Today’s spotlight shines on an ARC from an author I enjoy: Island Girls, by Nancy Thayer.
Intro: Arden’s half-hour television show for Channel Six, a local Boston station, was called Simplify This, which Arden privately knew was a ridiculous title because, really, nothing in life was simple.
She couldn’t remember when she’d last had a vacation, and even when she had a weekend off, she’d worked, tapping away at her laptop or considering DVDs prospective entrants had sent her, or reviewing call sheets or expenses. Even watching television was work because she recorded and savagely studied competing shows, comparing theirs to hers, searching for what she was missing, what she could improve. Reading books and magazines: same thing. Even exercise was work for Arden because she had to keep her thirty-four-year-old body in shape for the merciless cameras that made everyone’s butt look ten inches wider and ten pounds heavier. Same with having her nails and her hair done. She was fairly certain she worked when she slept.
Teaser: Arden didn’t want to intrude on Zoey’s territory, but could she help it if some younger people invited her to simplify their homes? (p. 145)
New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer returns to her beloved Nantucket in a highly emotional, wholly entertaining tale of three sisters forced to confront the past over one event-filled summer on the island.
Charming ladies’ man Rory Randall dies with one last trick up his sleeve: His will includes a calculating clause mandating a summer-long reunion for his daughters, all from different marriages—that is, if they hope to inherit his posh Nantucket house. Relations among the three sisters are sour thanks to long-festering jealousies, resentments, and misunderstandings. Arden, a successful television host in Boston, hasn’t been back to the island since her teenage years, when accusations of serious misbehavior led to her banishment. College professor Meg hopes to use her summer to finish a literary biography and avoid an amorous colleague. And secretive Jenny, an IT specialist, faces troubling questions about her identity while longing for her sisters’ acceptance.
To their surprise, the three young women find their newfound sisterhood easier to trust than the men who show up to complicate their lives. And if that weren’t problematic enough, their mothers descend on the island. When yet another visitor drops by the house with shocking news, the past comes screaming back with a vengeance. Having all the women from his life under his seaside roof—and overseeing the subsequent drama of that perfect storm—Rory Randall might just be enjoying a hearty laugh from above.
Nancy Thayer’s novel insightfully illustrates how the push and pull of family altercations make us whole. It’s how the Randall sisters come to forgive, and learn to open their hearts to love.
So…what do you think? Does it sweep you away like an island getaway? Would you keep reading? Now I’m off to see what everyone else is sharing today.