Heat Wave

( 84 )

Overview

Unerringly perceptive, superbly written, every page packed with the warmth and compassionate wisdom that have become Nancy Thayer's trademark, Heat Wave tells the moving story of a woman who, after her seemingly perfect life unravels, must find the strength to live and love again.

Making the startling discovery that her family finances are in dire straits is only the latest shock endured by Carley Winsted after her husband's sudden death from a heart attack. Resisting her ...

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Heat Wave

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Overview

Unerringly perceptive, superbly written, every page packed with the warmth and compassionate wisdom that have become Nancy Thayer's trademark, Heat Wave tells the moving story of a woman who, after her seemingly perfect life unravels, must find the strength to live and love again.

Making the startling discovery that her family finances are in dire straits is only the latest shock endured by Carley Winsted after her husband's sudden death from a heart attack. Resisting her in-laws' well-meaning overtures to take in Carley and her two daughters, the young widow instead devises a plan to keep her family in their beloved home, a grand historic house on the island of Nantucket.

The solution is right at Carley's front door: transforming her expensive, expansive house into a bed-and-breakfast. Not everyone, however, thinks this plan prudent or quite respectable--especially not Carley's mother-in-law. Further complicating a myriad of challenges, a friend forces Carley to keep a secret that, if revealed, will undo families and friendships.

When her late husband's former law partner keeps showing up at the most unexpected times, Carley must cope with an array of mixed feelings. And then, during a late-summer heat wave, the lives of Carley and her friends and family will be forever changed in entirely unexpected ways.

Lyrical, emotional, dramatic, and ultimately wonderfully uplifting, Nancy Thayer's latest novel is compelling from its first page to its last.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Selected by Good Morning America as one of its “Blazing Hot Summer Reads”!
 
“Nancy Thayer has a deep and masterly understanding of love and friendship, of where the two complement and where they collide.”—Elin Hilderbrand
 
“Vintage Nancy Thayer . . . Enjoy Heat Wave along with a cool drink . . . and plenty of sunblock.”—Huntington News
 
“Thayer’s unique understanding of the range of human emotions is a rare find in light-hearted beach reads, yet she expertly manages to craft a heart-warming novel that will take readers on an emotional roller coaster full of family connections, hysterical summer guests and the drama of everyday life.”—Nantucket Today
 
“A wonderful story set in the beautiful scenery of Nantucket . . . While there is a love story here, there’s so much more.”—Bookreporter

Library Journal
Carley discovers that one of her best friends is having an affair with the husband of another best friend, Vanessa. Her own husband is withdrawn after financial reversals, and so at precisely the wrong moment she gives in to the embrace of a hunky carpenter she's hired. That night, the police arrive to tell Carley that her husband died in a hotel—where he had gone with Vanessa. And then Vanessa comes begging for help. This latest from the popular Thayer should make good beach reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307939531
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Nancy Thayer is the New York Times bestselling author of Beachcombers, Summer House, Moon Shell Beach, The Hot Flash Club, The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again, Hot Flash Holidays, and The Hot Flash Club Chills Out. She lives on Nantucket.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

1

Some days recently, Carley Winsted had experienced moments of actual happiness, when her heart gave her a break. She'd forget Gus's death and focus on the sight of her daughters or the sparkle of sunlight on the ocean-and lightning-fast, guilt zapped her. How could she be happy even for a moment?

She had to be happy, because she needed to be a role model for her daughters. She wanted to show them how to get through the dark times, to relish the good in each and every day.

Today she just needed not to be a coward.

It was the end of December, the end of the year. The end of the worst year in Carley's life. High on a cliff overlooking the deep blue waters of Nantucket Sound, Carley stood in her bedroom, her heart racing with anxiety.

Thank heavens her girls were with friends this morning. She couldn't let them see her like this. They had enough to deal with. Their beloved father, Carley's dear Gus, had died a month ago. His death had been unexpected, unpredictable, wrong, caused by an undiagnosed heart defect that had been lying stealthily in wait for years. Gus had been only thirty-seven. Carley was only thirty-two.

