Summer House
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Summer House

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  6,927 ratings  ·  371 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)
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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...more
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
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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...more
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
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..
This was a bizarre read for me. It vacillates between clunky and genius. Really... very strange. The sentences and dialogue can be so overwrought, but certain passages are priceless.

I liked it overall, but definitely didn't love it. I suppose anyone who grew up going to the Cape in the summer would appreciate this book, or anyone who likes nice chick-lit fairly-cerebral-romance stories, and family dramas... the characters were largely well-drawn, although so many holes... WHY is Grace like Grac...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
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
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...more
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 Kuzma
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...more
Elphaba J
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...more
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...more
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...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
I really liked this story, but found that most characters were all or nothing. I either loved them and wanted more or I despised them and was hoping someone would slap them. Grace and her family were horrible and unlikeable...all of them, which wasn't much fun. I wish there were redeeming things about them or there was one huge blow up scene where Grace and her kids could be put in their place or anything that would give Worth and that side of the family a backbone. But good lord, it is not reas...more
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.
I listened to it this week as I did my chores. I'm usually anti-audiobooks, but anything to help pass the time as I clean and fold laundry. At least the dog doesn't have to entertain me while I am listening to a book.
Anyway, it was entertaining enough. I was never bored with it. Although some of the big reveals were a bit predictable, and I rolled my eyes at the rough life of the wealthy who can summer on Nantucket, I enjoyed it. I felt like some of the characters were a little one-dimensional,...more
Diane Travers
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!
Wendy Hines
The Wheelwrights are a wealthy banking family whose summer house is located on the island of Nantucket. All family meetings are held there and the house is usually full of family during the summer months. Nona Wheelwright is the oldest member of the family still living and her ninetieth birthday is quickly approaching. The family is planning a spectacular party for her and she is looking forward to all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren coming home to visit.

Nona seems to nod off...more
Oct 09, 2013 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Paperback Swap
After years spent wandering from whim to whim, thirty-year-old Charlotte Wheelwright still retains her free spirited ways. Ever the dreamer, Charlotte has apparently found her niche at last. She thoroughly 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 with plants is bringing her success, cultivating somethi...more
Ricki Lewis
Summer House is a saga of a three-generational family with two branches, summering in their mansion on Nantucket. The action pings from Nona, the matriarch, to Helen, in her fifties, and her daughter Charlotte, 30. The other branch of the family, the 3 daughters of Helen's husband Worth's sister Grace, seem very different. For anyone who's ever watched a soap opera, it is clear pretty early on why.

I almost gave up on this book about a third of the way through. I just could not connect to the we...more
The Wheelwright clan is one of New England's oldest families, whose matriarch Anne, known to the family as Nona is celebrating her 90th birthday. Amidst great personal drama, her children, grandchildren and two small great grandchildren converge on Nantucket for the summer. Among the festivities to be celebrated are Nona's birthday and the annual family meeting.

Even though Nona has two children, most of this books is focused on her son, Worth, his wife Helen and their family. Her daughter Grace...more
Goodreads Description- 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 with plants is bringing her success, cultivating something deeper with people–particularly her handsom...more
Kathleen Basi
I tore through this book, helped along by a bad virus that had me incapable of getting off the couch for 24 hours. Early in the book I was really aware of the backstory being laid, and it felt a little slow and self-aware, even though it was pretty interesting backstory. There are a LOT of characters in this book, and it took a while to get them all straight. But it took off quickly and I very much enjoyed it.

The book is told in three POVs, spanning three generations. At the top end is Nona, 90...more
Story Description:

Random House Publishing Group||June 1, 2010|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-345-49821-2

Thirty-year-old Charlotte Wheelwright seems to have at last found her niche, 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 with plants is bringing her success, cultivating something deeper with people – particularl...more
Very enjoyable read, complicated family relationship books, always are! Nona (Anne) is the matriarch of a very large family. Her husband, Herb, is dead, and her children, Grace and Worth, and their spouses, and their children, all converge on Nantucket for her birthday each year. Because the family is wealthy, they also have an annual family meeting to discuss finances. Nona is 90 and her Son Worth and his wife, Helen's, daughter, Charlotte, who lives with her year round, runs a local organic ga...more
My favorite characters are Charlotte, Whit and Nona...everyone else just seemed to do a lot of whining. The book seemed to be building to a great climax and then it sort of petered out. It was as if the author lost heart in her own story.

There was the matriarch Nona
her two children Grace and Worth and a son Bobby who had been killed in Vietnam (no character development)
Her grandchildren: the 3 M's for Amelia (Mel), Amanda (Mandie) and Amy (Mee) born to Grace and her husband Kellog & then Wor...more
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Mansfield Public ...: Summer House Review by Winnie Jackson 1 3 Jul 01, 2013 10:28AM  
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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
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