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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