Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer

Family Reunion is a perfect summer story set on the beautiful island of Nantucket.  Eleanor Sunderland has retired to her big, beautiful, old home on Nantucket Island.  Her husband has passed away, but her family comes to visit for the summer and the holidays.  Her daughter Alicia, and son, Cliff, feel that she should sell the family home for the millions it is worth and split the money with them.  Eleanor’s only grandchild is Alicia’s daughter Ari.  Ari has recently completed college and broken off her engagement, much to her mother’s dismay.  She decides to spend the summer with her grandmother.  Will Eleanor and Ari be able to figure out where they want to go in life?

I enjoyed this family drama.  I especially loved the special relationship between Eleanor and her granddaughter Ari.  I had my own special great grandmother that I used to visit in Indiana every summer.  I love that Eleanor and Ari understood each other just as I felt my Great Grandma Norma and I understood each other.  I also loved that Eleanor was one of the main characters as a seventy something woman.  I love when older people are the focus of the story.  It seems that most novels only feature 20- or 30-year-old.

The only complaint I had about this novel was that the dialogue was clunky at times.  Cliff and Alicia also drove me nuts with their focus on their mother’s estate and feeling that they deserved the money.  Unfortunately, this does seem to happen in families. I did love that Ari and Eleanor focused on helping the kids at Beach Camp.  I also loved that Ari was focused on what made her happy and helped others rather than focusing on money.

I read Family Reunion in May for the Brenda Novak Book Group.  I greatly enjoyed Brenda Novak’s interview with Nancy Thayer at Nancy’s house on Nantucket.  It was great fun.  You can still see this interview on Brenda Novak’s Facebook page, and I highly recommend it.

Favorite Quotes:

“Summer was almost here!  Eleanor Sunderland sat on her deck looking out at the eternal Atlantic, savoring the view.  Above in the sky, diamond-tipped stars were appearing, one by one, and Eleanor could hear the gentle shush of the waves on the shore far below her.  The scent of long, sunny days drifted in with the light salty breeze from the sea.”  I loved the vivid descriptions of the island and thought this was a great opening paragraph!

“Soon the house would be gone.  But the ocean would always remain.”

“I’ve never been happier in my life.” – I loved this ending line!

Overall, Family Reunion is a good Women’s Fiction and Family Drama novel with a beautiful setting.  It’s a perfect summer read!

Book Source:  Review copy from Netgalley and Ballentine Books.  Thank-you!!