The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Sophie leads a calm and predictable life, but not necessarily a happy and fulfilling one, especially in the love department. When her husband announces he's leaving her, she decides to rent a cottage on Nantucket for the summer, along with her kids, Jonah and Lacey. At the same time, Trevor Black, a young widower with a four-year-old son named Leo, decides to rent a cottage on Nantucket, hoping it will get Leo (and himself) away from the memories of Leo's late mother.
All is well until Sophie and Trevor arrive on the island and realize they've rented the same house. The two decide to share the large house for the summer and quickly become fast friends. But are Sophie and Trevor destined to become more than friends?
I usually enjoy the occasional book like this, where the plot is predictable, but comfortable and sort of cozy. However, I just couldn't get into this one, especially the first half or so. In fact, I almost gave up, which I rarely ever do on a book. I couldn't find myself empathizing with Sophie or her predicament - she came across as a bland character, who gave you little reason to root for her. Also, while I know these books are based a bit on absurdity and implausibility, this one seemed particularly so. The fact that Sophie and Trevor so easily melded together in the house was amazing and that Sophie's older kids played so well with his younger one. Hmm. I can't imagine going on vacation and just agreeing to share my rental with another family!
The book picked up a little over halfway through, when Sophie took more control over her life and we finally found more about her back-story. Still, the book uses Sophie's piano-playing as a sort of backdrop, but it rings hollow at times, and is a little strange. I couldn't get into it - but that may just be me. I did enjoy the second half of the book more than the first and it certainly went faster and was more what I was expecting. Sophie became a bit more engaging and likable.
Overall, though, if you're looking for a light and fluffy beach read, there are definitely better ones out there.
(Note: I received an advanced copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.)
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