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Where The Idea Came From

Earlier this week, I posted my review of the book Beachcombers by best-selling author Nancy Thayer.  Today, I’d like to share with you a little more from Nancy.  Below, you will find a guest post from her, all about where the idea for her novel came from.  It’s some fun insight into the way the writer’s mind works!



The idea for Beachcombers came to me when I was literally walking on the beach.  I was thinking about mermaids, specifically the Hans Christian Anderson story in which the mermaid, in order to be with the man she loves, can walk on land, but only at the cost of great pain.  Well, I thought, isn’t that sort of the human condition?  Not to be gloomy about it—life is wonderful—but no one gets to spend life on this earth without some pain, some loss.

          I was also thinking about how the economy had caused so much loss—not mere loss of money, but loss of jobs, loss of self-esteem, loss of hope.  How do we all go on from that point?

          We go on with the help of our family and our friends, of course. 

And that made me think about my sister Martha. She’s eight years younger than I am, so when we were young, we weren’t quite so close, to put it mildly.  She was a darling blue eyed blond who didn’t have to help with the housework because she was “the baby.”  I felt like the drudge.  No, wait.  I was the drudge!  When I was  fourteen, I wrote a poem to her titled, “You are the flower, I am the weed.”

Martha is now a nurse.  We call her for advice when we’re sick.  We’ve called her for advice when our dog was sick!  She constantly cheers and supports and inspires me.  Over the years, she’s helped me in more ways than I can possibly count.   Thinking about her made me want to write about sisters, sisters who had experienced loss, who were  forced to change and grow up, who grow apart and come together.

I also thought about my own children, who are in their thirties now, independent, successful adults.  My daughter Sam has given me two grandchildren and is working on the third, and I think babies are the happiest things in the world!  So I knew babies would be in there somewhere.

Finally, I knew the book would be set on Nantucket.  This wind-swept isolated island provides so much inspiration for so many people.   I interviewed a friend who makes lightship baskets.  I spent time in our historical museum, relearning the island’s fascinating history.  And of course I went back to the beach often, to be refreshed.  I know that many people come to the island to be healed, to find love, to find magic.  What about those of us who live here?, I wondered.  Can Nantucket be magic for us, too?

With those thoughts, and that question, I sat down and started writing Beachcombers.  I wrote about island crafts and island beaches, about people who were born here and people who visit, about love and disagreements and separations and worries and hope.   My next book will be set on the island, too.

I love the island so much, and I’ve had so many people email me to ask about what the island looks like, that I had some photos taken and posted on youtube under Nancy Thayer.  I hope you enjoy them!

Nancy Thayer is the New York Times bestselling author of Summer House, Moon Shell Beach, The Hot Flash Club, The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again, Hot Flash Holidays, The Hot Flash Club Chills Out, and Between Husbands and Friends. She lives on Nantucket. You can visit Nancy Thayer’s website at

Fun Summer Read

Nancy Thayer's latest novel

Abbie, Emma, and Lily Fox are three sisters who grew up on Nantucket.  Abbie was able to escape the island and memories of her deceased mother by taking a job as a nanny in England.  Emma has made a name for herself in the financial world of Boston and has fallen in love with a man who shares her passions.  Only Lily—the youngest sister who is constantly treated like a baby—is left on the island, living with their father and working for a local magazine.  All three seem content with their lives—until the nation’s financial crises interferes.

All at once, Emma loses her job, her life savings, and her fiancé.  She returns home, where Lily is quickly overwhelmed with taking care of her sister, the home, and keeping up with her own job.  Her concern for her father—whose construction business has suffered in the slowed economy.  When Lily voices concerns about her father and the woman he has allowed to rent the girls’ old playhouse for the summer to her oldest sister, Abbie feels she has little choice but to return home. To Nantucket.  What follows is a summer none of the girls will ever forget.

In her novel Beachcombers, Nancy Thayer has crafted a moving tale of family, friendship, and finding yourself.  Each woman faces her own crises.  Through it, she learns more about herself, what she wants for her own life.  The girls also learn how to appreciate their father and his happiness.

There is a lot going on in this book, so many storylines happening at one time that it could easily get confusing for the reader.  However, Thayer’s skillful handling of the transitions between chapters and characters keep that from happening.  I found it easy to keep the stories straight as I read, at times wanting to skip chapters to find out how a certain situation was going to be dealt with..  Her immense knowledge of the Nantucket area made the little island come alive in my mind.

The one complaint I have about this book is the same one I have with many mainstream novels.  I don’t believe the language and bedroom scenes were necessary.  Though Thayer’s love scenes are not o overly graphic, they do contain too much detail for my tastes.

Overall, I’d say Beachcombers is a must read for summer.

You can purchase Beachcombers at the following link…..

Upcoming Reviews

Looks like I will be off my feet for a while, facing some unexpected surgery. My “vacation” could be anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on how complicated the procedure is. So I’ve decided that I will spend that time reading and writing! I have a reviews all set to share with my faithful readers. Some of these books are AWESOME! One in particular has made me think and brought me closer to God. Love it! Mixed in with the reviews will be some guest posts and interviews from the authors. I sure hope you enjoy them!

June Reviews–
Inside Story by Susan Paige Davis
Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck
Why God Matters by Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert
Returning Injury by Becky Due

July Reviews–
When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty by Jackie M. Johnson
Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer

Have you written a book you need to have reviewed? Please let me know! I’d be happy to add you onto my schedule!