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The Island House

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  7,070 ratings  ·  645 reviews
The charms of Nantucket tempt a woman to leave her established life in Kansas City—but with a piece of her heart, and a love interest, in each world, she discovers she must look within to choose the right path.

Every summer since college, twenty-nine-year-old Jenny has traded the familiarity of the Midwest for the allure of Nantucket. Now an established university professor
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Published May 31st 2016 by Brilliance Audio
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,070 ratings  ·  645 reviews

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Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Holy crap, this was terrible. Nancy Thayer has really lost her touch. I think it's either that she needs a better editor (though her editor for former books was fine...) or that she needs to stop churning books out so quickly.

No really, this was an AWFUL outing for an author that I normally really enjoy. I feel sad, because I know this means I'll be less likely to pick up Thayer's books in future summers.
I started off really liking this book - loved the Vickereys, loved Courtney and some of the other supporting characters. A little more than halfway through, I was ready for the book to be over. The arguments between so many of the main characters became wearying. And Robin's "super big secret?" Yawn. I mean, it was a cool thing, but I don't get the secrecy at all! Then again, I am a "landlubber" living in the Midwest, so maybe I'm missing something. (view spoiler) ...more
Judy Collins
A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Nancy Thayer returns to the island of Nantucket with THE ISLAND HOUSE, with her summer beach installment-- the story of two best friends, Courtney and Robin. From children, loves, secrets, friends, and family and lots of summer drama. (a lot of players; not a lot of depth).

Meet the Vickerey Family, the Summer Children, the Family Friends, and the Cowboy.

• Vickerey Family: Alastair- father, Susanna-
Oct 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am puzzled by all the four and five star reviews. The Island House was a really bad book even for a summer beach read. I was unfamiliar with Nancy Thayer's writing and picked up the book at the library because I liked the jacket art. Who doesn't enjoy a novel of Nantucket? It certainly works for Erin Hilderbrand and with Erin I shall stick. The Island House is the cutesy story of "summer children" and interactions over the years with the actual children of the local Vickereys. An elaborate bir ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd lean more towards 3. 5 stars on this one. I loved the Vickery family, and I wanted to be a part of them. Beyond that, this book was just "ok" for me. It was a typical light summer read, which is exactly what I was expecting. However, it was overly formulaic and at times, the writing seemed very amateurish, even seeming to be pulled out of a bad romance novel.

My love for Nancy Thayer is strong, though, and I'm already looking forward to her next book. While the quality of her writing has dimi
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in a few days after looking for a light read. This certainly fit the bill. Interestingly though, in addition to all the typical characters you would expect in a beach read, the members of the primary characters of one family, struggled with mental illness. This part raised the level up a notch, since it was developed quite well.
However, the drama of everyone else in the novel drowned out that little story. Doesn't it always seem to work that way?! Not bad.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A disappointing read not up to par with her other work. I only finished it as quick as I did because I was home sick.
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
My first book by Nancy but not my last I am on the hunt for more of her books. I loved the family and the island life. This was a really good read.
3.5 stars. Enjoyed a lot for a beachy read.
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 3 STARS

I feel like summer requires books by Elin Hilderbrand, Nancy Thayer, etc . . . probably because they all release a new book every summer and it's usually set in the summer. How I long to visit Nantucket and see if it really is as amazing as these authors describe. This book, once again, sets us right in the heart of Nantucket and in the midst of a fun and sprawling family. The matriarch, Susanna, has always had "summer children," the nam
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started out so promising. Courtney, a darling Kansas girl, goes to Smith and meets Robin from Nantucket. Courtney spends her summers on the island with Robin's family the Vickery's and quickly becomes one of the summer children. The author flashes back and forth between the past and present. We spend ample time understanding Courtney's rural upbringing with her outrageously handsome best friend Monty Blackhorse and we know that presently Courtney is in love with James, brother to curre ...more
Morgan Schell
Provided by NG in exchanged for an honest review.