Cisco was twelve.

Margaret was five.

It was unbearable. Yet it had to be borne.

She'd been doing pretty well, she thought, but this morning her grief was overridden by a gripping panic, which was ridiculous, really.

After all, it wasn't as if she were a peasant being thrown into the lion's den. She was only going to her father-in-law's office to discuss finances with him. Okay, fine, finances had never been her strong suit. She'd gotten married at twenty, she'd never had a real job, Gus had handled the money, she had taken care of the house, the children, food and clothing, their lives. But she was not a financial idiot, and Gus knew that. Gus had left this house entirely to her. It had no mortgage. It was completely, legally, hers.

So why had Russell asked her to come to the law office to meet with him? Such a cold, businesslike place-why hadn't he come to her house to talk with her in the living room as he always had? True, Carley had not always been on the same page as Annabel and Russell. They were different in so many ways, and the truth was, her in-laws were difficult to please. But they shared a mutual love for their son, her husband, Gus, and for his and Carley's daughters, Cisco and Margaret.

Carley gave herself a careful, critical once-over in the mirror. Her tailored gray suit was loose on her, but that was to be expected. She'd lost weight since Gus's death. So had Russell and Annabel, even Gus's best friend, Wyatt. Carley was tall and lanky, and now whip thin. In this suit, she looked elegant, even haughty, although anyone who knew Carley knew elegant and haughty were so not her. Russell had to know that after being around her for thirteen years.

But since Gus's death, both Russell and Annabel had been?.?.?.?

different. More openly judgmental. Carley's only defense was to be prepared. She slipped her feet into her highest heeled boots.

Her appointment with Russell was set for eleven o'clock. Her appointment! Gus wouldn't have put up with this formal crap. "Come on, Dad, just tell us what you have to say, and we'll work it out." That's what Gus would have said.

2

Carley met Gus on Nantucket one summer night...

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Reading Group Guide

1. Carley and Gus didn’t begin their relationship with a grand passion or love for each other, but they did like each other a great deal and valued the same things. Is that a good enough foundation for a marriage?
 
2. Carley always believed that she had everything she wanted and she was everything she ever wanted to be: a mother, a wife, a good friend. Did she perhaps give up too quickly in finding what she really wanted to do in life? Did she sell herself too short?
 
3. Gus was secretive with their money, but Carley was more than happy to relinquish the financial affairs to him. Should she have been more assertive about being in the know about their finances?
 
4. While Annabel and Russell’s offer to have Carley and the girls live with them seemed to have been made with good intentions, how much interference from grandparents is too much?
 
5. Even though Gus left the house to Carley, was it disrespectful of her to change her mother-in-law’s family home into a B&B? Did Annabel have a right to be angry at her for making changes to her ancestral home and opening it up to strangers?
 
6. Did Carley inadvertently make a choice between Maud and Vanessa when she remained silent about the affair? Could she have handled the situation better?
 
7. Maud was so worried about her boys needing a man around the house. How important is it for a boy to have a man in his life? Was Maud just trying to assuage her guilt for stealing her best friend’s husband?
 
8. Was Annabel using her grief to seduce Cisco into living with her? Should Carley have been more understanding about Annabel’s grief?
 
9. Carley worries that it’s too soon to start openly dating Wyatt. Is there ever a “right” time frame to begin to date? Does the time frame change if you have children?
 
10. Sarah and Sue tell Carley that “other peoples’ concept of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ doesn’t matter when you’re in love. What matters is the love.” Do you believe this is true? What about in a situation such as Maud, Toby, and Vanessa’s?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 84 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    great beach read

    Last year I read Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was thrilled to see Nancy had a new book, Heat Wave coming out this summer. Beachcombers is a perfect summer beach read so I had a feeling that Heat Wave would also be a good summer read. Heat Wave did not disappoint!

