Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review: The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer (audio)

Title: The Guest Cottage   
Author: Nancy Thayer       
Narrator: Janet Metzger  
Published: May 2015, Brilliance Audio  
Length: 10 hours 50 minutes  
Source: Publicist 

Sensible thirty-six-year-old Sophie Anderson has always known what to do. She knows her role in life: supportive wife of a successful architect and calm, capable mother of two. But on a warm summer night, as the house grows quiet around her and her children fall asleep, she wonders what’s missing from her life. When her husband echoes that lonely question, announcing that he’s leaving her for another woman, Sophie realizes she has no idea what’s next. Impulsively renting a guest cottage on Nantucket from her friend Susie Swenson, Sophie rounds up her kids, Jonah and Lacey, and leaves Boston for a quiet family vacation, minus one.

Also minus one is Trevor Black, a software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife. Trevor is the last person to imagine himself, age thirty and on his own, raising a little boy like Leo—smart and sweet, but grappling constantly with his mother’s death, growing more and more closed off. Hoping a quiet summer on the Nantucket coast will help him reconnect with Leo, Trevor rents a guest house on the beautiful island from his friend Ivan Swenson.

Best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they’ve mistakenly rented the same house. Still, determined to make this a summer their kids will always remember, the two agree to share the Swensons’ Nantucket house. But as the summer unfolds and the families grow close, Sophie and Trevor must ask themselves if the guest cottage is all they want to share.

Inspiring and true to life, The Guest Cottage is Nancy Thayer at her finest, inscribing in graceful, knowing prose matters of the heart and the meaning of family.

My thoughts: I have really come to enjoy Nancy Thayer's books and find that they are great on audio. Much like Elin Hilderbrand's books, they tend to be set on Nantucket, the one place I hope to get to and long for even more after reading these books!

This latest book is quite endearing. While it starts off with a rather traumatic event for Sophie - her husband of 16 years wanting a divorce, it then focuses on the ease of summer and remembering to take each day as it comes and enjoying what you have. Sophie decides not to tell her two children right away about the divorce, but rather takes advantage of her friend's offer to rent out a guest house on Nantucket for the summer. The problem arises when she comes to find out that Trevor has also rented out the same guest cottage for the same time period with his young son. Can they stay in this cottage together?

I loved the interactions between Sophie and Trevor seeing how their relationship developed over time. She was still reeling from the idea of getting a divorce and was totally caught up on the age difference between her and Trevor, but he does not see that as a problem. I also loved the interactions between Sophie and Trevor's son, Leo - they were completely heartwarming. Leo definitely stole the show at times!

This is a great summer read. It's light and fun, with some substance to it. It reminds us that family is what we make it. It reminds us that what's on the surface isn't always what's underneath, that sometimes we need to dig a little deeper to find out what's really there. There are great characters and a good story to keep you entertained, plus the setting will just put you in a great summery mind frame.

Audio Thoughts: This was a great book to listen to and I thought Janet Metzger did a good job with all the voices. I've listened to her before and enjoy her work. 



  1. I'm hearing good things about this book and want to try it. Thanks for letting us know that the audio is well done. :-)

  2. This sounds very "listenable", Mary. It would make a lovely summer read (or listen). Terrific review!

  3. I enjoyed reading this one. I haven't listened to Janet Metzger I believe, but will keep an eye out for her narrations. Always good to know when they do it well.


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