  This book took longer than I anticipated to finish, and that is because I would lose interest at times. My mom is a fan of Nancy Thayer and I wanted to give her books a try, but this one at least moved far too slowly to keep my attention. The story lines were good and held some interest, but not often enough personally.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have loved most of Nancy Thayer's books, but this one was such a dud. Horrible discussion of mental health, native Americans, and women's roles. Absolute pass.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reads
A light summer read. Great characters. terrific setting on Nantucket Island. Very predictable plot and ending. Just what you want to read on a lazy summer afternoon. I love these books for pure mindless escapism .
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't think this book deserved the scathing reviews it received from some. However, it is the definition of a light summer read. A young woman who spends her summers with her college roommate's family on Nantucket has loved the roommate's brother from afar. She returns for one more summer to find out if he feels the same. All the Vickery children and their summer friends have relationship issues. There is a warm earth mother who watches over everyone and a gruff father whose facade almost crac ...more
To me, this book sounded more promising than what it really was. At the beginning, I was confused by all the characters and flashbacks, but at about the 30% mark, when we found out more about Robin's lover, the story grew more interesting.

There were no "earth- shattering" moments in this story. Nothing shocked me. Everything was fairly predictable. I did like the New England summer setting, and the end with the whales. However, Robin's new love interest seemed to come out of nowhere, and I felt
Jul 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was bad bad bad. I don't even want to waste time explaining why, after wasting the time it took to finish the book. But one thing really annoyed me: every single time a certain character (Jacob) was mentioned, the author had to remind us that he was fat. There was no other character development, and in a book where everyone seems to end up with someone during the course of the book (not a spoiler, it's what happens in these kinds of books) it's no shocker that he lost the game of roman ...more
Susan Crowe
I gave this 2 (long) chapters and I just can't get into it. I usually don't let reviews of others influence a book for me but when I was having a hard time with this book grabbing me, I glanced to see what my other goodreads Buddies thought. I see I'm not alone. the only thing being, I'm not going to suffer through. I have too many others on my TBR list to just settle on ok. Sorry, but I'll definitely try her earlier books because it seems those are so much better. no star rating for this one.
Mary Q
Sep 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Struggled to finish this book and I wish I hadn't bothered. I have enjoyed this author in the past, but this book is dreadful. Basically just variations of the same 4 conversations over and over again until it stops. Right before it finally stops, add some whales. Not sure what editor was thinking. Will likely put me off this author for good.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the newest offering from Nancy Thayer. A trip back to Nantucket is a great way to start off the summer reading season.
As usual, Nancy Thayer has no idea how real people actually talk. There was not enough beach time. LOL at Courtney's "decision" with "the cowboy." I feel that she - and her books - live in 1732. Good times all around.
Mary Clare
Jun 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No. Just no. Amazed I finished this.
Jen Davie
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, easy read
Kelly  Seifert
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow start but then I fell in love with the characters! I want more!! ❤📚
Judy Churchill
A very light beach read. I loved the big family and all of the dynamics. Again Nantucket fascinates me. Descriptions of the wild beauty of the island makes this a delightful story.
Laurie Way
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy Nancy Thayer books. This books was very typical of her stories full of beautiful settings and flawed, but very real and interesting characters.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked The Island House as my first summer read to welcome the lovely summer. I was prepared to immerse myself in the beautiful lines and enjoy.
The Island House starts with Courtney, a 29 years old young woman, taking the ferry to Nantucket to spend the summer months at her friend’s house. As she reflects back, we know that she’s been doing that every year since she first met her best friend Robin in college. Robin’s mother, Susanna Vickerey, has always welcomed her children’s friends at her h
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Courtney left Kansas to attend Smith College, her first trip to the east coast. Her roommate Robin quickly became her best friend despite the differences in the world's that they grew up in. Robin convinced Courtney to come spend the summer on Nantucket where her family lives and get a job where the pay its higher. Hence began Courtney's annual summer in Nantucket which continued even when she did graduate work and then began to teach at a university in Kansas.

Robin's family is open, loving, an
Fluff Smut & Murder

Thank you to and to the publisher for the ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

I think this book would have been better titled as “The Summer Children” instead of The Island House. The house really doesn’t play that big of a role in the story and perhaps it would have been better for a future book about a couple who tries to buy/renovate an older Nantucket home. As for the two main female characters, Robyn and Courtney, I found them to be too obsessed with getting mar
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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