The Guest Cottage
By Nancy Thayer
Publication Date: 5/12/2015
My Rating: 3 Stars
New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer whisks readers back to the beloved island of Nantucket in this delightful novel about two single parents who accidentally rent the same summer house—and must soon decide where their hearts truly lie.
Sensible thirty-six-year-old Sophie Anderson has always known what to do. She knows her role in life: the supportive wife of a successful architect and calm, capable mother of two. But on a warm summer night, as the house grows quiet around her and her children fall asleep, she wonders what’s missing from her life. When her husband echoes that lonely question, announcing that he’s leaving her for another woman, Sophie realizes she has no idea what’s next. Impulsively renting a guest cottage on Nantucket from her friend Susie Swenson, Sophie rounds up her kids, Jonah and Lacey, and leaves Boston for a quiet family vacation, minus one.
Also minus one is single parent Trevor Black, a software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife. Trevor is the last person he would think could raise a little boy like Leo by himself at any age, much less at thirty. Leo’s a sweet, smart boy, but he grapples constantly with his mother’s death, growing more and more closed off. Hoping a quiet summer on the Nantucket coast will help him reconnect with Leo, Trevor rents a guest house on the beautiful island from his friend Ivan Swenson.
But best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they’ve accidentally rented the same house. Determined to make this a summer their kids will always remember, the two agree to share the Swensons’ Nantucket house. But as the summer unfolds and the families grow close, Sophie and Trevor must ask themselves if the guest cottage is all they want to share.
Inspiring and true to life, The Guest Cottage is Nancy Thayer at her finest, inscribing matters of the heart and the meaning of family in graceful, knowing prose.
About the Author
Nancy Thayer is the author of twenty-three novels, including Summer House, The Hot Flash Club, Beachcombers, Heat Wave, Summer Breeze, and Island Girls.
Her books concern the mysteries and romance of families and relationships: marriage and friendships, divorce and love, custody and step parenting, family secrets and private self-affirmation, the quest for independence and the normal human hunger for personal connections.
Nancy Thayer has a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She was a Fellow at the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. She has lived on Nantucket Island year-round for twenty-eight years with her husband Charley Walters. Her daughter is the novelist Samantha Wilde. Website
A special thank you to Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Nancy Thayer delivers THE GUEST COTTAGE, a Nantucket, lighthearted summer romance, perfect for leisure summer beach days, or relaxing sunset evenings. Sophie and Zach, married sixteen years, with faded passion in their marriage –resides in Boston with a teenage son, Jonah age fifteen, and daughter, Lacy age ten. One evening, Sophie focuses on her calendar and notes her husband has typed in April 11, discuss div with S? Divorce?? Zach the former high school football hero had just turned forty and was showing all the signs of trying to gain back his youth with a Mustang convertible and Grecian formula for his hair. This was not the perfect timing Zach had planned; however, since she is now bringing it up, he makes Sophie aware he does indeed want a divorce. But what about the children? Of course, as she suspected it is Lila, the young one, from work and he loves her. Of course, she makes him feel young and he wants to move in with her, as he is now rushing her to separation and then divorce. Humiliated, Sophie lets her husband know she was planning on renting a summer home in Nantucket for July and August, the guest house behind the main house. She thought if she could get her husband away, maybe he would change his mind. No go. Well, she is going anyway as she needs time away with the kids, even though Zach will not pay, she will get it from her Aunt Fancy, the aunt she had always admired and she had left her some mad money. Sophie was certainly mad at Zach. The idea of spending her inheritance to rent a house on Nantucket was downright epic for her, but she decides she will go and lets Susie Swenson know she will take it. Little does Sophie know, Trevor Black, age thirty (younger), has also rented the same guest house from his old college friend, Ivan Swenson. Trevor’s wife died in November, and he is raising his four year old son, Leo; they are seeing a psychologist and he needs a getaway. He has his own computer business, so he can work from anywhere. Susie was getting excited about the house, especially when she sees the piano. Unfortunately, when they discover they both are renting the same cottage, neither wants to give up the house. They find out quickly they both rented from the Swenson cousins which evidently are lacking in the communication skills area. They both have only verbal agreements, and decide to compromise. They do not have another choice. Being the house was rather big, they decide to both stay and share the cottage, after all they could each have their own wings. Now here, Sophie was with a strange man and a child, and she was not was not good at spontaneity, as she preferred her routine and organization. However, she decides that will soon go out the window, since she will be a single parent; her life had been shattered. What comes next is too totally different adults and a mix of children, with Trevor being insulted by Sophie’s questioning his child rearing tactics. However, they soon start on an adventure, mixed with humor for an unexpected summer of reinvention, and possibly serendipity, fate, and a miracle thrown in. Fans of chicklit, women's fiction, family drama, humor, and contemporary, without a lot of suspense, will enjoy this summer romance, of starting over with two families--who may have more in common than they may think.