"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Heat Wave by Nancy Thayer

This book has been on my wish list since I noticed it on some blogs before it came out.  I read Beth's Review on her blog The Crazy Life Of A Bookoholic Mom and when it was offered to me by the Amazon Vine Program I snapped it right up.  Thank you Beth!!!  Please take a minute to check out her wonderful blog!!

Ballantine Books
Random House Publishing
ISBN-10: 0345518314
ISBN-13: 978-0345518316

Carley and Gus have been married 13 years, she stays home with their two girls in their huge Nantucket home that was Gus's mother's family home.  Gus is a partner in his father's law firm.  Life is good.  Until one night Gus doesn't come home from the office.  Carley contacts her in-laws and her father-in-law goes back to the office to find his only child dead at his desk.

This sets up a whole mass of events for Carley from dealing with her children, her in-laws and her friends, plus the financial burden she now has to manage. She moves forward for herself and her daughters in ways that are hard for Gus's parents to understand at times. She tries hard to do what she believe Gus would want her to do. Always putting her family first. 

This story has so many layers, relationships, and drama.  The relationship Carley has with her daughters rings true as they all come to grips with Gus's death.  Add the oldest daughter becoming a teenager and all the very real things mother and daughters face are brought to the forefront.

The relationship with Gus's parents is difficult at best. At times his mother tries to undermine Carley with her girls but Carley handles it and even stands up to them both unleashing the strong character within.

The relationship with her friends troubled me at times, some of the situations seemed almost too much for the character of Carley to bear.  One so extraordinary that most of us never would be able to handle and I think the author let it happen too easily.

I don't want to reveal too much but one of Carley's relationships moved too slowly, the stopping and starting, the taking in and pushing away felt overdone.  I realized that by the end of the story what the author was setting up but the time taken should have been in one place instead of the other.

All this being said, Nancy Thayer is a wonderful author who writes of Nantucket in almost a poetic way.   You know she loves her setting and she knows her audience.  This is a fine summer read that all her fans will enjoy.  Did I love it? No, but I did enjoy it. Is this her finest novel? No, but it is very good.  It's all about the relationships. The story is full of flawed characters with lots of waves, the heat was there and then it was gone and everything tied up in the end in a neat little package.  Just a little bit too neat.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Amazon Vine Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I am glad you liked this one Lori. I love how Nancy Thayer writes about Nantucket. It is somewhere I will probably never visit and I have fun escaping there in her books every summer.

Tami said...

I'm on a roll, reading a string of "beach" novels this summer, and this looks like a good addition to the list. Thanks for the honest review so I know what to expect.