I would warn that some of this family was not so likeable but I did enjoy Eleanor and Ari as they figured out their lives. Not sure I agree on how things wrapped up but that was alright as I still enjoyed reading enough to merit the four stars.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Nancy Thayer is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including Girls of Summer, Let It Snow, Surfside Sisters, A Nantucket Wedding, Secrets in Summer, The Island House, The Guest Cottage, An Island Christmas, Nantucket Sisters, and Island Girls. Born in Kansas, Thayer has been a resident of Nantucket for thirty-five years, where she currently lives with her husband, Charley, and a precocious rescue cat named Callie.