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Longtime best friends struggle to remain connected when their lives take divergent paths.

Keely Green and Isabelle Maxwell have been attached at the hip since preschool. Although they are both natives of Nantucket, they have always had very different lifestyles. Where Keely resides in a modest home, Isabelle’s attorney father is able to provide his family with every luxury. Even so, the girls bond over their love of Nantucket and shared dreams of becoming writers. As they grow and end up at different colleges, they see that life can often complicate friendships, and they begin to gradually grow apart. When Isabelle declares she has found the perfect man, Keely begins dating Isabelle’s long-ago boyfriend, Tommy. Tension over Tommy causes the young women’s relationship to grow increasingly strained. Adding drama to this now-fraught relationship is the moment when Keely makes it as a bestselling novelist and moves to New York, while Isabelle, who was always the more cosmopolitan of the pair, is still living on the island, with no professional prospects in sight. Despite her success, Keely feels empty without Isabelle at her side. As these young women see their lives unfolding in ways they never expected, the biggest question they face is whether they will ever find a way back to each other. Offering details about life on Nantucket—both during the winter months, when only true islanders are present, and in summer, when the town is overrun with vacationers—Thayer (A Nantucket Wedding, 2018, etc.) brings the island to life so vividly that Nantucket becomes its own character. Told in the third person, the novel follows Keely as she navigates coming-of-age, changing friendships, romance, and caring for an ailing parent. The author also sheds a bright light on some of the difficulties inherent in the writer’s life, including loneliness and constant self-doubt. Told in a plot-focused, accessible prose, the novel appears at first to be a light read, but it deals artfully with heavier issues, including guilt, envy, and forgiveness.

An engaging tale about how childhood expectations can be transformed on the journey through adulthood.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5247-9872-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2019


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