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An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of  400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger.  Enjoy ARCs and new releases. 




Christmas on Chestnut Street

Christmas on Chestnut Street: A Novel - Nancy Thayer

By Nancy Thayer

ISBN: 9780553393873
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Publication Date: 10/28/2014
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 3 Stars


A special thank you to Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. (always has the most stunning front covers).


Nancy Thayer is back with her heartwarming annual holiday novel, Christmas on Chestnut Street, in idyllic Nantucket, where festivities get a little hectic, and not the normal traditional Christmas.


The Friday of Thanksgiving weekend is unusually cold, blowing off Nantucket Sound, but the hundreds of islanders clustered on the corner of Main Street and Orange, didn’t mind the weather, as the holidays had officially arrived, the shops were adorned, and the boisterous crowd, led by the town’s beloved music teacher sang the season’s first carols.


Of course, the exuberant voices of the singers carried a few blocks down to a charming painstakingly restored 1840s Greek revival house on Chestnut Street. Jilly Gordon, who in the past years had always attended the festivities, now sat in her peach cashmere sweater set, curled up on a down-filled sofa in front of a crackling fire, sobbing.


The book opens with Jilly, speaking with her friend Nicole, complaining about her daughter Felicia’s upcoming wedding. Her plans were to marry adventurous Archie, who lives in Utah, because they love hiking, skiing, and rafting. Of course, Jilly thinks this is too far away from Nantucket, even though Felicia is twenty-nine years old and they currently live together.


Jilly thinks Archie is a little rugged looking, and this lifestyle is a little dangerous. She thinks the old boyfriend (a prom date) from high school, Steven Hardy, the stockbroker, who just bought the house next door is more GQ looking, stable, and would be a better match for her daughter, and could keep her within her reach.


Jilly makes plans to throw these two together for a Christmas dinner. Felicia does not care for this stupid stockbroker guy, and she does not even want the picture perfect wedding her mom has in mind for her. It is what her mother Jilly wants. The big wedding and dress is not her thing, but her mom wants a Norman Rockwell Christmas wedding, so she thinks if she gives on this, her mom will accept Archie and the continuation of living in Utah without a big fuss.


They live in a tiny apartment above a bookshop in Moab, Utah, and she gets excited about the new mountain bike Archie had given her for a wedding present. Her sister, in Boston thinks she is nuts. Felicia is trying to please her mom by having the wedding in Nantucket, so they have to fly, and Archie’s parents have to travel to Nantucket all the way from Florida, (his parents are divorced) and none of their friends would be there since it is Christmas and need to be home with their families.


They reason they are rushing the wedding, is they had joined a special hiking tour of the Himalayas and if they are married, they will get their own private tent, as part of the tour policy. (How romantic her sister thinks). If you are an avid hiker and cycler as I am, this is heaven!


However Felicia loves Christmas on Nantucket as magical and recalls her childhood days with Christmas baking, snow, presents, family and all the traditional fun. Maybe her dad could convince her mother than once they were married, she could be free to live her life.


All sorts of things happen to Jilly’s perfect planning. (Part perfectionist and softheartedness). Her husband wanted to buy her a puppy, but then decided on a kitten and Jilly thought it was a clever ideal. However, things do not go as planned. Felicia starts yearning for a baby, Archie does not want a family as he likes babies but says they turn into adults and ruin the planet.


Things get worse, from Rex the cat, to Archie, the moped, George, the matchmaking, the ruined presents, Archie’s mom, the grandchildren or her well laid plans. As tensions run high around weddings in general, mixed in with the Christmas season – Jilly soon learns what happiness really means, having her family there and safe for a memorable and enchanting Christmas mixed with humor.


Nancy’s book last Christmas was about a dog which warmed everyone’s heart, so guess it was to be a cat this year. Not a lover of cats; however if you like a nice light hearted Christmas read, in beautiful snow-setting like Nantucket, you will enjoy.


As a resident of South Florida (West Palm Beach), I am always at the beach on Christmas Day enjoying the tropical weather and a book, cycling, or walking along the intracoastal waterfront park, which is heaven; however, we Floridians live vicariously through others and different parts of the county for our white Christmas dreams. (no one knows it better than Nancy). 


I have read all of Nancy Thayer's books and a fan for years. If you have missed some of her books or series along the way, her older ones are now available in electronic format with stunning new covers!

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/939656192