Thursday, May 18, 2023

Book Review: All the Days of Summer by Nancy Thayer

Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance
Pub. Date: May 2, 2023
Publisher: Ballantine
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Heather Willette has a good life in Concord, Massachusetts--complete with a husband who runs his own business and a son to take up his mantle one day. But now that her marriage has fizzled out and Ross, her only child, is graduating from college and getting serious with his girlfriend, Heather wonders if that life is the one she really wants. Ready to seek out her own happiness and discover herself again, Heather decides to leave her husband and rent a cottage on Nantucket. And her plan is going perfectly--until Ross announces he's moving to Nantucket to work at his girlfriend's family's construction business instead of going back home to work with his own father, like he'd promised. Worst of all for Heather, this means having to get along with her. Kailee Essex is thrilled that Ross is willing to move to her hometown. She has big hopes for their happily ever after, especially now that her parents are finally showing interest in her career. She's less thrilled, however, about his mother living nearby. Kailee has clashed with Heather since the day they met. But anything is possible in the summer sun and sea breezes of Nantucket--even reconciliation. And when change comes sooner than either Heather or Kailee expect, they must learn to overcome their differences to fight for the future they want. With All the Days of Summer, beloved storyteller Nancy Thayer delivers a moving novel that explores the complexity of family and the unexpected ways fate can guide you forward."


Heather Willette has spent the majority of her life working at her family's hardware store in Concord, Massachusetts, raising her son, Ross, and going through the motions in her less than stellar marriage. After Ross graduates from college, she realizes that her marriage is truly over and she decides to do something for herself for once. She rents a cottage on Nantucket for the summer during her divorce. All of her plans fall into place until Ross announces that he isn't moving home for the summer to help his dad at the hardware store, but instead will be moving to Nantucket with his girlfriend, Kailee, and working at Kailee's family's construction business. Cue the drama. This was especially problematic, because Heather didn't know that Ross would be on the island and she didn't want to seem like she was stalking her son. To complicate matters further, Heather has never really hit it off with Kailee and it is clear that Kailee doesn't really want Heather interfering in the slightest. Whether they are ready for it or not, changes are coming for both Heather, Ross, and Kailee this summer on Nantucket and there's a second chance in store for Heather, too, in All the Days of Summer by Nancy Thayer. It's the Hallmark movies of beach reads that begs to be read on vacation.

I enjoyed the character of Heather from the start of All the Days of Summer. I was desperate for her to get out of her marriage, because it was obvious her husband didn't care. While I questioned her finances and the logistics of leaving her life and moving to Nantucket ($$!!) of all places for the summer, I went with it. I mean it is a beach read, so let's not read into it too much. While there, Heather has a second chance at happiness. She walks the beach, helps out in the town, gets involved with a church, starts seeing someone, spends evenings with a good book, and even picks up a part-time job. It seemed everything was falling into place for her (a little too easy if you ask me), but I was rooting for her. However, her interactions with her future daughter-in-law were cringe worthy. Both of them are at fault for this, but this brings me to Kailee.

I did not care for Kailee from the start in All the Days of Summer. She was manipulative, boring, whiny, insecure, and downright rude. I mean the only reason why she even has a job at the successful Nantucket construction company is because she is an Essex, which is Nantucket royalty. Cue my eye roll. She is the very definition of nepotism and I didn't like how she roped Ross into working with her family for the summer. I questioned whether she even really cared for him at all or just liked controlling him. Needless to say, she was annoying pretty much the entire story, but towards the end she does redeem herself slightly.

My favorite aspect of the novel was the Nantucket setting. Thayer lives there and knows Nantucket well, so it was really brought to life. The restaurants, the beaches, the untouched parts of nature, and the downtown atmosphere were all well done. It made me want to plan a trip immediately and I was dreaming of my own Nantucket cottage vacation. My only issue with All the Days of Summer was the dialogue. I felt like Thayer had a difficult time capturing the dialogue of recent college graduates. The banter between Ross and Kailee did not feel authentic; in fact, I can guarantee people don't talk like that in their twenties. It felt like my grandmother wrote the dialogue. 

Nonetheless, All the Days of Summer was a solid beach read about second chances and, ultimately, it was a feel-good read by the end. Fans of Thayer's light beach reads will definitely want to throw this one in their beach bag this summer. So, are you a  fan of Thayer? Is this novel on your TBR list?       



  1. Ooh, bad dialogue is one of my pet peeves. Also, I question why Heather would move for the summer to the exact place where her son's girlfriend's family lives. Seems like there would be a good chance of running into someone!

  2. Right? I know she didn't expect her son to be on Nantucket, but the thought must have crossed her mind about her son's girlfriend, right? Cue all the drama! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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