The Book Worm: Review: The Guest Cottage, by Nancy Thayer

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: The Guest Cottage, by Nancy Thayer

nancy thayer, 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.

Genre: contemporary romance

Publishing date: May 2015

Offensive content: nothing to report other than a few almost chaste kisses and one not-too-graphic sex scene.

This was one of the books I took with me on vacation and I was hooked from the first pages.Sophie is the typical stay at home mother who, all of a sudden, is confronted with the fact that her husband is having an affair, has been for quite some time, and wants a divorce. Hoping that her estranged husband eventually changes his mind and with the idea of sheltering her children from their parents crumbling marriage until both adults come to a final decision, she rents a summer house in Nantucket and moves there for a two-month vacation. 

Trevor, on the other hand, is dealing with the devastating effect of his wife's death on his life and in the life of his 5 year old son who has, as a result, started to show some less than normal behaviors. At the advice of a therapist, Trevor decides that a change in routine is probably the best for both father and son and rents a summer house as well. 

That they end up in the same house is of course expected, but creates the perfect setting for a summer romance. Sophie and Trevor are both dedicated parents and their children, though facing the normal problems of their respective ages, heightened by the absence of one of the parents, come across as well balanced and respectful. At some point, I found myself wishing my own kids could behave like that, at least for a few days. So far so good.

But as you've noticed, I've rated this book with only 2 stars, so you're probably wondering what went wrong. Well, for me the turning point was the fact that Trevor slept with Angie, Sophie's best friend, who was visiting for a couple of days. Slept with Angie when he lusting after Sophie and wondering if he was even falling in love with her, when his son was sleeping in the next room and Sophie and her children on the other side of the house. For no other reason other than Angie was right there and willing. And it happened not once, but twice. Really?

And Sophie, even though she's wondering whether she's falling for Trevor too, takes it in stride, isn't angry or resentful. And goes right on lusting for him? Really??? If a man I was interested in slept with my best friend right under my nose I'm pretty sure I would walk away. For a woman recently shocked by her husband's affair, Trevor's slip up should have caused at least an awkward morning after. But no, instead Sophie goes on to flirt with Hristo, a divorced man also spending the summer with is daughter in Nantucket and even wonders what would her life be like if she married Hristo after her divorce. While still lusting after Trevor but believing they have no future just because he's six years younger than she is. And since all the action happens along the two-month vacation, Sophie and Trevor end up actually sleeping together mere weeks after his two-night stand with Angie. Which, by the way, they never discuss between themselves. Yuck.

So, while I loved the first part of the book, the second part ruined all those good feelings. At first I was shocked with both main characters, and then I just got bored. I finished reading the book because I rarely leave a book unfinished, and yes, I can vouch for the happily ever after moment, but for me the magic was gone long before that. 

This book has some wonderful Amazon reviews, so the problem may be mine alone and you may want to check it out by yourself, but be warned that at some point you may find that the story diverts from a typical (even if predictable) romance novel into a kind of messy plot and that some of the characters may not be exactly who you thought they were. 

Enjoy the rest of your week,

book reviews blog


  1. I agree with you. I don't like reading books that promote immorality in any way. Good for you for taking a stand for what's right!

    1. I'm not easily offended, but enough is enough and I really didn't like this book...

  2. Ugh. It sounded so promising. But no. Just no on the sleeping with the best friend. Absolutely nuh-uh. Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday!


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