Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summer House” as Want to Read:
Summer House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summer House

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  11,471 Ratings  ·  523 Reviews
After years of wandering from whim to whim, thirty-year-old Charlotte Wheelwright seems to have at last found her niche. The free spirit enjoys running an organic gardening business on the island of Nantucket, thanks in large part to her spry grandmother Nona, who donated a portion of land on the family’s seaside compound to get Charlotte started. Though Charlotte’s skill ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Summer House, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Summer House

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie KinsellaCan You Keep a Secret? by Sophie KinsellaBridget Jones's Diary by Helen FieldingSomething Borrowed by Emily GiffinThe Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
Favorite Chick-Lit
1,886 books — 4,260 voters
Sandcastles by Luanne RiceSilver Girl by Elin HilderbrandSeven Year Switch by Claire CookSummer House by Nancy ThayerThe Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe
Books on the beach
53 books — 14 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 06, 2009 Laurie rated it it was ok
I got this book for free at a shopping event in New York. I figured I'd give it a shot.

First off, what does an author need to do to get some decent editors? I mean, seriously. This woman has written how many books and her publisher can't hire people who know how to copy edit? Typos GALORE in this book. Very distracting. Also distracting, the fact that the book takes place in present day but for some reason all the dialogue feels as though it was written in 1925 in England. Very upper-crusty and
Nov 13, 2011 Kathleen rated it really liked it
The traditions of Boston Brahmin life on Beacon Hill and Nantucket, the access to education, career and life style, set the framework for this novel. While there are a number of extended family members who revere the inherent code of this life, a handful have not. Thus, it is their story, the 90 year old matriarch, 60 year old daughter in law and 30 year old granddaughter who face life-changing challenges and find their way through them.
The grandmother’s memories of her post-Radcliffe life in Bo
Aug 23, 2010 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on

The novel Summer House follows three generations of strong willed Wheelwright women as they wrestle with decisions that will change their lives. The story starts off with the youngest of the three generations. Charlotte Wheelwright has always wanted to impress her father and make him proud, but so far she feels she has failed. Charlotte did not enjoy the family business of banking, and has spent much of her adult life afloat, hopping f
Aug 04, 2009 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
With a title like “Summer House,” this book could be just an ordinary beach read. But Nancy Thayer has transformed this story from light to deep in her multi-layered family drama.

The Wheelwrights of Boston, with an ancestral summer home on Nantucket, have traditions and a legacy; many who have married into the family have striven to live up to both with some difficulty. From the current matriarch Anne (Nona) down to the contemporary Wheelwrights, there are expectations and disappointments aplent
Jul 09, 2009 Sarah rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished, chick-lit
I read most of this multigenerational narrative, and initially felt it had the makings of a great summer read. Sadly, I just couldn't get through it. I found the switching between the grandmother, mother, and granddaughter's perspectives to be clunky. The secondary characters were flat; maybe they rounded out a bit in the final quarter of the novel, but they came off as too black-and-white. The book doesn’t have a particularly good or original story, lacks compelling characters, and offers littl ...more
Jan 31, 2017 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a story about family .... cranky, good, bad, crazy, controlling, jealous, indifferent, young and old .... your family if your family!

Anne Wheelwright is turning 90 and her whole family is going to help her celebrate. Whether she wants to celebrate or not!

Anne, or Nona, as she is affectionately called by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren sold her home in Boston when her husband, Herb, died five years ago. She decided she would live year round at their summer house on N
Jun 14, 2010 Laura rated it liked it
Summer House is the tale of three generations of women who are all vacationing together with their families on their Nantucket retreat. Nona is the 90-year old matriarch of the family and remembers back to the days when she first met, feel in love with, had to separate with her husband during WWII. Her daughter-in-law Helen is facing current troubles with her husband Worth and their three children. Helen’s daughter Charlotte has started her own organic garden business on the island and is runnin ...more
Aug 17, 2011 Peebee rated it liked it
This wasn't as bad as the other Thayer book I recently read, Beachcombers, but there is so much good chick lit (with the beach chick lit practically its own genre) out there these days that I don't need to read any more Nancy Thayer. As a former Kansas City resident I can appreciate her shoutouts to her former hometown, but the overwrought predictability and unlikeable characters that abound in her books I cannot deal with so much.

