Book Review: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer

Nantucket Sisters
Nancy Thayer

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I picked up this beach read to cross off another square on my summer reading bingo card. The squares are filling up and I’ll share the final results next month. Maybe I’ll win the staff prize!

Okay, so this is going to be a light review and I’m going to make a video with some different comments, to tie into my special Beach Read episode of Read React Decide. Stay tuned for that. I’ll link it to this post eventually.

Look at this cover! I loved it. I felt like I was right there on the beach and could imagine a book or two in the bag. This very fast read, despite its 334 pages, is about two women who become friends on Nantucket as five-year-olds. Emily Porter’s parents are wealthy New Yorkers and summer on the island. Their Nantucket house is beautiful. Maggie McIntyre is a local. They have no money and live in a cramped fisherman’s shack that’s been converted into a cottage. Emily’s father deserted them so it’s just Emily, her brother, Ben and their mom.

The story spans more than twenty years, during which the girls grow up, go to college and develop romantic relationships. At the center of the story is Ben. Emily’s girlhood crush on her best friend’s brother develops into a full-blown romance, but the big problem is money. Emily is used to the finer things and Ben can’t provide them. And he’s pretty chippy about it. Meanwhile, Maggie rejected her high school love interest and her geeky best guy friend has moved away. She swears off men for now because she wants to be a writer.

Everything changes when Cameron Chadwick, a loaded Wall Street trader, comes on the scene. His effect on both Emily and Maggie makes for a lot of trouble. Thayer’s task is to figure out how the women (and a hurt Ben) can untangle the mess that results.

I enjoyed this story, but there’s nothing deep here. All the characters are gorgeous, talented and they all go to great colleges. There’s also a lot of insta-love and a good dose of totally unrealistic situations in these pages. But, it’s a soap opera in a book and you have to go into it with that in mind. It’s pure entertainment. Readers looking for realistic situations and character studies will not enjoy Nantucket Sisters unless they leave those expectations behind.

Thayer does a great job describing Nantucket. I enjoyed imagining the houses and landscape. She also explains the challenges the island faces as overdevelopment threatens the environment, tying her characters to these ideas.

So now I’ve read a few beach reads. I recently read The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons which was also a fast read, but the characters did not appeal to me. I thought Nantucket Sisters was more enjoyable. I listened to the audiobook version of The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand a few years ago and liked it the most because I felt it had more substance.

Do you read beach reads? What ones would you recommend?

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On YouTube – Special Beach Reads episode of Read, React, Decide!

Hi Everyone,

I’m over on YouTube today with a special Beach Reads episode of Read, React, Decide! Which Beach Read will I pick? Watch to find out!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Audiobook Review: The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand

The Perfect Couple
Elin Hilderbrand

(3.75 stars rounded up to a 4)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Even though summer is over, I decided to try one of Elin Hilderbrand’s popular beach reads. I listened to the audiobook version of The Perfect Couple. This is the third book of the author’s Nantucket Series and, although I hadn’t read the first two, the story is very easy to follow as a standalone.

Set on Nantucket, Massachusetts, the story begins on the eve of Celeste Otis and Benji Winbury’s wedding and it’s a classic story of the stark contrast between the wealthy and regular folks. Benji’s parents are English and dripping in money. His mother, Greer, is a famous mystery writer and his father, Tag made his money in a vaguely-described investment career. Benji sits on some boards and lives in a penthouse apartment in Manhattan, with a trust fund coming his way. Celeste, however, comes from much more modest beginnings in Easton, Pennsylvania. Now she is the head herpetologist at the Bronx Zoo’s World of Reptiles. Her parents, Bruce and Karen, work every day jobs: Bruce in the men’s department at Nieman Marcus and Karen at the Crayola factory gift shop.

The Winburys are revered and established vacationers on Nantucket and the lavish wedding will take place at their Summerland retreat by the sea. Karen Otis is dying of breast cancer, Greer has taken over the wedding plans, and money is no object.

Guests arrive for the rehearsal dinner and are greeted with plenty of lobster, oysters, fancy hors d’oeuvres and strong drinks, prelude to a fancy dinner. As the alcohol flows, things begin to happen. But despite drama between various characters, all systems are go for the wedding until a shocking death halts the plans.

As details emerge, Chief of Police Ed Kapenash investigates and several guests are under suspicion. Between Kapenash’s investigations and alternating chapters in which the reader learns how Celeste and Benji meet and the back stories of both families, Hilderbrand challenges the reader to come up with a definition of the perfect couple.

The Perfect Couple is a true beach read as well as a light mystery, told in an expected soap opera format. Stereotyped characters and lots of references to brands, fashion, food and local attractions are a given. This story is in the pure entertainment category, with some touching moments and more serious themes, including love, family, and friendship. I enjoyed listening to this story and recommend it when you’re looking for something light and fun.

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2020 Beach Reads

Photo by Jonas Ferlin on

Hey Everyone!

I’m heading to the beach soon for a quick day trip. Now I’m trying to decide whether to bring my Kindle, which is packed with new books, or a paperback so I don’t have to worry about sand and surf.

Meantime, there are plenty of great book recommendations out there so take a look at what these bloggers are saying:

Grab Some Sun and a Book: Ten Beach Reads from Plucked from the Stacks

Summer Beach Reads 2020 from Sunshine and Books

Top 5 Summer Reads! from Books and Co.

And who can resist checking out a book that’s actually titled Beach Read? See what two of my favorite bloggers have to say about this new book by Emily Henry:

Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies

What good beach reads have you discovered this summer? Leave a comment below!

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The paperback display at the grocery store

What is it about the paperback display at my grocery store? It’s so enticing! I’m not usually an impulse buyer, but these books are calling me over. They’re telling me that this is a right-now, must-buy situation. Just look at the titles and the covers. Some shiny, some matte, the images all together, lined up row upon row, jammed close together. They tell me I need a bunch!

They promise something, don’t they? I know what it is. It’s guilt-free indulgence, escape, vicarious living, thrills, suspense, mystery, romance.

And they’ll fit perfectly in my hand or in my bag. I can crack their spines and no one will care. I can take them to the beach (or in the bathtub) and if they get sandy or wet, well who cares, right?

I’ve already read a few of these and know about some others. I think there’s room in my cart!

I think I’d get Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben, The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman and Those Girls by Chevy Stevens. Which ones would you pick?

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