Start reading Summer House: A Novel on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration

Summer House: A Novel
Narrated by Emily Durante
$27.99 $4.49
Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Summer House: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Nancy Thayer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $4.49 when you buy the Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $11.73  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $0.00 Free with your Audible trial
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged $24.57  
Unknown Binding --  
Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Book Description

BONUS: This edition contains a Summer House discussion guide and an excerpt from Nancy Thayer's Island Girls.

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 neighbor 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 may lead, love always finds a way back home.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
After years of wandering from whim to whim, thirty-year-old Charlotte Wheelwright seems to have at last found her niche. The free spirit enjoys 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 neighbor Coop—might be more of a challenge.

Nona’s generosity to Charlotte, secretly her favorite grandchild, doesn’t sit well with the rest of the Wheelwright clan, however, as they worry that Charlotte may be positioning herself to inherit the entire estate. With summer upon them, everyone is making their annual pilgrimage to the homestead—some with hopes of thwarting Charlotte’s dreams, others in anticipation of Nona’s latest pronouncements at the annual family meeting, and still others with surprising news of their own. Charlotte’s mother, Helen, a Wheelwright by marriage, brings a heavy heart. She once set aside her own ambitions to fit in with the Wheelwrights, but now she must confront a betrayal that threatens both her sense of place and her sense of self.

As summer progresses, these three women—Charlotte, Nona, and Helen—come to terms with the decisions they have made. Revisiting the lives and loves that have crossed their paths and the possibilities of the roads not taken, they may just discover that what they’ve always sought was right in front of them all along.


Amazon Exclusive: Nancy Thayer on Summer House

As a child, I thought my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world. She’s 90 now, and I still think that.

I’ve kept the photo albums of her as a young woman with my father, an officer in the Army in WWII. Through the years I’ve read and reread Daddy’s letters to my mother, written to her from Germany, and Belgium, and secret places. My parents were just ordinary people, from Kansas, and yet they had a glamour that fascinated me.

I loved my family—my extended family of aunt and uncle and cousins, too, although they always seemed annoyingly perfect to me, never as messy as my own family. Yet, as I grew up, I longed to rebel, to escape from the definition of myself as part of any family. I wanted to be my own person. I wanted to make my own choices. And I made them. And believe me, I made a few mistakes.

When I was in my thirties, my parents confided a secret to my sister. Not to me, to my sister! Of course, she immediately phoned me to share the news. I was stunned. And hurt—why hadn’t my parents told me first? I was the older sister!

These events and emotions are the catalysts for Summer House, about three women in a large, close-knit family.

Charlotte is 30, rebelling against her family’s goals for her life, and privately atoning for a terrible mistake she made.

Helen, 60, has overheard a conversation that brings her agony—and a chance to understand her place in the family.

And Nona, at 90, knows the time has come to reveal the most profound secret of all.

The family gathers at Nona’s summer house on Nantucket, where the tranquil surface of the beautiful island can not hide the consequences of desire and betrayal, and also of forgiveness and love. —Nancy Thayer

(Photo © Nicole Harnishfeger, Inquirer and Mirror)

From Publishers Weekly

Thayer (Shell Moon Beach) explores the tarnished interior of a family of Boston bankers as well as the more polished exterior they display in public in this tepid melodrama. Charlotte Wheelwright has a guilty conscience, so she flees Boston for Nantucket to start an organic farm on her grandmother's land. Nona is nearly 90, and the family is happy to have someone on the island with her year-round. A few years into her project, Charlotte begins making a small profit, and some members of the extended family have a problem with that. The clan gathers at the seaside mansion for the annual family meeting where the fate of Charlotte's garden will be decided. Much of the group, including Charlotte's addict brother, stay at the house all summer, to share in more festive occasions like Nona's birthday celebration, a wedding and the birth of a child. Charlotte, meanwhile, suddenly finds herself attracted to two men, but which will she choose? The clichéd family's clichéd squabbling—and the narrative as a whole—ends up being much ado about nothing. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1445 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 23, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002CCNA1U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,913 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful summer read June 25, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the main characters, Nona, Helen, and Charlotte. I liked the stories of Nona, the family's matriarch, and her husband as he served in WWII. I enjoyed daydreaming about their lives and adventures and how lovely it would be to summer, every year, on the island of Nantucket. I couldn't help but think of the Kennedy's, probably because Charlotte's alcoholic brother's name was Teddy. I didn't want the book to end. I've read too many, less than satisfying, "summer reads" that were mostly fluff and silliness with stereotypical characters and shallow story lines. Summer House, on the other hand, is not one of those books and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy a Summer Holiday with Wealthy New Englanders June 30, 2009
Format:Hardcover
Nancy Thayer gives us a nice, light beach read focusing on three women of the wealthy Wheelwright clan. The extended members of this upper-crust family all spend the summer together at the sprawling summer home of their matriarch Nona. With in-laws aplenty populating the house, tempers and long-seething jealousies are sure to flare as the reader is treated to a vicarious trip to a family reunion.

