Thursday, 30 October 2014

"A Nantucket Christmas" by Nancy Thayer

Thanks to Headline and for supplying a review copy of this title...

The winter season on Nantucket is very different to the busy summer time.  The summer crowds have returned to the mainland, the sun has tucked itself away and the storms are brewing.  The rental houses empty out and the year-round residents get ready for their Christmas visit from Santa and MrsClaus, who each year, arrive by ferry with great excitement from the islanders.  
This year is going to be different for Nicole.  Recently married to Sebastian,  she is about to host her first Christmas on Nantucket with Sebastian's pregnant daughter, Kennedy, and her family, who are coming to stay for a week.  A new family,including a less than welcoming step daughter, may not make for the merriest Christmas.

The book starts with the change of season on Nantucket and Nancy Thayer describes the closing up of the summer houses, the abandoning of 'extras' and the onset of winter.  Nantucket is always portrayed as a playground for the wealthy and the usual beach scenes with bobbing yachts in the background are par for the course.  This short novel is a different approach and is a refreshing look at the island, still from the angle of the wealthy residents, but a change all the same.

Kennedy is one of the most annoying, selfish, self-centered adult I have come across in fiction.  A wife and mother, without a worry in the world, she spends her time being vicious, nasty and hurtful to her father's new wife.  She thinks she can persuade him to get back with her mother (who is also a nasty piece of work) and never considers that her father may actually be happy.  Sebastian sees his daughter through rose tinted glasses and rarely protects Nicole from his daughter's vile attitude.  All through this, Nicole cooks up a storm for her guests, bends over backwards to facilitate them and gets no praise.   

The story is sweet, the island sounding wonderful, as usual, and the Christmas feeling takes over at times.  Kennedy's darkness is pushed to the side, luckily, by the amazing food that Nicole rustles up. Warning: You will crave food while reading this book!

A light, if unrealistic, short book.  Perfect for a pre-Christmas atmospheric read and will make you grateful for the family you have.  Another look at how money cannot buy you class, or nice manners.

A Nantucket Christmas is published by Headline Review and is available in paperback or ebook format.

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