Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer

Pages: 352
Pub. Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: Adult Fiction
Source: Goodreads First Reads
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "When Maggie and Emily meet as girls on the Nantucket beach, they are instant best friends—even though Emily's mother would much prefer she play with the daughters of senators and statesmen than a seamstress's kid like Maggie. But after many golden summers spent building sandcastles and sharing their dreams for the future, Emily and Maggie grow apart. In her twenties, beautiful and spirited Emily worries she'll never amount to more than the glittering wife of a successful husband, while hardworking redheaded Maggie scrimps and saves her pennies, wondering if she'll ever have the luxury of a passionate romance. It seems they have little in common…until Cameron Chadwick appears on the island. A wealthy Midwestern charmer, Cameron takes moonlit walks on the dunes with Maggie and whisks Emily away to New York City for lavish nights on the town. When both women discover they're pregnant, it looks like the end of their already-distant friendship. But as Maggie and Emily struggle to decide what their lives will be, they realize more than ever before how very much they need a friend."
Emily and Maggie are from two different worlds. Emily's family is wealthy and has a beautiful home on the bluff of Nantucket, whereas Maggie is a "local" on the island and she lives with her mother and brother in a small cottage.  Emily's family associates with only the finest families in Nantucket and don't necessarily approve of Emily's friendship with the the daughter of the island's seamstress.  Nonetheless, the girls are the best of friends and spend every summer on Nantucket in their idyllic world, a world which they both love so much.  As the years go by, the girls still keep in touch and the summer before college, Emily starts to have feelings for Maggie's good looking brother, Ben.  Their romance gets serious even though Emily knows her parents want her to marry for status.  While in graduate school at a wedding, she meets Cameron Chadwick whom instantly catches her eye. He's everything her parents wanted for her and more, but what about Ben, her first love from Nantucket?  To complicate matters worse, Cameron meets Maggie while going to a New Year's Eve party on Nantucket that she happens to be working at.  He finds himself asking her out on a date and the web of lies becomes even more sticky once Maggie realizes what she has gotten herself into.  Nancy Thayer's Nantucket Sisters is a fluffy beach read. Even though it had me rolling my eyes numerous times and the coincidences were too good to be true, I kept coming back for more, because I can't deny that it's pure summertime entertainment.

I found myself genuinely interested in the character of Maggie in Nantucket Sisters. She is fun loving, an aspiring writer, and a "local" girl with plans to be more.  I liked her spunk and drive. She didn't want to get tied down to a guy and even turned away Nantucket's favorite bachelor in order to focus on herself and her writing. You have to give her credit there.  She really got herself into a bad situation with Cameron though, but learned to make the best it, which I appreciated.  I found myself gravitating to her storyline a bit more than Emily's.

Emily, although she remained steadfast friends with poor girl Maggie, and was in a long-term relationship with Maggie's brother Ben, she was still living in a completely different world than the "locals." Emily's family is extremely wealthy and while at a fancy wedding, she meets Cameron, who sweeps her off her feet.  From the get-go, I knew he was bad news, but she was like a moth to the flame even though she still loved Ben.  Things with Ben were complicated, so she drifted towards Cameron during this time.  Then things really go downhill for Emily when she finds herself pregnant and she doesn't know if it's Ben's child or Cameron's.  It was really sort of something out of Jerry Springer, if you ask me.  I was sort of saying to myself…Really? This is happening? Needless to say, Emily doesn't handle it in a good way and in turn, she finds herself even more unhappy as the plot thickens in Nantucket Sisters.

One issue I had with Nantucket Sisters was the third person narration. I found it to be jarring and it made me feel disconnected from the story various times due to this.  This was my main complaint as well as some major events in the story that I had difficulty believing….let's just say too much coincidence for me.  

