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Estelle: Island Girls by Nancy Thayer

Island Girls by Nancy ThayerIsland Girls by Nancy Thayer ( webfacebook )
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: Random House/Ballantine Books
Pages: 320
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: Nantucket, family secrets, sister, summer
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley.

Summary: Three sisters (two step, one half) are forced to spend 3 months together at their recently deceased father’s house in Nantucket in order for them to inherit the house and sell it off.

Nantucket, Nantucket! This place is all I hear about lately. And rightfully so, it is the perfect setting for a summer novel. Small town, beautiful people, clear skies, bright stars, and gorgeous beaches. I’m always wishing I could jump right into the pages of my book and be right there, alongside the characters.

Despite the serene environment, Island Girls is a bit of a drama fest. (In an addicting way.) Rory, dad to Arden and Meg (different moms) and adopted dad to Jenny, has just passed away and stipulates in his will that the girls must spend three months together at the family house in Nantucket in order for them to be able to sell it and reap the benefits. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Wrong. Very wrong. Back when they were in their early teens, Arden and Meg were “exiled” from the Nantucket house by Rory’s third wife, Justine, after she accused Arden of stealing her necklaces. The sisterhood the three girls had been forming was immediately shut down, and in the recent years, anytime they see each other was as an obligation to their dad.

Now in their 30s, they are all determined to get through the summer without killing each other.

Luckily each of them have some distractions: Arden is looking for a new angle for her TV show (after she was deemed “too old”; shes 34.); Meg is finishing up her May Alcott book, on break from school and standing clear of her feelings for a younger colleague; Jenny hopes to make up for lost years with her sisters and finally find out who her dad is.

Tall orders for three months, don’t you think?

There is something about Island Girls that kept me hanging on every word. The family dysfunction, the cautious friendship growing between the girls, and the most unconventional family reunion near the end; I could not put it down. The novel might not be perfect (the dialogue seemed a little too old for women in their 30s plus there was a fairy tale ending) but I liked how it was a little love letter to Nantucket, the sexy relationship between Meg and Liam, and how these woman did try to make the best out of some crazy situations.

So if you can’t make it up to Nantucket any time soon, Island Girls is the next best thing!

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July 9, 2013 - 1:28 pm

Alexa Y. - Ooh, another book set in Nantucket! I really want to visit after seeing it pop up so frequently as the setting for books and blog posts lately. I also really like the way this book sounds, because it looks like it’s about the relationship between three sisters which I am a sucker for since I have two sisters of my own. Great review E!

July 9, 2013 - 11:00 am

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - This sounds like a nice summer-y book to read. I just put both the print and audiobooks on hold at both of my libraries. No telling when it’ll come in but it’ll be a nice surprise! Thanks E!

July 9, 2013 - 10:10 am

Jamie - Oooh! I think I need to see if the library has this one because it sounds perfect for the family reunion/beach vacation I have at the end of this month! I love love love stories about sisters because my up and down relationship story with my sister is one of the most important things in my life. And knowing how hard it was for my sister and I to live together without killing each other…well this sounds so fun! And Nantucket…sigh..I’ve always wanted to go there!

July 8, 2013 - 6:03 pm

Cynthia - I haven’t been online in so long I miss your reviews! This one sounds perfect for summer and I’ve been hearing a lot about Nantucket too. I’ll be adding this one to my list, I’m getting more and more interested in reading adult fiction again. =)

July 8, 2013 - 12:43 pm

Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader - From the sounds of things, Nantucket is certainly the location of choice for literature this summer! The ideal backdrop for a seasonal contemporary, Nantucket certainly seems to be a contributing factor in the success of these books. I must say I’m intrigued by the concept of this novel. I love the idea of the three sisters being forced to spend time with one another and inadvertently healing their relationship in the process. There are few things I enjoy more in a novel than one which delves deeply into an examination of a family’s dynamics. That said, I’m not sure if the apparent melodrama is something I would enjoy. I think I’ll be borrowing this one from the library as opposed to buying it outright, but you’ve definitely made me interested in picking this one up for myself, Estelle 😀 Great review!

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