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The Island House
Cover of The Island House
The Island House
A Novel
New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer evokes the shimmering seascape of Nantucket in a delightful novel that resonates with the heartache and hope of growing up, growing wise, and the bittersweet choices we must be brave enough to make.

Courtney Hendricks will never forget the magical summers she spent on Nantucket with her college roommate, Robin Vickerey, and Robin's charismatic, turbulent, larger-than-life family, in their gorgeous island house. Now a college English professor in Kansas City, Courtney is determined to experience one more summer in this sun-swept paradise. Her reason for going is personal: Courtney needs to know whether Robin's brother James shares the feelings she's secretly had for him.

Time with the Vickerey family always involves love and laughter, and this season is no different. Vivacious matriarch Susanna Vickerey is celebrating her sixtieth birthday, but beneath the merriment, trouble is brewing. The family patriarch, Dr. Alastair Vickerey, is quiet and detached, while unspoken tension looms over oldest son Henry, a respected young surgeon. Warm and witty Robin, the most grounded of the siblings, is keeping a secret from her parents. Iris, the colorful baby of the brood, remains rudderless and in need of guidance. And the sexy, stunningly handsome, untouchable James—to Courtney's dismay—may be in love with a beautiful and vibrant local artist. As the summer unfolds, a crisis escalates, surprising truths are revealed, and Courtney will at last find out where her heart and her future lie.

Weaving the trials and uncertainty of real life into a tapestry of passion, hope, and courage, The Island House is a beautifully told story about the ties that bind us—and how the blessings of love and family heal us in ways we never dream possible.
Praise for The Island House
"Thayer's latest should be filed under a Best Beach Reads of 2016 list. . . . The characters are complex and their struggles and concerns feel real. . . . Thayer has a really wonderful ability to showcase the meaning of family."RT Reviews
"A perfect book to read while sticking your toes in the sand this summer!"—Bookish Devices
"A touching story about friendship, family, and the uncertainty of love."—Bustle
Praise for Nancy Thayer
The Guest Cottage
"A sweet book with romance, laughter, and love after loss . . . Thayer knows her Nantucket history, and it shines in this book."RT Book Reviews
"It's a pleasant escape to a state of mind in which rebuilding a life is as simple as pitching an umbrella and spreading out a towel."Kirkus Reviews
Nantucket Sisters

"Thayer obviously knows her Nantucket, and the strong sense of place makes this the perfect escapist book for the summer, particularly for fans of Elin Hilderbrand."Booklist

"Thayer keeps readers on the edge of their seats with her dramatic story spanning the girls' childhood to adulthood. This wonderful beach read packs a punch."Library Journal

Island Girls

"A book to be savored and passed on to the good women in your life."—Susan Wiggs

"Full of emotion and just plain fun, this novel is delightful."—Romance Reviews Today
New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer evokes the shimmering seascape of Nantucket in a delightful novel that resonates with the heartache and hope of growing up, growing wise, and the bittersweet choices we must be brave enough to make.

Courtney Hendricks will never forget the magical summers she spent on Nantucket with her college roommate, Robin Vickerey, and Robin's charismatic, turbulent, larger-than-life family, in their gorgeous island house. Now a college English professor in Kansas City, Courtney is determined to experience one more summer in this sun-swept paradise. Her reason for going is personal: Courtney needs to know whether Robin's brother James shares the feelings she's secretly had for him.

Time with the Vickerey family always involves love and laughter, and this season is no different. Vivacious matriarch Susanna Vickerey is celebrating her sixtieth birthday, but beneath the merriment, trouble is brewing. The family patriarch, Dr. Alastair Vickerey, is quiet and detached, while unspoken tension looms over oldest son Henry, a respected young surgeon. Warm and witty Robin, the most grounded of the siblings, is keeping a secret from her parents. Iris, the colorful baby of the brood, remains rudderless and in need of guidance. And the sexy, stunningly handsome, untouchable James—to Courtney's dismay—may be in love with a beautiful and vibrant local artist. As the summer unfolds, a crisis escalates, surprising truths are revealed, and Courtney will at last find out where her heart and her future lie.

