Friday, June 10, 2022

Book Review: Summer Love by Nancy Thayer

Pages: 304
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 3, 2022
Publisher: Ballantine
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Old secrets come to light when four friends gather on Nantucket for a life-changing reunion in this heartwarming novel of love and self-discovery by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer. When four strangers rent bargain-basement rooms in an old hotel near the beach, they embark on the summer of their lives. First there's Ariel Spencer, who has big dreams of becoming a writer and is looking for inspiration in Nantucket's high society. Her new friend Sheila Murphy is a good Catholic girl from Ohio whose desire for adventure is often shadowed by her apprehension. Then there's small-town Missourian Wyatt Smith, who's immediately taken with Ariel. The last of the four, Nick Volkov, is looking to make a name for himself and have a blast along the way. Despite their differences, the four bond over trips to the beach, Wednesday-night dinners, and everything that Nantucket has to offer. But venturing out on their own for the first time, with all its adventure and risks, could change the course of their lives. Twenty-six years after that amazing summer, Ariel, Sheila, Wyatt, and Nick reunite at the hotel where they first met. Now it's called The Lighthouse and Nick owns the entire operation with his wife and daughter. Ariel and Wyatt, married for decades, arrive with their son, and Sheila's back too, with her daughter by her side. Life hasn't exactly worked out the way they had all hoped. Ariel's dreams have since faded and been pushed aside, but she's determined to rediscover the passion she once had. Nick has the money and reputation of a successful businessman, but is it everything he had hoped for? And Sheila has never been able to shake the secret she's kept since that summer. Being back together again will mean confronting the past and finding themselves. Meanwhile, the next generation discovers Nantucket: Their children explore the island together, experiencing love and heartbreak and forging lifelong bonds, just as their parents did all those years ago. It's sure to be one unforgettable reunion.This delightful novel from beloved storyteller Nancy Thayer explores the potential of dreams and the beauty of friendship."


Four strangers have one thing in common: they are all renting a cheap room at an old hotel near the beach on the beautiful island of Nantucket. There's Ariel, who has high hopes for herself as she plans to become a writer, and there's Sheila, from Ohio, who hopes to make some money, and find some adventure this summer before settling down. Then there's Nick, who is here to make connections with the wealthy, and Wyatt, who is trying to branch out a bit by working on the island this summer. Wyatt immediately has a connection with Ariel. All four are very different, but living together has brought them closer, especially those Wednesday night dinners, escapades on the beach, and dealing with the ins and outs of dating on the island. There's nothing quite like college aged adults living on the island for one magical summer. Fast forward almost thirty years and it's the same group of people returning to the island, but this time with their families in tow. Nick opened a hotel on the island and invited the old gang to stay. However, have things turned out the way they planned? Nick is successful, but is he happy? Ariel isn't a writer, so what went wrong? She did end up with Wyatt after all.  Sheila brings her daughter and readers can't help but wonder if she is happy, especially when she thinks back to that one fateful summer on the island and the secret she has been keeping for years. Nancy Thayer's Summer Love is a quiet type of beach read; it's one that is perfect for vacation and promises romance, friendship, and a gorgeous setting.

I really liked all four characters that Thayer put together in the basement of The Sand Palace, an old hotel on Nantucket. While they are all different, they have came together and supported one another when needed in Summer Love. I found each character equally compelling and since Thayer jumps from "That Summer" in the past to "This Summer" many years later, it was interesting to see how the adults got to this particular point in their lives.  

One thing Thayer always does well is describe Nantucket beautifully. I felt like I was there when reading Summer Love. From the dinners at amazing restaurants, or just a six pack of beer on the beach, it was a nice escape that made me dream of one day visiting Nantucket. Regarding the time period, I did prefer "That Summer" to "This Summer" in that I found that the characters presented in the past were more compelling then they are in the future, even when the point of view was from their children. That was my only issue with the novel in that I was leaning more towards the historical timeline story than the present day.

What I like about Summer Love is the fact that it's a quintessential beach read. There's romance, a gorgeous setting, some mild drama, but nothing horrific happens and it's comforting in that it's mostly predictable. You know how things end for the characters, but it's the journey to get there that's delightful. You can count on Summer Love to be a solid beach read that is much like watching your favorite comforting TV show...the kind you curl up with at the end of a long day.

Are you a fan of Nancy Thayer? Have you read Summer Love? Is it on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 




  1. The setting does sound incredible! If you couldn't get away on your own vacation, this sounds like it would definitely transport you.

    1. Yes, it definitely made me want to plan a trip to Nantucket---never been! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs