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Island Girls

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  11,014 ratings  ·  962 reviews

Nancy Thayer returns to her beloved Nantucket in a highly emotional, wholly entertaining tale of three sisters forced to confront the past over one event-filled summer on the island.
Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

Charming ladies’ man Rory Randall dies with one last trick up his s
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,014 ratings  ·  962 reviews

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Deb Cornell
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
***SPOILER ALERT*** Sorry, I think Ms. Thayer phoned this one in. Hard to find a plausible character. The now dead patriarch who married three times, fathers two daughters by two mothers and adopts the daughter of his third wife leaves a proviso that these three young women must spend the summer together in his Nantucket house before they can sell it and split the proceeds. I tried to like these "sisters" but they come off as incredibly naive at best, but more often as plainly stupid. How they s ...more
Samuel Wayne Allen
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
What a fun, happy, and delightful summer read this was! Just what I was in the mood for! I am a bit sad now though, 'cause despite being totally frustrated at each one of them during some point in the book, I already find myself missing the three Randall sisters I've so dearly come to love.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up, did-not-like
So he asks her out for a date, taking her sailing. Afterward, he says, "here's the deal. You're a total babe. I like hanging out with you but I'm kind of off women. Romantically, I mean,"

Seriously, this is a guy in his 30s and we are supposed to believe he actually said, "You're a total babe."

I had my doubts almost immediately after I started reading the book Which is filled with stereotypical characters and horrible dialogue. It honestly sounded like a story my 14 y/o daughter would write, not
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I've read from this author but I will definitely read more of them. This was an excellent book. I won it on Goodreads and got to read an advanced uncorrected proofs edition. There were a few obvious typos but they didn't interrupt the flow of the story for me. The way the author introduced and described each character was very helpful so I didn't have to look back very much to see who someone actually was in the story. It is the story of three sisters (step and half siste ...more
Lois Tucker
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
This slight book is the opposite of a Gillian Flynn novel. Characters are sincerely, earnestly good, and helpful. Major spoilers: Psychological flaws are overcome with a friendly pep talk and a make over, after which dreamed-of career advancement happens along with true love fulfillment. One character does something toweringly nasty that truly wrecks several lives over more than a decade, but all is resolved with wine, hors d'ouevres, Kleenex (on the page, not mine), and a few paragraphs, includ ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Nancy Thayer books!
Anne Wolfe
Dec 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Can you spell contrived? Okay, you know from the genre that it will have a happy ending, but for everybody??? Three half/step sisters and their three mothers too? I can see Nancy Thayer writing this novel in about two weeks on Nantucket. She doesn't bother to keep track of what she said in previous chapters. (Case in point, Arden,the oldest sister, has only brought high heeled shoes with her. Yet, at the first party, she is wearing strappy sandals.)

In spending the three summer months living toge
Lorri Steinbacher
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I am of two minds on this book: firstly, that this was over the top, flat-out love and money porn. Unrealistic, horrible female characters, not one man who isn't straight out of a Ralph Lauren ad. It's not a genre I like, but even as an example of its kind it felt over the top. I'm a librarian, though, and there are definitely people to whom I would recommend the book. If you are on vacation and do not want to have to think too much, if you are looking for sitcom-worthy entertainment, then I wou ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book, fiction
Cute story! Enjoyed the story of sisters Meg, Jenny & Arden. They must live in the family home on Nantucket for 3 months following the death of their father, Rory, in order to benefit equally in the sale of the property. All 3 women have only Rory in common since they each have a different mother and have been estranged since childhood due to a childhood occurrence. I enjoyed seeing how the story played out. Very good! ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book! I wasn't sure when I started how it was going to go, but quickly fell in love with the creation of the relationshipsame between these sisters, and eventually their mother's and romantic intetests. Thanks to this author and Elin Hildebrand, I foresee a trip to Nantucket in my future.
Stephanie Kline
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This was my first Nancy Thayer novel, and it was definitely cute enough as a summer read. It was light, fluffy, and simple, and happily ever afters to go all around - even to the "villainous" characters. At times completely unrealistic, eye-roll worthy, or even laughable, it's definitely one of those sickeningly sweet romance novels that can just feel a little TOO nice... but like I said, a good, quick summer read nonetheless.

The story introduces three "sisters" - Arden, Meg, and Jenny. Arden a
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-4.5 stars! This is my second Nancy Thayer book and I really enjoyed it. The first one I read was “Secrets In Summer” and after reading that one I KNEW I needed to read more of her books. Her books are easy to read, light & fun, not all over the place like some authors...and I really do enjoy the happy endings even if sometimes there are some corny chapters in there...her books do a great job of making you smile as you’re reading them. I normally read a lot of mystery books so it’s nice to pick ...more
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Truly, this is escapist fiction. Escaping that I thoroughly enjoyed. I always enjoy a virtual trip -via Nancy Thayer - to Nantucket. I partially read in book form and audiobook. Both were satisfying.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This reminds me of Here's to Us but is also quite different. It took me awhile to warm up to the main characters, but once I learned more about them, they became more likeable. I liked the growth of the characters, for the most part. There were a few little things that bothered me. The setting made up for it, though. Summer on Nantucket is usually wonderful, at least in fiction.
Erica Paré
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although this book started out slowly, it really did come alive about halfway through. I really enjoyed the banter between the sisters and being there while they worked things out. Adding in all the drama from their childhood goes to show that things that happen when someone is young can affect them when theyre older. This book really went to show the dynamic of birth siblings, half siblings, step-siblings. My favorite character has to be Arden. She was so strong in her personal life and work li ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 I have fallen in love with the Nantucket books this summer, can you tell?? This was a sweet book on sister bonds. It’s definitely one I’d recommend to a friend. It’s not a “OMG you have to read this” book. Just a good, easy, beach read.
Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}
3.5 Stars

Cute story, I liked the characters. I enjoyed it much more than the 1st Nancy Thayer book I read.

