Friday, December 17, 2021

Book Review: An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer

Pages: 224
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Ballantine
Source: Personal Copy
Other Books By Author:  Let it Snow,
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "In this enchanting holiday novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer, family and friends gather on Nantucket for a gorgeous winter wedding with plenty of merry surprises in store.  As Christmas draws near, Felicia returns to her family’s home on the island to marry her adventurous, rugged boyfriend, Archie. Every detail is picture-perfect for a dream wedding: the snow-dusted streets, twinkling lights in the windows, a gorgeous red and white satin dress. Except a lavish ceremony is not Felicia’s dream at all; it’s what her mother, Jilly, wants. Jilly’s also worried that her daughter’s life with daredevil Archie will be all hiking and skydiving. Wondering if their handsome neighbor Steven Hardy might be a more suitable son-in-law, Jilly embarks on a secret matchmaking campaign for Felicia and the dashing stockbroker. As the big day approaches and Jilly’s older daughter, Lauren, appears with rambunctious kids in tow, tensions in the household are high. With the family careening toward a Yuletide wedding disaster, an unexpected twist in Nancy Thayer’s heartwarming tale reminds everyone about the true meaning of the season."


Jilly and George live on the beautiful island of Nantucket. They are retired grandparents and are helping to plan their youngest daughter's Christmas wedding.  Felicia, the youngest daughter, is adventurous and a Nantucket wedding isn't exactly what she planned, but she knows it will make her mother happy.  Felicia has always been very different than her prim and proper mother and sister and her free-spirited fiance, Archie, doesn't exactly fit the family's mold of a perfect gentleman.  He is the epitome of an outdoorsman and Felicia's family is a little more traditional. Jilly had always hoped Felicia would end up with her childhood friend, Stephen, who has recently moved back to Nantucket and she would not-so secretly love if Felicia ran into him. To top it off, Jilly, feeling a little lonely, adopts a cat, who proves to be a bit more difficult than she thought this holiday season.  Nancy Thayer's An Island Christmas has everything in it a family holiday story ought to have; fans won't be disappointed.  

I immediately thought Jilly was a meddler in An Island Christmas and while I didn't always agree with her, I did find her antics very amusing.  Whether she was adopting a rambunctious cat, or trying to push her engaged daughter on someone else, or hosting a houseful of boisterous guests, it was all very entertaining.  Instead of trying to control every aspect of things, I wanted Jilly to relax a bit more during the holidays.  She is forced to let go control a bit when her other daughter's family show up, including Archie's mother, and of course Felicia and Archie.  She has a house full of people and it becomes challenging at times. Let's just say there were some major laugh out loud moments involving the cat! I feel like Jilly's struggles are all very relatable though, especially to mothers who try to make things perfect for Christmas.

An Island Christmas is a nice reminder of what truly matters over the holidays. It doesn't matter that you have the perfect tree, or the perfect dinner, etc, and Jilly slowly realizes this and lets go of managing every aspect. If you love a quick, but heartwarming tale that will have you laughing, give Nancy Thayer's An Island Christmas a try. I really enjoyed the family dynamics, the Nantucket setting, and who doesn't love a Christmas wedding?  

Are you a fan of Nancy Thayer? Have you read An Island Christmas? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. Ugh, I can't imagine trying to get my daughter to date someone else while planning her wedding!


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