Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book Review: The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer

Pages: 288
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 12, 2015
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Nantucket Sisters, Island Girls
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Sensible thirty-six-year-old Sophie Anderson has always known what to do. She knows her role in life: supportive wife of a successful architect and calm, capable mother of two. But on a warm summer night, as the house grows quiet around her and her children fall asleep, she wonders what’s missing from her life. When her husband echoes that lonely question, announcing that he’s leaving her for another woman, Sophie realizes she has no idea what’s next. Impulsively renting a guest cottage on Nantucket from her friend Susie Swenson, Sophie rounds up her kids, Jonah and Lacey, and leaves Boston for a quiet family vacation, minus one. Also minus one is Trevor Black, a software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife. Trevor is the last person to imagine himself, age thirty and on his own, raising a little boy like Leo—smart and sweet, but grappling constantly with his mother’s death, growing more and more closed off. Hoping a quiet summer on the Nantucket coast will help him reconnect with Leo, Trevor rents a guest house on the beautiful island from his friend Ivan Swenson. Best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they’ve mistakenly rented the same house. Still, determined to make this a summer their kids will always remember, the two agree to share the Swensons’ Nantucket house. But as the summer unfolds and the families grow close, Sophie and Trevor must ask themselves if the guest cottage is all they want to share. Inspiring and true to life, The Guest Cottage is Nancy Thayer at her finest, inscribing in graceful, knowing prose matters of the heart and the meaning of family."
Sophie has always made all the right decisions in life. She supports her husband and his successful career; plus, she takes care of their two children.  Their family has always been blissfully happy together or have they? Sophie finds out her successful architect husband, Zack, has been cheating on her and now wants a divorce. He's in love with his younger colleague and instead of being devastated by this huge blow, Sophie wants to know how it will impact the children. Maybe things weren't so great between them after all? One things she knows is that she needs time to sort this out and thanks to a friend, she is renting a house on Nantucket for two months this summer and bringing along her kids.  The beach fixes everything, right? Once she gets there, someone else is renting the large house as well. A man named Trevor and his young son, Leo.  There's been a mixup with the rental agreement and since both families would be crushed to leave, Sophie and Trevor maturely decide to share the house since it's a McMansion anyway. Plus, how could they decide who stays and who goes if neither party has a rental contract? Trevor is also trying to escape and give an idyllic summer to his fragile son, Leo. You see, his wife has died (drug overdose) and this has left Leo deeply saddened. Trevor is hoping this vacation will help Leo heal, but little did he know it would help him as well.  Two broken families find solace at the beach this summer and possibly even love in Nancy Thayer's The Guest Cottage.

Sophie is an interesting character in The Guest Cottage. While I couldn't necessarily relate to her and how she deals with life, I could appreciate her need to escape for the summer and sort things out. She needs to start living for herself and where better to do that than at the beach? A few things happen at the beach house that would have drove me nuts, but Sophie sort of deals with it by throwing herself back into her old hobby of playing the piano.  She was apparently very good years ago and just started playing again this summer, much to her children's shock.

Trevor is now a single parent and is overwhelmed by his young son, Leo, and is unsure how to help him move on from the untimely death of his mother.  Leo is starting to regress a bit and exhibiting obsessive behaviors, as well as some major tantrums, but being at the beach and with Sophie's family has really helped him cope. I loved this aspect of the novel and how the two families became closer as the summer progressed.

Of course there is an unlikely romance between Sophie and Trevor in The Guest Cottage. Sophie fights it for some time, because she is stuck on the fact that 1) she is still married, but getting a divorce, obviously and b) Trevor is much younger than she is. They definitely can't fight the mutual butterflies and fireworks, but will the timing be right? Sophie's friend comes to visit and she has her sights set on Trevor, which makes things more than awkward. Plus, Sophie has met a more age appropriate man who wants her to go sailing with him on his expensive yacht.  Do Sophie and Trevor even stand a chance?

The setting of the Nantucket was perfect in The Guest Cottage. Sophie cooks many elaborate meals that they eat under the stars with a nice cold glass of beer or wine. There's beach combing, boat trips, lazing in the sand and gazing at the stars. It's a perfect summer setting that Thayer brought to life beautifully.

This isn't serious literature, people. The Guest Cottage is pure mind candy. The kind where everything works out for the better. Everyone, and I mean everyone, gets their happy ending. All the pieces fall into place, which sort of irked me, because life is not like that. But I realized something. Sometimes you need this kind of escapist literature, especially during the summertime. So, if you are looking for a book that's fluffy, set at the beach, and people get their happy endings and so much more, no need to look further than Nancy Thayer's The Guest Cottage. I wanted to stay in Thayer's perfect bubble where everyday is a sunny day beach day with no clouds in sight.


  1. I always feel like Thayer's books sound like the perfect summer reads - but somehow I've never read any of them. I have to fix that soon!

    1. You definitely should! Island Girls was my favorite of hers so far (from what I read!), but this one was pretty adorable as well. Perfect for a light indulgence while on vacation. Thanks for visiting, Leanna!

  2. I think this sounds perfect for a summertime read. I've got it on my TBR list and hopefully I'll get the chance to read it this summer. Nice review!

    1. I hope you get it read it too...can't wait to hear your thoughts. Thanks for dropping by, Christina!

  3. I really, really, really want to read this one on a summer afternoon, Christina! I think I may take it with me on my birthday trip (in July) to the lake house. Thanks so much for sharing your review!!!

    1. Yes! It would be perfect for vacation! Thanks for visiting, Tara!


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