Nona is approaching 90 and enjoys having her son, her daughter, their children and grandchildren with her every summer. But as she becomes less mobile, she spends much time recalling the past and we are treated to the story of her falling in love with and marrying Herb, her now-deceased husband. Her favorite granddaughter, Charlotte, is now living with her permanently. A bit of a job-hopper, Charlotte has now found the one thing in life she wants to pursue as a career---she wants to be a gardener. With plenty of land on the estate, she grows vegetables and flowers which she sells daily at her market stand. Her happiness at having netted four thousand dollars the previous year does not sit well with her cousins who feel she is using her position as fair-haired grandchild to her advantage, though I'm never sure why this super-rich family begrudges her what must have been a piddling amount to them. Anyway, at 30, Charlotte is still unsure about love and has two interesting prospects over the course of the summer. She is also doing penance for a sexual dalliance in the past which still troubles her.

Charlotte's mother, Helen, is facing challenges of her own. When she learns of her husband's infidelity, she has major issues to face and contemplates divorce and freedom from this family.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mid-summer read! June 25, 2009
Format:Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know three generations of Wheelwright women: Anne, the matriarch (lovingly referred to as "Nona"), Helen, her daughter-in-law, and Charlotte, Helen's daughter. Grace, Nona's daughter, is a prominent but secondary character; Grace's children are also present but play very minor roles. We don't really get to know Grace and her children aside from their interactions with Helen and their cousins, and the glimpses we see are not flattering.

The story takes place at the family's summer house on Nantucket. The book is broken into parts by event, and each vignette sheds more light on the women and the family dynamics. Woven throughout are Nona's memories of her life as a young wife and mother.

It would be easy to characterize this book as mere fluff. Helen's children are non-conformists (horrifyingly so to this Eastern banking family) and Grace's children are whiny and dull. But beyond the easy stereotypes are women I can identify with: women who are far from perfect, trying to do their best day in and day out for themselves and for those they love. More importantly, Nona, Helen, and Charlotte own responsibility for the choices they have made.

Highly recommended!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just mediocre June 19, 2010
Format:Paperback
"Summer House" is not an unpleasant book... but it had too many characters, and too little actual focus. Two chapters into it, I had to sketch out a family tree, in order to keep all the relations straight -- and that is something the author should have provided. The story meanders through the lives of all these people, interestingly enough (I guess) but without much point, direction or energy. Only the writer's skill with words made this as readable as it was.
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Beach Read! July 27, 2009
Format:Hardcover
The Wheelwright's are an affluent Boston family. They meet up every summer at the family's Nantucket summer home, also the permanent residence of the family matriarch, Nona, and Charlotte, Nona's 30 year old granddaughter.

This summer the family really has something to celebrate: Nona's 90th birthday! Soon the quiet Nantucket house will be overflowing with family members, and with them comes extra family drama.

Summer House is told from the viewpoint of three generations of Wheelwright women: Nona Wheelwright, Helen Wheelwright, and Charlotte Wheelwright.

Nona Wheelwright is the oldest surviving member of the Wheelwright family. Her husband, Herb, passed away several years ago. Her days are spent reliving her youth. Through flashbacks, the reader catches a glimpse of her introduction to the Wheelwright family. Although her midwestern family was wealthy as well, Nona (known as Anne in her youth) had to work hard to be accepted into the family. Secrets she's kept for decades may change the family forever...for the good and and the bad.

Helen Wheelwright is married to Nona's oldest son, Worth. She's recently discovered he was having an affair, and spends the summer weeding through her thoughts as to what her future will hold.

Charlotte Wheelwright has finally found her passion: running an organic gardening business on her Grandma Nona's land. She's the free-spirit of the family. After attempting to join the family banking business without success, the Wheelwights agreed to allow Charlotte to take upon this endeavor. It also helped that she'd be caring for Grandma Nona, a task Nona's children hadn't been able to take upon themselves.

Three years later she's still at it and with a profit!
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this book
Published 4 days ago by Norma Calabrese
4.0 out of 5 stars terrific!
What a lovely story about life, love, family and belonging. A worthwhile look at the things that matter and how they shape us and we always have the choice to choose happiness.
Published 5 days ago by book lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed!
Published 9 days ago by Sam
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a good book, but left me wanting just a bit ...
I wanted a minimum of 1 more chapter!! Preferably 5 years later. It was a good book, but left me wanting just a bit more.
Published 14 days ago by Carly Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book!
Published 18 days ago by Ann Reeves
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good light read
Published 19 days ago by Linda Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
easy read.
Published 25 days ago by Woodtic
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
This book dragged out a little too much. I couldn't finish it because it didn't hold my attention
Published 25 days ago by Danica Hicks
4.0 out of 5 stars I've liked all of Nancy Thayer's book tho this one not ...
I've liked all of Nancy Thayer's book tho this one not quite as much. Too much like other books I've read but I wouldn't tell anyone not to read it. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Eunice Kiernan
4.0 out of 5 stars Affluent family summers in their Nantucket summer house and learns to...
Another great glimps into affluent family summers on Nantucket from a very readable writer.
Published 29 days ago by Barbara B. Westmoreland
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

An Island Christmas is my 26th novel, set here on this wild island where I've lived for 30 years. I write about what I know & love: happy, slightly eccentric (aren't we all?), families, including cats and dogs. I post daily on Facebook and love to get to know my readers, and I send out a newsletter you can sign up for on my website: Nancy Thayer. Nantucket Sisters was my 2014 summer novel, all about a rich girl and a poor girl becoming best friends one Nantucket summer. This island is a wealth of inspiration!

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category