These sentences I have to quote because they're just so classical
Jun 18, 2009 Andrea rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading the twists and turns of the Wheelwright family (and it made me think that maybe my own family isn't so crazy after all). This book shows you that although a person may seem to be "perfect", he or she most likely has secrets from the past.

The story is told from the different viewpoints from three women from differnet generations of the same family. I found it interesting to read about the forties from Nona, the grandmother. I felt sorry for Helen, the mom. And I really wanted t
Sep 10, 2009 Maureen rated it it was ok
Oh wow...this book was not my favorite. It was so wordy, I found myself skimming pages and ready to toss it. I did read the first 100 pages, 10 from the middle, and 10 from the end...Huh...I thought it would never end. The story concept was good, but the author dragged out each character so long...I got bored and frustrated. Not sure I would read another Nancy Thayer..
Jun 09, 2009 Nely rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Summer House is told through the viewpoints of three women in the same family. Nona- is the 90 year old grandmother and head of the family. Helen- in her late fifties, she is married to Nona's son Worth. And Charlotte- thirty, she's Helen's daughter and is residing yearlong at the summer house in Nantucket along with her grandmother Nona. The Wheelwright family is all gathering together in their summer house for what they call "Family Meeting" (a meeting where the whole family comes together to ...more
Elphaba J
Aug 23, 2012 Elphaba J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quando penso no livro A Casa dos Dias Felizes visualizo-o como uma grande árvore, que se caracteriza através casa de praia do clã Wheelwrigth, com uma raiz forte, Nona, que ao longo dos anos observou o desabrochar dos seus frutos muito variados, provenientes de várias épocas, como Helen ou Charlotte, mas todos sedentos de uma única estação, o Verão, para finalmente poderem amadurecer plenos enquanto aguardaram pela verdadeira oportunidade de saborear a felicidade.

Muito condensada nas recordaçõe
Jul 08, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-theme
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 16, 2009 Ruth rated it really liked it
Over the years I have enjoyed many Nancy Thayer books. In fact, I think that I have read every one that she has written. The first one that I read was Stepping which my sister passed on to me. I think that she has read all of Nancy's books, also! I did reach a time where I started to be disenchanted with the fact that the main character in her book had some heartaches but they always had money to redo houses on Nantucket and buy new cars and then wind up happily ever after with a new man. In her ...more
Shelby Toren
Jun 27, 2013 Shelby Toren rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
Summer House is the story of a single family that stays in Nantucket every summer. This family has so many conflicts, it drove me a little crazy.

Summer House is the second book by Nancy Thayer I have read, and I must admit, it was not my favorite.

First of all, I could not STAND Grace. She was so rude and disrespectful and tactless. Her daughters were not much better. Many times, I honestly wanted to slap them all, but the rest of the family seemed only mildly bothered by it. Additionally, many
Feb 22, 2013 Jasmine rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 20, 2015 Patty rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2009 Jessica rated it it was ok
I love summer stories and beach stories, and am ALWAYS drawn in by cover art like this. But the story itself felt too dated, with language that was just a bit too "old" for me. I pretty much skipped over the parts set in the past, because that line simply didn't interest me (but, ironically, if the whole story had been set in the 40s, the language of the book would have worked better and made more sense).

I liked the title character and the fact that she was her own person, but I felt like she g
Jun 18, 2016 Jaime rated it did not like it
I'm at the beach, and this is, without a doubt, a beach read, which I found on the shelf of our rental. I found the plot to be pretty well uninspired, tilling soil (so to speak, given character Charlotte's proclivities) that's been over-cultivated beyond the point of exhaustion, even for "chick lit."

