Nancy Thayer Invites Readers Back to Nantucket for a Much Needed ‘Family Reunion’ [REVIEW]

Nantucket sunset
Nantucket is the perfect place to rejuvenate your spirit. (Photo courtesy Canva)

An aging matriarch longs to reconnect with her loved ones. A young college graduate is ready to leave a bad romance in her wake. Will these two women be able to find what they’re looking for? In Family Reunion, New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer welcomes readers back to Nantucket for one more magical summer, where life is bolstered by the surrounding tides and seemingly anything is possible.

Ballantine Books

The beautiful cliffside house has been in Eleanor Sunderland’s family for decades, but now that her husband is gone and she is a 70-year-old woman living alone on Nantucket, her money-hungry kiddos want her to sell her beloved home for a sweet payout.

As if that kind of pressure isn’t enough to give her the blues, her best friend decides to take a cruise without her, leaving Eleanor feeling lonely even though the tourist season is just beginning and the island’s population is quickly swelling with annual summertime visitors. So to ward off her malaise, she decides to put together a family reunion instead.

Meanwhile, Eleanor’s granddaughter, Ari, has broken things off with her fiancé and needs to escape real life for a little while before starting graduate school. Moving in with her grandma is just the reprieve she needs, and soon she finds herself working at a local beach camp for the summer.

Together, the two women grow closer than ever before, falling into a relaxed routine and watching how they handle the changing circumstances in their respective lives. Still, life doesn’t suddenly become totally idyllic for them, and they must both learn to navigate some tricky discoveries that throw off their new groove. How they learn to handle these situations makes for a compelling family drama, Nancy Thayer style.

I have not read one of Thayer’s novels in quite a few years. However, her writing still has its trademark ethos and invites readers to examine their own lives and evaluate what they find without judgment. As you read Family Reunion, you’ll begin to see each generation’s perspective is different, even though life ultimately comes full circle.

There is one theme I could not help but notice throughout this novel: Each of us is on a journey that is uniquely our own. Family can help us weather the storms or choices we make, but only we have the ability to change our future.

Family and friends come in and out of our lives to teach us a lesson or remind us of a moral we may have forgotten. It is these moments when we truly see the people before us and have the ability to be completely present. Listening to what is not said is the key.

Eleanor displays this quality in spades. With every nod or shake of her head, Eleanor shows her granddaughter, Ari, that she matters. This is something that will never veer very far from her mind.

From the beautiful shoreline of Nantucket to the bustling city streets in Boston, escape into Nancy Thayer’s unforgettable world once more in Family Reunion. You’ll be glad that you did!

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Nancy Thayer
Nancy Thayer


Nancy Thayer is the New York Times bestselling author of Secrets in Summer, The Island House, The Guest Cottage, An Island Christmas, Nantucket Sisters, A Nantucket Christmas, Island Girls, Summer Breeze, Heat Wave, Beachcombers, Summer House, Moon Shell Beachand The Hot Flash Club.

She lives on Nantucket.

For more information, visit, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram and BookBub.

Family Reunion
By Nancy Thayer
304 pp. Ballantine Books. $27.

Purchase Family Reunion direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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