Entertainment

Thayer intertwines complicated love stories in new novel

Posted May 16

"Secrets in Summer" (Ballantine Books), by Nancy Thayer

Having the ability to puzzle through the complexities of a budding romance is a useful skill. Things get a bit more complicated when everyone else in your life also struggles with his or her own amorous desires. Best-selling author Nancy Thayer investigates this idea, exploring the many intricacies of various relationships, in her latest book, "Secrets in Summer."

Darcy Cotterill had a rocky childhood. She never really understood stability until she moved to Nantucket as a young girl to live with her grandmother. Now that her grandmother is gone, Darcy cherishes the charming house and its relaxing backyard, adores her job at the local library and enjoys a budding relationship with Nash, an attractive carpenter.

What Darcy doesn't expect is her ex-husband and his family renting the house next door to hers for the summer. From behind the tall shrubbery that provides privacy from one yard to the next, Darcy recognizes the voice of Boyz Szweda, his voluptuous wife, Autumn, and his teenage stepdaughter, Willow.

The hedge may be a line of visual protection, but it offers little to keep Darcy from overhearing every conversation on all sides of her house. In one direction, there's the family from Boston. With three rambunctious boys and a haggard mom, Darcy has every reason to suspect the absentee father is considering an affair. In another direction, an elderly woman is visiting Nantucket for the summer with her grandson. Not only does Mimi endear herself to Darcy, but so does Clive.

While Darcy does everything she can to fight the unexpected love triangle, she inserts herself into Willow's love life. Literally. Knowing Willow has attached herself to the local thug, Darcy makes it her personal mission to sway the young girl away from the town's riffraff. Naturally Boyz thinks Darcy is using Willow as an excuse to be in his life again. Is there such a thing as a love quadrangle?

"Secrets in Summer" is a breezy beach read, full of empathetic characters in relatable situations. Through Darcy's experiences, we learn that even though life can be complicated, it's ours to live. And we should live that life to the fullest, no matter what situations it may bring.

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