Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer

Summer Breeze
Author: Nancy Thayer
Published: June 5, 2012
Genre: chick lit
Hardcover: 320 pages
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): Morgan O’Keefe feels trapped in a gilded cage. True, the thirty-year-old mother agreed to put her science career on hold to raise her young son while her husband  pursued his high-powered job. But though Morgan loves many things about staying home with her child, she misses the thrill of working with her colleagues in the lab. She’s restless and in dire need of a change.
Fed up with New York City’s hectic pace, Natalie Reynolds takes up her aunt’s offer to move to the Berkshires and house-sit her fabulous lakeside house for a year. Passionate about applying brush to canvas, Natalie is poised to become the artist she has forever longed to be. But life on Dragonfly Lake is never without surprises, and for a novice swimmer like Natalie, the most welcome surprise proves to be the arms of a handsome neighbor pulling her up from the water for a gulp of air.
When her mother breaks her leg, Bella Barnaby quits her job in Austin and returns home to help out her large, boisterous family. Among her new duties: manning the counter at the family business, Barnaby’s Barn, an outdated shop sorely in need of a makeover. While attractive architect Aaron has designs on her, Bella harbors long held secret dreams of her own.  
Summer on Dragonfly Lake is ripe for romance, temptation, and self-discovery as the lives of these three women unexpectedly intertwine.Summer Breeze illustrates how the best of friends can offer comfort, infuriate, or even—sometimes—open one’s eyes to the astonishing possibilities of life lived in a different way. This captivating novel displays a prestigiously gifted writer at the height of her storytelling powers.

My Thoughts: So, I read a Nancy Thayer book last summer (Heat Wave) and didn't like it at all. But, I have seen so many people rave about her books that I thought, "Maybe I just picked up one of her bad ones. I'm gonna give her another try." Let me just say that I was just as disappointed with this book as I was with the last one. While I don't expect chick lit to make me look at the world differently or question my understanding of the universe, I do look for something that could be real, or at least is so hilarious that I can forget the world for a little bit. Nancy Thayer's books do neither for me. They feel so forced that there is no possible way that they could be real. It's all so fake and the dialogue between the characters so jilted that I have to shake my head at how unreal it is.

The premise behind the book is interesting. That's the only saving grace of this novel. Each woman's storyline has something to offer, but Thayer doesn't really develop any of them. There aren't any real struggles. The one who comes a bit close to this, Bella, just decides to give up and follow her boyfriend across the country, seemingly just giving up her life so that she can tag along with him. The other two, Morgan and Natalie, are written so simply. And everything works out perfectly for them, which makes the novel even harder to stomach.

I would compare Nancy Thayer's work to an overly sweet dessert. It's so sickeningly sweet that it hurts your teeth and you hope that the pain subsides quickly. While I was looking for a light summer read, I found something that was so bad that not even the beautiful sunshine could save it. I have decided that Thayer's work is not for me and will not be reading any of her novels in the future.

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