Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book Review: Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer

Pages: 304
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: July 2, 2019
Publisher:  Ballantine
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Keely Green always dreamed of leaving the beautiful shores of Nantucket to become a writer. Now she’s a bestselling novelist living in New York City, attending glamorous cocktail parties and mingling with the literary elite. Keely is also dating a charming, perfectly fine pediatric surgeon who looks good on paper but isn’t “the one.” She just can’t bear to break it off—until he declares his desire to settle down. Then Keely’s editor rejects her latest novel. With her personal and professional lives suddenly in shambles, Keely longs for the soothing island way of life.  Growing up, Keely and her best friend, Isabelle, were inseparable. Nothing could come between them—except, as it turned out, Keely’s high school boyfriend, Tommy. Returning home would mean facing Isabelle’s bitter betrayal and seeing for herself the family Tommy and Isabelle have created, the life that might have been Keely’s.  But when Keely’s mother falls into a deep depression, Keely knows what she must do, even though she is reluctant to face her estranged friend. And encountering Isabelle’s older brother, Sebastian—Keely’s longtime crush—only complicates things.  In one incredible summer, Keely must confront the mistakes of the past if she has any chance of finding true happiness in the place she will always call home. Nancy Thayer shines yet again in this uplifting tale of forgiveness and self-discovery."

Keely Green has grown up as an only child living in Nantucket. Her life has been rather quiet, except when she is hanging out with her best friend, Isabelle.  Isabelle's life is the polar opposite of Keely's.   She has grown up in a privileged household on Nantucket. Her brother, Sebastian, is one of the most popular and charismatic boys in school.  Although Keely and Isabelle have the love of books in common, their similarities end right about there.  As Keely and Isabelle get older, Keely finds herself drawn to Sebastian, but doesn't want Isabelle to think that she is just like every other girl in school, so she keeps her attraction to him hidden.  As they become teenagers and then adults growing up in a small town, there are problems between the two girls, especially when it comes to boys and competing as aspiring writers.  Fast forward many years and Keely is living in New York as a published author and she has to return home to Nantucket to help her mother and reignite her latest novel she is working on.  This all seems well and good until she has to face Isabelle, Sebastian, and her ex-boyfriend, Tommy.  Nancy Thayer's Surfside Sisters is the kind of beach read I love. It's light, there's family drama, a gorgeous location, and a story of forgiveness between life long friends.

I absolutely adored Keely from the minute I met her in Surfside Sisters. Bookworms will especially love Keely and Isabelle's appreciation for the written word and their desire to be published authors.  Their friendship really warmed my heart, that is until boys became an issue.  Isabelle has always loved Tommy, a James Dean sort of person, who isn't the type of boy that her family would expect her to date.  Things get awkward when he asks Keely to the prom; of course she turns him down, but still.  There's a rift between them now.  Then fast forward many years and Keely is home in Nantucket and Isabelle is at college.  Insert Tommy in the equation and cue the drama.  It doesn't help that they both have a desire to become published authors; nonetheless,  I still really loved their relationship and was always rooting for them to reconcile.

Isabelle is a more complex character in Surfside Sisters. I didn't always agree with her actions, but I still cared about her relationship with Keely.  As Isabelle goes off to college and experiences things without Keely, their friendship falls apart a little.  Instead of supporting one another, they find themselves competing.  While I felt for Isabelle a few times in the novel, overall, she wasn't my favorite character as she just seemed so self-absorbed.  As the years go by, she does get a lot better though as she learns and grows. 

The setting of Nantucket was very well done and it's the perfect location for a beach read. Thayer's descriptions of Nantucket during the off season as well as during summertime are very well done; readers can truly get a grasp on what life is life for locals on an island.  

I liked that Thayer's Surfside Sisters was a light beach read that was ultimately a coming-of-age tale, but it also touched on bigger issues, such as, jealousy, friendship throughout the years, aging parents, forgiveness, and so much more. I have to say this is my favorite of Thayer's that I've read yet.  Are you a fan of Nancy Thayer's beach reads? Let me know in the comments.


  1. I'm always drawn to bookworms, so yes. I'd definitely get along with Keeley. ;)

    1. Me too. She is a great character! Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  2. I don't think I've read any of her books, but I've seen them around and the covers always look perfect for summer!

    1. They really are perfect for the summertime. Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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