Random House Publishing Group||June 1, 2010|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-345-49821-2
Thirty-year-old Charlotte Wheelwright seems to have at last found her niche, running an organic gardening business on the island of Nantucket, thanks in large part to her spry grandmother Nona, who donated a portion of land on the family’s seaside compound to get Charlotte started. Though Charlotte’s skill with plants is bringing her success, cultivating something deeper with people – particularly her handsome neighbour Coop – might be more of a challenge.
Now the entire Wheelwright clan is making its annual summer pilgrimage to the homestead, including Charlotte’s mother, Helen, who brings a heavy heart as she confronts a betrayal that threatens her sense of place and her sense of self. Bringing together three generations of strong-willed women, each wrestling with life-changing decisions. Nancy Thayer’s luminous novel shows that no matter where life’s path my lead, love always finds a way back home.
Charlotte Wheelwright is thirty-years-old, unmarried and unattached to any man. However, she does get involved with next door neighbour, Coop, but will it last? She rents acreage from her grandmother, Nona and has finally found her calling – running an organic garden on Nantucket Island at the family’s seaside compound.
During the summer months the entire Wheelwright family make the pilgrimage to Nona’s summer house and there are a lot of them - aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. Charlotte’s mother, Helen makes a heart rendering discovery bringing into question everything she believed her life to be. Her father, Worth, is given some devastating information that calls into question every single thing his entire life has been and the news upsets this sixty-year-old man and shakes him to his very core.
Charlotte’s alcoholic brother, Teddy shows up with a very pregnant girl named, Suzette and the family isn’t exactly ecstatic, especially when the baby is born looking nothing like anyone in the Wheelwright family and Worth refuses to accept the baby as his grandchild. Is the baby even Teddy’s and are Teddy and Suzette really married like they say they are?
And, Oliver, Charlotte’s other brother has come home to the island to have a commitment ceremony with his male partner.
So much is going on within this family that you have to wonder if they’re going to survive. However, thankfully everyone is comfortable talking to and confiding in ninety-year-old, Nona, the family matriarch. She is such a sweet, sensible woman but even she pulls a stunt that sends Charlotte’s family wondering if senility has finally settled in.
Summer House was a wonderful read and powerfully written. I loved all the characters who were so well typecast and clearly defined. I’ll definitely be recommending this novel to family and friends. I can’t wait to read my next Nancy Thayer novel.