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Title: Summer Love
Author: Nancy Thayer
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Page Count: 292
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
Old secrets come to light when four friends gather on Nantucket for a life-changing reunion in this heartwarming novel of love and self-discovery by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.
When four strangers rent bargain-basement rooms in an old hotel near the beach, they embark on the summer of their lives. First there’s Ariel Spencer, who has big dreams of becoming a writer and is looking for inspiration in Nantucket’s high society. Her new friend Sheila Murphy is a good Catholic girl from Ohio whose desire for adventure is often shadowed by her apprehension. Then there’s small-town Missourian Wyatt Smith, who’s immediately taken with Ariel. The last of the four, Nick Volkov, is looking to make a name for himself and have a blast along the way. Despite their differences, the four bond over trips to the beach, Wednesday-night dinners, and everything that Nantucket has to offer. But venturing out on their own for the first time, with all its adventure and risks, could change the course of their lives.
Twenty-six years after that amazing summer, Ariel, Sheila, Wyatt, and Nick reunite at the hotel where they first met. Now it’s called The Lighthouse and Nick owns the entire operation with his wife and daughter. Ariel and Wyatt, married for decades, arrive with their son, and Sheila’s back too, with her daughter by her side. Life hasn’t exactly worked out the way they had all hoped. Ariel’s dreams have since faded and been pushed aside, but she’s determined to rediscover the passion she once had. Nick has the money and reputation of a successful businessman, but is it everything he had hoped for? And Sheila has never been able to shake the secret she’s kept since that summer. Being back together again will mean confronting the past and finding themselves. Meanwhile, the next generation discovers Nantucket: Their children explore the island together, experiencing love and heartbreak and forging lifelong bonds, just as their parents did all those years ago. It’s sure to be one unforgettable reunion.
This delightful novel from beloved storyteller Nancy Thayer explores the potential of dreams and the beauty of friendship.
Summer Love by Nancy Thayer is a women’s fiction novel. The story in Summer Love is one that is told in two timelines, one from the past, twenty six years ago, and one from the present. This is also a novel that changes the point of view between multiple characters in the past and present.
Twenty six years ago in Nantucket four strangers came together for the summer that shaped their lives. Ariel Spencer had come to work in Nantucket for the summer dreaming of one day becoming a writer. Wyatt Smith had his future plans of becoming a scientist. Sheila Murphy was planning her wedding to her longtime sweetheart and Nick Volkov had big dreams of one day owning the world.
Now, those same four friends are now returning to Nantucket all these years later with their children. Nick has made his dreams come true and became a businessman who is now opening a hotel in Nantucket so he invited the others to return. Ariel and Wyatt did marry after their summer together and Sheila went on to become a mother and wife herself and now all four have come to celebrate that summer that started it all.
I’ve read many a novel by author Nancy Thayer and have enjoyed each and every one including Summer Love. Immediately upon beginning to read I feel like I’ve stepped right out onto the island of Nantucket myself and got caught right up into the characters lives. The story unfolded in the past and present simultaneously with the children of the original four having their own coming of age summer right along with their parents before them and I was just as engaged by both timelines. Definitely an author I will continue to return to time and time again.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
I grew up in Kansas, surrounded by prairie, but thirty-five years ago I came to Nantucket to visit a friend who introduced me to the love of my life. Charley and I have now lived on Nantucket for 33 years–year-round, as we say, so I have a special feeling for this island and for the people who come here. I love the island most in the winter when the waves crash dramatically on the shore.
I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English literature from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and I still go to KC often to visit my darling baby sister, who inspires many of the characters in my book. Yes, she is blond, and yes, she is 9 years younger than I am. I still love her.
For a few years, I taught freshman English in several states, and had short stories published in literary reviews. My first novel, Stepping, was published by Doubleday in 1980, and started me off on the career I’ve always wanted. I was a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 1980 and in 2015, I received the RT Career Achievement Award.
I’ve published 30 novels–all available on Amazon–including Secrets in Summer, The Island House, The Guest Cottage, Nantucket Sisters, and Island Girls. A Nantucket Wedding was my 30th. The upcoming Surfside Sisters will be out July, 2019! Champagne for everyone!
When I’m not writing novels–all 30 are available on Amazon–I’m walking the beach with my husband or entertaining our 4 grandchildren & their parents & our friends. All my novels are about family and friendships, which I believe are the foundation of a happy, if complicated, life.