Beachcombers is the story of three sisters- Abbie, Emma and Lily- from the island of Nantucket. Following the sudden death of their mother when they were young, Abbie stepped up to help her father, Jim, by becoming the mother of the family.
Abbie spent the majority of her teenage years and early twenties taking care of her younger sisters, so when the opportunity arose for her to be a nanny for a wealthy family and travel with them- she took it.
After college, Emma landed a great job in a big city, making great money. In the blink of an eye, though, she looses it all- her job, the money she was saving to help her family, her fiancé- who left her for another woman. Suddenly Emma finds herself back on “the island” (as locals call Nantucket) with no idea how to start over.
Lily, the baby of the family was gorgeous with an awesome personality to boot. Since she was only seven when her mother passed away, Lily was used to being babied. Unlike her sisters, Lily returned to the island after college and helped her father run the home. Secretly, though, Lily longed for something more- something beyond the island.
Marina was a very successful business woman, who built her company from the ground up with her husband. They lived a lavish and successful life and were completely happy- except for one thing- Marina couldn’t have a baby. So when her husband surprises her one day by telling her that he’s leaving her for her best friend- Dara- who was also pregnant. Marina finds herself getting divorced, selling her 1/2 of the business she helped build and running as far away as she can… and she ends up on the island looking for a way to heal from her hurt. She ends up renting a place to live from Jim Fox, the father to all three girls mentioned above.
When Emma comes back home and won’t get out of bed for weeks. When her father’s business starts to slow down, making money as issue. And when she sees the way that new renter, Marina, looks at her father- Lily thinks it’s time to email Abbie. and ask her, tell her to come home- and quick!
Beachcombers is a story of healing, new beginnings, family, self-reflection/self-realization and so much more. Nancy Thayer takes us right into the sub-conscious of all of the characters, allowing us to feel what they feel, see what they see and have a candid look into their lives. Nancy also gives us a taste of the Nantucket lifestyle and what it’s like to be an islander watching all of the visitors come and go. Not to mention all of the great facts we learn about Nantucket and the historical pieces we are introduced to.
Coming from a large family, I love the way that Nancy is able to portray each siblings role/status in the family and the true, deep feelings that they feel regarding said role.
Nancy Thayer has such a way with words. She paints beautiful pictures in our minds, allowing us to sit right at the dining table in the Fox household and have a cup of coffee with the girls, or sit under the table with Harry in the kitchen as he plays with his horses. The sky is the limit in regards to visual imagery- I could see Sydney’s impressive suits and threatening facial expressions and the Old Clunker that the girls drove around the island.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that this was “my type” of book that I would normally pick up, but I am so glad that I was able to read it. A great summer read, it’s so easy to get lost in this book and not put it down. Honestly, if she wrote a follow-up book allowing us to catch up with the Fox family, I would definitely pick it up!
Click here to read an excerpt of Beachcombers from Nancy Thayer’s website.
About Nancy Thayer:
“Nantucket novelist Nancy Thayer is the author of twenty novels, including The Hot Flash Series (Hot Flash Holidays, The Hot Flash Club, The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again), Custody, Between Husbands and Friends, An Act of Love, Belonging, Three Women at the Water’s Edge, and Everlasting, a Main Dual selection of the Literary Guild in 1991. Nancy Thayer’s 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.”*