Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Summer House by Nancy Thayer

This was a pleasurable read.  At the heart of the story is the interactions of an extended wealthy family.  The Wheelrights are a family of bankers.  Charlotte, one of the granddaughters, has rebelled against what is expected of her and has started an organic vegetable garden on a parcel of land on her grandmother's Nantucket estate. This has created some tension with some of the other members of the family who feel the grandmother is favoring Charlotte.

The novel mostly focuses on the secrets and experiences of three women in the family. Charlotte, her mother Helen, and her paternal grandmother, Anne, who is celebrating her 90th birthday.  Anne has been keeping  a huge secret from her son, Charlotte's father.  Helen is dealing with the repercussions of her husband's actions.  And Charlotte has a secret that explains why she fled to Nantucket.  Further drama is added as Charlotte's youngest brother returns home with a pregnant girlfriend.

As always, I enjoyed watching the events unfold for a dysfunctional family. I was rather irritated by Grace, and her daughters (Anne's other child).  I enjoyed the historical aspects included in the novel: Anne's husband was stationed in Germany during WWI and this actually forever altered their family.   This is a good escapist read.

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