Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Guest Cottage Book Review

Sensible thirty-six-year-old Sophie Anderson has always known what to do. She knows her role in life: supportive wife of a successful architect and calm, capable mother of two. But on a warm summer night, as the house grows quiet around her and her children fall asleep, she wonders what’s missing from her life.

When her husband echoes that lonely question, announcing that he’s leaving her for another woman, Sophie realizes she has no idea what’s next. Impulsively renting a guest cottage on Nantucket from her friend Susie Swenson, Sophie rounds up her kids, Jonah and Lacey, and leaves Boston for a quiet family vacation, minus one.

Also minus one is Trevor Black, a software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife. Trevor is the last person to imagine himself, age thirty and on his own, raising a little boy like Leo—smart and sweet, but grappling constantly with his mother’s death, growing more and more closed off. Hoping a quiet summer on the Nantucket coast will help him reconnect with Leo, Trevor rents a guest house on the beautiful island from his friend Ivan Swenson.

Best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they’ve mistakenly rented the same house. Still, determined to make this a summer their kids will always remember, the two agree to share the Swensons’ Nantucket house. But as the summer unfolds and the families grow close, Sophie and Trevor must ask themselves if the guest cottage is all they want to share.

front cover of paperback book
The Guest Cottage
by Nancy Thayer
Publisher: Headline
Publish Date: 25 Feb. 2016
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1472216032
Rating: 4.5/5


Sunning it up in the beautiful island of Crete I brought just one paperback to read, in addition to my Kindle, while relaxing by the pool. I was kindly sent The Guest Cottage by the publishers and instantly fell in love with the cover. There's something about it which is really charming and actually quite pretty. After reading the book I did picture something completely different in my mind but I still like the cover regardless.

The general plot of The Guest Cottage is that two families simultaneously books the same cottage through one of the owners of the cottage. It becomes apparent that neither of the two owners communicate as the botch up happens and both families end up sharing the cottage for the duration of the vacation. As the story progresses we see some potential love interests, a lovely old man in the adjacent apartment and lots of fun on the beach.

What I really like about this book is the fact it features an older woman and younger man relationship. I'm a traditional person and have always opted to have an older man in my life, purely based on the traditional virtues I was brought up with. The freedom to choose a spouse, regardless of age, is something I feel hasn't been touched on enough and I found it refreshing to read. Despite the reservations of Sophie thinking she's too old for Trevor, the romance soon overcomes them to our delight.

The large inclusion of the children is also a charming element to the plot. As it unfolds we see the children of both families bonding together and just being children. Playing in the back garden, having fun on the beach and hanging out with friends is what children should be doing, I think, rather than being scripted to behave on par and being seen not heard. The fact that the children are written to act like children is brilliant!

The only let down I had with The Guest Cottage was the sub story of Connor, the old man next door. Heading towards the end of the book there are some medical concerns about Connor which seem to quickly evaporate after a check up from Sophie's mum. I hoped this story would develop a little more as there was so much build up to the check up. However, his story has a nice ending which I'm not going to spoil for you.

I've enjoyed The Guest Cottage and liked being engrossed in a six week holiday in Nantucket. I thought this was a great read to enjoy while on my own holiday and would recommend this book to anyone who loves a family saga.

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