Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: Island Girls by Nancy Thayer (audio)

Title: Island Girls   
Author: Nancy Thayer      
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell  
Published: June 2013, Random House Audio   
Length: 10 hours   
Source:  Library

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.

My thoughts: Nancy Thayer is quickly becoming another of my go-to authors. I just love her books and find that they are great on audio. Much like Elin Hilderbrand, she sets most of her books on Nantucket, a place that is quickly becoming my favorite book-vacation spot. As I have yet to go to this charming island, I love to live vicariously through the characters that get to live there!

This novel takes a look at the complications that often arise in a blended family. Three sisters - really half-sisters/step-sisters - who have never really had strong relationships with each other are brought together as adults after the death of their father. Stipulated in his will is that they live together in his house on Nantucket for three months in order to get their inheritance. Sounds pretty simple - take a few months off, live in a beautiful house and enjoy each other's company, right? Wrong!

Despite being 'sisters', these three women have hardly had much contact in recent years. Now forced to live together, all going in with the idea that the money at the end will be worth it, they realize this summer will be much more than what they anticipated. Each sister is also dealing with her own set of problems and issues that they end up confronting during the course of the summer. 

Having two sisters myself, I could appreciate the dynamics between these sisters. Slowly, we learn about each one and watch they let their guards down and rebuild the relationships they once had. As the summer progresses, secrets come out, a mystery is solved and the three are able to gather their mothers at the house for some hard truths. And, just as you think all is settled, another surprise pops up.

I really enjoyed this and can't wait to listen to my next Nancy Thayer book. She is another author who's books scream summer reading and is now going on my must-read list!

Audio Thoughts: Cassandra Campbell is one of my favorite narrators. I just love listening to her voice and she did a great job with this audio. Each character had their own unique voice and I felt she was able to give each sister's story just the right amount of compassion. 



  1. Ooh, this is going on my Audible wish list. I love novels about sisters - and the setting is a bonus!

  2. I bet they made a great combo. Cassandra is really good at any contemporary setting :)

  3. Oh this sounds great! I love sister books and this sounds really fun. I haven't read any Thayer though I think I've seen her books around. Thanks for the review! This is definitely going on my wishlist.


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