Without spoilers, the most entertaining part of the story (and the writing) comes just a few pages from the end of the book. I suggest flipping ahead to that bit. You'll know it when you see it.

Apr 15, 2010 Shauna rated it it was ok
This book was just ok for me. There were some fairly interesting characters, but there was never enough to make me really care about them. I finally got used to the changing narrative voices, but at the beginning I almost gave up--I thought, "oh no, not another character's perspective." Although I never got caught up in any of the happenings, I did finish the book, sort of like watching an average TV movie when you just don't have anything better to do.
Oct 02, 2014 Maryann rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I read many of her books when I was younger, and when this was going on a special, decided to give it a try. It is lovely women's fiction - not too emotionally demanding. Set in Nantucket (most of her books are), all about family relationships, and includes a twist, and the grandmother's flashbacks to the 1940's.
Beth Hommes
Jul 09, 2016 Beth Hommes rated it liked it
This is a typical summer beach read. The major twist is how the family deals with one child's bipolar disorder. There were a lot of characters and a lot of time shifts explaining their back stories.
Diane Travers
Sep 01, 2011 Diane Travers rated it really liked it
Pretty good book. I enjoyed reading this, although I wish the characters names were a bit more normal. Guess the author was really trying to hard to paint of picture of snobbish uppercrust!
May 04, 2014 Janine rated it really liked it
This book was like catching a glimpse into one summer of this incredibly complicated family. I enjoyed the characters and the further I got into the book the less I could put it down.
Jul 13, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it
This is my idea of a great summer vacation book.
Alicia Jones
Jul 11, 2016 Alicia Jones rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I loved the story. I loved almost all the characters, I loved to hate the others.
Alexandra Bogdanovic
In an idyllic island setting, nothing is as it seems.
Nona (Anne), the family matriarch is about to turn 90. In the weeks before the big day, her big -- and dysfunctional family, descends on the "Summer House" for the celebration. All of the family but Charlotte, that is. She already lives at the house with her grandmother, and runs a small but (somewhat) profitable organic garden on the property. As the story unfolds, we get glimpses of family drama from three different perspectives: Nona's, Cha
Sarah Hearn
Jan 20, 2017 Sarah Hearn rated it really liked it
I was going to give this only 3 stars but it improved by the end; nevertheless, I did find it more disjointed than her other books. Part of that is the structure - three women, Nona, her daughter-in-law Helen, and her granddaughter, Charlotte - are each going through a personal crisis through a summer on Nantucket so turn-and-turn-about, we learn their stories. But even despite Thayer's intentional partitioning of the story, I felt I was scrabbling for a toe-hold in the plot. Other characters we ...more
Dec 22, 2016 Barbara rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Took me forever to get through this book. I didn't particularly care for any of the wealthy characters and their First World Problems. Good beach book. It's about that overly-written-about Nantucket, and you can pick it up nd put it down without missing a beat.
Nov 26, 2016 SUE rated it it was amazing
very good book. A few twist and turns. Keeps the interest at an even flow.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mansfield Public ...: Summer House Review by Winnie Jackson 1 5 Jul 01, 2013 10:28AM  
  • Beach Trip
  • Driftwood Summer
  • Summer People
  • LoveHampton
  • Life Without Summer
  • Swimming Lessons
  • The Ocean Between Us
  • Seven Year Switch
  • Second Time Around
  • Ten Beach Road (Ten Beach Road, #1)
  • Home Again
  • The Silver Boat
  • Between Friends
  • While My Sister Sleeps
Nancy Thayer has a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Before settling down to write and have children she taught English at various colleges and traveled, living in Paris, Amsterdam and Helsinki. In 1981 she was a Fellow at the Breadloaf Writers Conference. She has lived on Nantucket Island year round for twenty-five years with her husband Charley W ...more
More about Nancy Thayer...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »