Summer House tells the story of a few generations of Wheelwright’s who spend every summer together on Nantucket. Nona, who turns ninety that summer, is now living on the island year round, with her granddaughter Charlotte. The author very cleverly weaves Nona’s love story with her now dead husband Herb, with the expectations her children have for her grandchildren, as well as telling the love stories of each set of lovers. As with many other family saga’s I have read, this family has its own dysfunctions that unfold in a very realistic natural way. In fact, as someone who comes from a slightly disfunctional family, I thought there was a little too much drama, for a few very small issues. Though, the issues dealt with in this book were serious, infidelity, divorce, alcoholism, etc., I thought the way they were dealt with was rather old fashioned, sweeping them under the rug. My family would have been a little more direct, which if turned into fiction would have been a very short novel, I guess.
Having said that, I did enjoy the different characters in this book, and did appreciate the struggles that one of the main characters, Charlotte, was going through. Her family was in the banking business, and none of her siblings, including herself, wanted to be in that business. She did try it, but gave it up to run an organic food and vegetable stand on the island, and was proving to be rather successful at it. What I identified with was not the pressures put on her by her family, but was in the way that she was trying to find herself, and what she wanted to do in her life. We all put pressure on ourselves for certain things. Having enough money in our savings account for retirement, finding your worth in the workplace and discovering that may not be what you were meant to do, and finding love, or allowing love to find you, and being true to it. Those are all things that many of us go through at different stages of our lives, and her story really resonated with me because of that. I did also enjoy the drama that her large family, living in one house for three months at a time, created, as well. It was great family entertainment, but with serious subject matter.
Readers who love family saga’s will enjoy the way this story unfolds. It does not hit you over the head, but each story is revealed in a very natural way, with the outcome for each character concluded satisfactorily.
Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved