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Hearts Warm on Cold Island: A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer

cover imageJudging from A Nantucket Christmas, author Nancy Thayer has mellowed over the years since the earlier novels that I remember reading about marriages or long-time friendships breaking up, family secrets revealed, the occasional crime of passion, etc. (She is described by one reviewer as “queen of the beach book.”) Her earlier women’s fiction, as I recall, had more of a bite to it. this Christmas story set on the cold island of Nantucket is short and sweet – in a word, heartwarming. With food! But no recipes.

There is some realism in evidence here, especially in the almost-caustic thoughts of Nicole, a retired nurse, when she sees her first Christmas with her new (also handsome and wealthy) husband being ruined by the extended visit of his hugely pregnant and unpleasant adult daughter and her family, but mostly it’s a heartwarming story about the ups and downs of marriage and blended families. Maddox – Nicole’s new, four-year-old step-grandson – gets his own story line, and so does an abandoned, little dog.

Dogs, baking, Christmas, and quaint Nantucket…That about sums it up! I enjoyed the story and the setting and recommend this to anyone who enjoys domestic fiction and is looking for a pleasantly undemanding holiday read.

cover imageA Nantucket Christmas was released last year, and this year there is An Island Christmas, about a family and a holiday wedding. (Also described by the publisher as “heartwarming,” so you can count on a happy ending.)

A Nantucket Christmas
Thayer, Nancy
Ballantine Books, 2013
224 pp.
$18, hardcover
$9.99 (e-book)

Disclosure: I received a free print copy of this book for purposes of review from the publisher through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program.

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