Friday, June 3, 2016

(48)The Island House by Nancy Thayer



Courtney Hendricks has been spending summers on Nantucket with the Vickerey family for years.  Ever since Courtney and Robin first met as college roommates.  Courtney wasn't the only visitor to The Island House.  In fact there were often so many other children floating around the Nantucket house that Susanna Vickerey called them her summer children". Years have passed since Courtney & Robin graduated college and everybody is gathering again for Susanna's birthday.  Courtney has mixed feelings about the reunion.  Last summer Robin's handsome brother, James, professed to have feelings for Courtney. And just last night on her way to the airport an old childhood friend from her hometown in Kansas, Monty, also professed to have feelings for Courtney.  She has always had a crush on James, but they have differing opinions on having children.  It frustrates Courtney to no end, but is it enough to push her into the arms of another man?   Courtney's feelings are put to the test when a horrible accident jeopardizes the man she loves.  Which man will she choose and will her choice be too late?

I love me some Nantucket stories, but The Island House seemed awully reminiscent of old Harlequin novels that I used to waste my summer reading back in high school. Courtney seems to be a bit of a petulant brat about a couple of different topics.  Her behavior with James was enough to make me want to slap her silly.  James had very valid reasons for not wanting biological children, yet Courtney was so opposed to the idea of IVF or adoption that her reaction was almost comical. No, not comical, soap opera-ish.   Her storming out yelling "I hate you" was worthy of an eye-roll.   Then there is the brooding, handsome rancher from Kansas who dropped everything to fly to Nantucket and force Courtney to come to her senses. Another eye-roll there. I enjoyed that Courtney was from KC.  There were a lot of references to familiar places to me and I did enjoy that.  In fact, everything about this novel felt very familiar, like I had read it before.  Past Nancy Thayer novels seem a lot more light-hearted than The Island House, even with the kitschy nostalgic feeling there wasn't really anything "fluffy" about The Island House.  

Bottom line - as much as I love Nancy Thayer, I was torn about The Island House.  While I enjoyed the nostalgic feeling that nagged me while reading this book, I was disappointed with the fact that I felt as if I were reading a trashy romance novel from the 90's.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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