Thayer (Island Girls, 2013, etc.) returns to the sunny shores of Nantucket, where two friends from different backgrounds share childhood memories and the same man.
Thayer describes the idyllic shores of Nantucket with cheerful prose: “the sun, fat and buttery as one a child would draw in school,” shines on a sea that “winks blue and turquoise” on the beaches where Emily and Maggie meet every summer to play. Their love for the island may be all the two girls have in common. Emily’s mother, a wealthy New Yorker, wants nothing to do with the islanders—including Maggie, whose mother is a poor seamstress. Though Emily’s mother disappears too often to cause any real friction between the girls, Emily and Maggie realistically grow apart as they go to college, start careers and meet boys. Emily’s romance with Maggie’s brother, Ben, seems doomed when he asks her to downgrade her lifestyle to match his just as rich Cameron Chadwick asks her out on a date. When Emily finds out she’s pregnant, she’s not sure if the baby belongs to Cameron or Ben, but she rolls the dice and tells Cameron it’s his after Ben refuses to answer his phone. It’s debatable whether Emily is acting in the best interest of her child or avoiding responsibility, but her internal struggle is compelling as she tries to keep her unhappy marriage together. Emily might have made a different choice had she known that Cameron impregnated Maggie after a one-night stand. In a maddening twist, Maggie decides not to tell Emily that Cameron fathered her child. We'll never know if Emily would be enraged or pleased that her daughter and Maggie’s might be half sisters. Still, their reunion is sweet when an unexpected tragedy brings Emily back to the island.
Money corrupts, but love prevails, making it easy to overlook the flaws in this friendship.