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.

My Thoughts: I savored The Island House, a story of family, secrets, and chaotic upheavals in a gorgeous setting.

I liked Courtney right away, and I was also intrigued by her best friend Robin. Some of the other characters were less delightful, like Christabel, who was not a family member, but an island resident who always seemed to be around, making sarcastic remarks and stirring up trouble, while trying to be the center of attention.

James was the perfect hunk who distanced himself a bit…probably due to family issues involving the older brother Henry.

What will Courtney realize about herself as this final summer brings out revelations that show us more about what choices she should make?

The story flips back and forth in time, offering the reader a view of the events that defined the characters. The shifts in the time line were easy to follow, as they were presented in bold and smaller print.

A slow read that brought this colorful family full of interesting characters to life, the story captured me, making me feel a part of their lives and experiences; it kept me reading, even at times when I wanted the pace to speed up and take me to the final denouement. A satisfying tale that earned 4 stars.



    • Thanks, Kathryn, I do enjoy a slow-paced book when I’ve been reading mostly thrillers. As for my favorites from Thayer, they are the ones that dig deep into family issues. Custody is one that springs to mind. I read it years ago. Now I’m thinking of rereading it.

      Enjoy your reading.


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