Family Reunion : A Novel
by Thayer, Nancy






Newly widowed, Eleanor Sunderland finds dreams of a family reunion in Nantucket shattered when her money-driven children suggest she sell the house and move to a retirement home, and finds a lone ally in her 22-year-old granddaughter, Ari, who moves in with her for the summer.





Nancy Thayer is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including Girls of Summer, Let It Snow, Surfside Sisters, A Nantucket Wedding, Secrets in Summer, The Island House, The Guest Cottage, An Island Christmas, Nantucket Sisters, and Island Girls. Born in Kansas, Thayer has been a resident of Nantucket for thirty-five years, where she currently lives with her husband, Charley, and a precocious rescue cat named Callie.





Eleanor Sunderland is thrilled when her family comes to visit her in Nantucket. She's less thrilled when she learns they are there to convince her to sell her house and move into a nursing home. She's only 70, and though the house is shabby, it's got a view she can't live without. Her granddaughter Ari, newly graduated from college and newly single, decides a summer on Nantucket will help her get her head together before she starts grad school. Eleanor and Ari understand each other, and their peaceful cohabitation is a respite from a summer of chaos. Ari's stressful but rewarding job at a summer camp, Eleanor's restlessness and worry about her two adult children, infidelity, and a rocky romance are just a few of the waves Thayer (Let It Snow, 2019) whips up for her grandmother-granddaughter duo in her latest. But she also throws in plenty of details about summer in Nantucket, from the unpredictable weather to flowy sundresses to yacht club meals. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand will enjoy this beachy escape. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





An aging widow grapples with how to approach the next and final chapters of her life in this multigenerational tale. Eleanor Sunderland lives on Nantucket in the same home that belonged to her grandparents and her parents before her. Now that she‚??s widowed, her adult children assume she will spend the next decade or two living alone before going quietly into the dark night. Her son, Cliff, learns a hotel chain wants to buy Eleanor‚??s property for millions of dollars. Cliff thinks Eleanor should relocate to senior housing somewhere while he and his sister, Alicia, receive one-third shares of the sale proceeds. Eleanor‚??s not having it, because she loves her home and the memories it holds. Moreover, Alicia‚??s daughter, Ari, has just graduated from college and wants to spend the summer living on the island with Eleanor. As the summer begins, Eleanor‚??s quiet island fills with all sorts of excitement. As Eleanor finds out that her young, single granddaughter is pregnant, discovers that her son-in-law might be two-timing Alicia, and develops a romantic relationship of her own, her head starts spinning. As Eleanor watches Ari tackle the challenges life throws at her, she wonders if she can follow her granddaughter‚??s bold example. The third-person narration alternates between Eleanor's and Ari's perspectives, juxtaposing the different life stages at which these women find themselves but also illustrating the many parallels between the questions they face. There is perhaps too much emphasis on Eleanor‚??s life being lonely and uneventful; the portrayals of many ho-hum moments of jigsaw puzzling and early bedtimes do slow down the pace. Even so, with the exception of Alicia, who feels like a caricature of a money-grubbing offspring, the characters are realistically rendered and their plights sufficiently engrossing that readers will want to keep turning the pages. As always, the author‚??s love for Nantucket is palpable on nearly every page. A tidy Nantucket tale shows that baby boomers still have plenty of pluck. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





An aging widow grapples with how to approach the next and final chapters of her life in this multigenerational tale. Eleanor Sunderland lives on Nantucket in the same home that belonged to her grandparents and her parents before her. Now that she‚??s widowed, her adult children assume she will spend the next decade or two living alone before going quietly into the dark night. Her son, Cliff, learns a hotel chain wants to buy Eleanor‚??s property for millions of dollars. Cliff thinks Eleanor should relocate to senior housing somewhere while he and his sister, Alicia, receive one-third shares of the sale proceeds. Eleanor‚??s not having it, because she loves her home and the memories it holds. Moreover, Alicia‚??s daughter, Ari, has just graduated from college and wants to spend the summer living on the island with Eleanor. As the summer begins, Eleanor‚??s quiet island fills with all sorts of excitement. As Eleanor finds out that her young, single granddaughter is pregnant, discovers that her son-in-law might be two-timing Alicia, and develops a romantic relationship of her own, her head starts spinning. As Eleanor watches Ari tackle the challenges life throws at her, she wonders if she can follow her granddaughter‚??s bold example. The third-person narration alternates between Eleanor's and Ari's perspectives, juxtaposing the different life stages at which these women find themselves but also illustrating the many parallels between the questions they face. There is perhaps too much emphasis on Eleanor‚??s life being lonely and uneventful; the portrayals of many ho-hum moments of jigsaw puzzling and early bedtimes do slow down the pace. Even so, with the exception of Alicia, who feels like a caricature of a money-grubbing offspring, the characters are realistically rendered and their plights sufficiently engrossing that readers will want to keep turning the pages. As always, the author‚??s love for Nantucket is palpable on nearly every page. A tidy Nantucket tale shows that baby boomers still have plenty of pluck. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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