So, what was so great about Nantucket Sisters? The setting of Nantucket. Thayer does a great job bringing Nantucket to life. I wanted to be whisked away and go visit this beautiful island for the weekend. It's truly a perfect setting for a beach read and my favorite aspect of the book. Another aspect of Nantucket Sisters that I enjoyed is the fact that part of this book takes place while Emily and Maggie are young. Being the lover of young adult literature that I am, I liked following the characters as children straight through to adulthood.  Getting a glimpse into their idyllic summer life as children on Nantucket helped me to understand how important the island is to both girls. 

So, if you are looking for mind-candy this summer, look no further. Nantucket Sisters is fluffy and fun with a gorgeous setting.  Be forewarned: you must suspend your disbelief and let go of coincidences numerous times while reading and if you can, you'll be entertained.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a Nantucket beach read with a just a little more substance, I would recommend Hilderbrand's The Island or Beautiful Day.  


15 comments:

  1. I think I'd read this book solely for the setting of it! Isn't it beautiful when an author can really bring the setting alive? Nantucket is gorgeous, so that doesn't hurt either! While I'm not so sure about the narration, I think this is one I'll definitely give a chance down the road. Lovely review, Christina!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! Thayer did a wonderful job bringing Nantucket to life. I SO want to visit now. The narration really annoyed me, but it didn't stop me from reading the book in its entirety…a fun beach read most definitely. I hope you get to read it! Thanks for visiting, Melissa!

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  2. I love that cover of the book! I really like the sound of the characters. They seem so well-developed. I have to say that I'm just a little bit conflicted about the romance. I'm not sure I would be able to deal with that. I do love the sound of the setting though. It seems like it's gorgeously written and I can tell I would enjoy the writing.
    I'm glad you liked this one, Christina.
    Lovely review! :)

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    1. The setting is the BEST part of this book. Thayer did a brilliant job bringing Nantucket to life. The romance wasn't really my thing in this book, but there was sure a lot of drama, which made for a great beach read. :) Thanks for dropping by, Nick!

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  3. Oh, I don't blame you one bit. I'm a sucker for this kind of romance, so for sure, I'll be greedy to read more. Nothing too original, sure. But it sounds lovely just the same. :)

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    1. It is definitely is a fun beach read…and I am sucker for those! Thanks for visiting!

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  4. The setting sounds wonderful (and love that the story follows the MC's from childhood to adulthood), but I think the story sounds a bit too over-the-top for my tastes.

    Thanks for the review! :)

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    1. It's definitely over-the-top and that's a great way to describe it. It really only works if you are letting your brain veg a bit and are at the beach, if you follow me. :) Thanks for visiting, Lea!

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  5. I thought this would be the perfect summer read for me because of the Nantucket setting - but I can fail to connect with third-person narration too. Still, sounds like a fun and fluffy summer read!

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    1. I know! The 3rd person narration really either works for me right off the bat or not at all and I struggled with this one. It's definitely fluffy and fun though--a poolside or beach read for sure! Thanks for dropping by, Leanna!

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  6. I have an ARC of this for review but now I'm not so sure I will like it. I've been disappointed with this author's books before. Thanks for your review!

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    1. I've heard this author is hit or miss….you definitely have to be in the mood for this one…like if you need a fluffy vacation read, otherwise, some of the novel's issues may irritate you. Thanks for checking out my review, Christina!

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    2. I liked one of her books and hated another so I was kind of unsure about this and I requested it anyway.

      I think it will go to the very bottom of my TBR pile for now :)

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  7. I have never read anything by this author despite the fact that her covers are always really cute and beach-y. I do want to give her a try sometime, but this one doesn't sound like the book for me. I just haven't been in the mood for unrealistic books lately--and the whole who's the daddy plot line sounds...not great. I do love Nantucket as a setting, though. I haven't read either of the Elin Hilderbrands you mentioned, but have read Castaways and Summerland. Great review!

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    1. The whole baby daddy plot line was nauseating for me, but the setting of Nantucket made it worthwhile. You just have to be in the mood for fluff when picking up this one. I love Elin Hilderbrand. I have only read two or three of her books, but I find them to be fantastic beach reads…I think I like her a bit more than Thayer, but I plan on reading one more Thayer before I officially decide. :) Thanks for dropping by, Natalie.

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