Perfect summer beach read!
Ozlem Ogutveren Gonul
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a pleasent beach book. The different stories of three women were intertwined with their joint story in a nice way.
For a synopsis of the plot for Island Girls by Nancy Thayer, follow the GR link.

I must admit that I really struggled with the start of this book. It was hard to keep the three sisters and 3 wives separated in my mind. Maybe it was just me, but the first third of this book was just okay. However, it really saved itself from being a 2♥♥ book. Once I could keep everyone straight, I loved watching the blending of women not just as half and step sisters but as friends. It's never easy even in a "trad
Denise Jo
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a good one. I have read other Nancy Thayer books and this one did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the ending which sometimes on books is in As Good As the book itself
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book made me want sisters and a summerhouse, And I have neither! Three sisters all with the same father and different mothers were forced to spend the summer in their summer house together in order to receive the proceeds from the sale of the house. The girls had not spent much time as adults together, so of course there was drama.then they began to learn more about one another and started to like each other. Secrets were revealed, problems were solved, and love was found. I think this book ...more
I had read many reviews about this book before reading it and it was frequently rated low due to the characters being described as flaky, money-hungry, greedy, and without personality. This was not the case at all. The three sisters ended up caring quite a bit about one another and actually went out of their way to be fair with their father's inheritance with not only themselves, but with all three mothers, and a pop up mistress. I find those reviews to be quite unfair. I think this was a great ...more
Bonnie Eldridge-labaff
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
absolutely awesome book. The weaving of the story was so intriguing . Three women with the same father but different mothers come together to mourn the death of their father and to repair their fractured relationships. When some of the secrets were revealed the girls understood why their relationship was so strained
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Just another typical and predictable story about sisters who despise each other but after spending time together on a beautiful island they learn to love and forgive. Blah, blah, blah!
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Entertaining, light and frothy beach read. Nice characters with some depth to them. Story is not too complicated, but it's interesting. Worth reading! 4 stars
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Another book set in Nantucket and I’m starting to think it’s a sign?
Anyway, Island Girls by Nancy Thayer is about three stepsisters whose mothers were all different but father was the same man. When their father passes away all three are forced to live in the Nantucket house together for the summer before they can sell it and split the proceeds.
Arden, Meg, and Jenny got along when they were younger before Jenny’s mother (the third wife) banishes Arden and Meg from the island. This causes a dista
Erin L
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: beach-reads
It's summer and I was scrolling through Overdrive looking for something to listen to that would make me feel all vacationy. This fit the bill so I downloaded it and started listening.

I said all of that to realize I have no strong feelings about this either way. It's not bad, but it's not a great beach read. I enjoyed watching the relationship develop between the three sisters, but felt that some of it was surface and not fully developed. And that really goes for most of this book. Not a bad list
Theresa LeBlanc
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful novel!

Love Meg, Arden and Jenny - three strong, vulnerable, complicated, intelligent women! Loved the plot, the setting, surprises here & there.

This was the first Nancy Thayer novel I’ve read, but it will NOT be my last!
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wasn't sure at first - thought it seemed a little familiar like maybe i read it before but as i got further into it i didn't think i had and got hooked into it. liked how everything came together. i ended up really enjoying it!
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
I give it 2.5 stars.
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Nancy Thayer clean? 2 19 Mar 23, 2015 07:33PM  
Chick Lit Book Club: 9/2013: Island Girls: Chit Chat 4 61 Apr 16, 2014 04:17PM  
Chick Lit Book Club: 9/2013: Island Girls - Author Discussion Questions 1 28 Sep 20, 2013 05:29AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Island Girls 1 3 Aug 26, 2013 12:39PM  
Mansfield Public ...: Island Girls Review by Sharon Wapen 1 4 Jul 19, 2013 07:20AM  

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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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“She had had so little of this, Jenny thought, this fierce thrust and yank of family altercation, the daily squabbling, making up, hugging, laughing, bickering, fussing, stomping, snorting, and simple collapsing side by side on the sofa. She’d seen it happen in her friends’ families. It had frightened her. But now she saw how it made people whole, how life was made of dark and light, yin and yang, quarrels and peace. This was how a person learned to forgive. It was how a person learned to care so deeply their heart was laid open as if with a knife.” 0 likes
“question. “I don’t know. I like Boston. And I like being close to my mom.” “And your sisters.” Arden hesitated. This was officially a first date,” 0 likes
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