Weaving the trials and uncertainty of real life into a tapestry of passion, hope, and courage, The Island House is a beautifully told story about the ties that bind us—and how the blessings of love and family heal us in ways we never dream possible.
Praise for The Island House
"Thayer's latest should be filed under a Best Beach Reads of 2016 list. . . . The characters are complex and their struggles and concerns feel real. . . . Thayer has a really wonderful ability to showcase the meaning of family."RT Reviews
"A perfect book to read while sticking your toes in the sand this summer!"—Bookish Devices
"A touching story about friendship, family, and the uncertainty of love."—Bustle
Praise for Nancy Thayer
The Guest Cottage
"A sweet book with romance, laughter, and love after loss . . . Thayer knows her Nantucket history, and it shines in this book."RT Book Reviews
"It's a pleasant escape to a state of mind in which rebuilding a life is as simple as pitching an umbrella and spreading out a towel."Kirkus Reviews
Nantucket Sisters

"Thayer obviously knows her Nantucket, and the strong sense of place makes this the perfect escapist book for the summer, particularly for fans of Elin Hilderbrand."Booklist

"Thayer keeps readers on the edge of their seats with her dramatic story spanning the girls' childhood to adulthood. This wonderful beach read packs a punch."Library Journal

Island Girls

"A book to be savored and passed on to the good women in your life."—Susan Wiggs

"Full of emotion and just plain fun, this novel is delightful."—Romance Reviews Today
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Excerpts-
  • From the book 1

    Courtney always took the slow ferry to Nantucket at the beginning of the summer. It was a sort of ritual for her, watching Hyannis with its docks, wharves, beach houses, and sailboats slide slowly into the background until the ship was surrounded by water, with no land in sight. It was the gentle disconnecting from the mainland that made it possible for her to let go of the real world and everything it contained. For two hours, she would sit at a window, staring out at the infinite blue sea, its white-­tipped waves, its oddly serene seabirds bobbing blithely so far from land, and in the distance, like a child's first drawing, a fishing trawler sputtering along with its nets sinking down and down into the mysterious watery unknown. Suddenly, Courtney would catch a glimmer along the horizon. Low and flat, it shimmered like a mirage, and as the steamship Nantucket rumbled along, an intense point of light would flash and disappear, flash and disappear—­the first sign of Nantucket, the Great Point Light. As soon as she spotted this, Courtney would rise from her seat, walk down the aisle and push her way out through the heavy door to the bow. Here the wind whipped her hair into her face and the sun shone into her eyes and the air smelled of salt. She was almost there, and she wanted to be alert and watchful, to feel herself being borne closer and closer to the island she loved.

    She was standing on the deck now, scanning the horizon for landmarks—­the water tower, the cluster of rainbow sailboats daringly leaving the harbor, the buoys.

    This year, this summer—­this would be a time she would always remember. She was sure of that.

    "Have you been to the island before?"

    An older woman had come to join her, and stood next to her, her age-­marked hands holding tight to the railing.

    "Yes, several times, actually, for about ten years," Courtney replied. "And you?"

    The deeply tanned creases of the woman's face readjusted themselves as she smiled. "Growing up, my family summered here. My parents left me their house, and my husband and children and I summered here. This summer our grandchildren are visiting."

    "How lucky you are," Courtney said wistfully. She wanted what this woman had, she wanted to marry the man she loved and raise a great pack of children on the island.

    The woman studied Courtney. "And where do you stay when you're here?"

    Courtney paused before admitting, "With the Vickereys on the cliff."

    "The Vickereys!" The woman stood back a pace, the better to scan Courtney up and down, appraising her. "Are you a Vickerey?"

    "No, no," Courtney hurriedly assured her. "I went to school with Robin Vickerey. We were roommates at Smith, became good friends, and I've just fallen into the habit of visiting a lot." Even as she spoke the words, Courtney could hear the style, the blasé cadence of the Vickerey family: I've just fallen into the habit . . . As if she were one of the Vickereys and belonged in that enormous rambling house as part of their accomplished, complicated, turbulent, family.

    The older woman arched an eyebrow. "I'd say you're lucky, too, then. You're one of Susanna Vickerey's summer children."

    Summer children: that was what Susanna called her four children's best friends who spent every summer in the Vickerey home, even though those "children" were adults and had been for years.

    "Yes," Courtney agreed happily. "I am."

    The first summer Courtney Hendricks spent on Nantucket, she was eighteen years old, a naïve, book-­smart optimist who didn't know what the world would throw at her but was sure...
About the Author-
  • Nancy Thayer is the New York Times bestselling author of 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 Beach, and The Hot Flash Club. She lives on Nantucket.
Reviews-
  • Bustle "A perfect book to read while sticking your toes in the sand this summer!"--Bookish Devices

    "A touching story about friendship, family, and the uncertainty of love."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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