    Heat Wave takes place on Nantucket. Carley Winsted has recently become a widow at a young age. Her husband, Gus has left her with not only two girls to raise but broke! He has left her with the family home so she sets out to find a way to stay in the home that her girls have always known. She decides a Bed and Breakfast will help keep her and the girls in the home they love but also give her the chance to be at home with the girls. I admired Carley for her strength in making this decision at a time in her life when she would just like to crawl in bed and pull the covers over her head.

    Carley has two extremely close friends, Vanessa and Maud who call themselves Las Tres Enchiladas. The women know everything about each other. They are the kind of friends who pop in and make themselves at home in each others homes. Carley is approached by Maud with a very disturbing secret that could change their lives drastically. At this point Maud becomes my least favorite character.

    To top it all off Gus' good friend, Wyatt causes Carley to feel things she is not sure she should be having while grieving for Gus.

    This book is about friendship, loyalty, grief and the challenges brought on by having to move on. I was very surprised at one point in the book and found myself having to stop and grab kleenex! I really was not expecting that in a summer beach read. Even though that particular event saddened me, I still enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2011

    Save your money and check out at the library if you must read.

    In the middle of this book I questioned myself as to why I was still reading it. I found myself spotting areas of fore-shadowing that were all too obvious for my taste. The only aspect of this book that took me by surprise was Maud's secret.
    The story line felt as if it had no plot. At least, not one strong enough to hold my attention. I felt as though I was forced into reading someones personal journal.
    I could not bring myself to identify with any of the characters. In fact, I'm not even sure I particularity liked any of them.

    Plain and simple, I just couldn't get into this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2011

    Enjoyable

    I really enjoyed this book. It's a good read for a lazy afternoon.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2012

    Great Lazy Day Beach Book It is perfect beach book for an easy,

    Great Lazy Day Beach Book
    It is perfect beach book for an easy, fast read with plenty of joy and heartbreak. Not a surprising end, but good escapism.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    WHAT A WELCOMED SURPRISE!!!!!!! I AM NOT SURE WHAT SOME OF THES

    WHAT A WELCOMED SURPRISE!!!!!!!

    I AM NOT SURE WHAT SOME OF THESE OTHER READERS ARE TALKING ABOUT, BUT I MUST SAY THAT I TRUELY ENJOYED READING THIS NOVEL.

    THERE IS SO MANY LESSONS YOU CAN DRAW FROM THIS BOOK.

    WHEN CARLEY'S HUSBAND, GUS, DIES AN UNEXPECTED AND UNTIMELY DEATH. SHE IS THROWN FOR A LOOP, AND MUST NOW PICK UP THE PIECES OF HER FAMILY LIFES AND START TO BE THE PROVIDER. WITH NEARLY NO FUNDS AND NOT MANY OPTIONS, CARLEY DECIDES TO TURN HER HOME INTO A BED & BREAKFAST.

    THEN THROW IN THE MIX TWO FRIENDS VANESSA AND MAUD, AND YOU NOW HAVE SECRETS, DRAMA, AND BETRAYAL. BUT HOLD ON TO YOUR SEAT, BECAUSE WYATT, CARLEY'S HUSBAND BEST FRIEND HAS EYES FOR HER.

    THIS IS A NICE LIGHT SUMMER BEACH READ. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. ENJOY..........

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    I'm happy that it was a free Nook book. I couldn't really develo

    I'm happy that it was a free Nook book. I couldn't really develop empathy or any liking for any of the main characters except perhaps Vanessa; the peripheral characters had the potential to be much more interesting. I felt the main character, Carley, was complacent, smug and weak, and her condemnation of her friend who found herself in the same situation as Carlie in her irresponsible youth was annoying. The friend was better prepared financially and emotionally with more maturity. (I'm trying to avoid a spoiler.) It was an ok time killer and ended abruptly. At least the The Hot Flash Club ladies show a little spark and backbone occasionally.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Not worth your time.

    You may as well watch a soap opera on tv.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Good easy summer read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    Very light entertainment

    Not that good. The characters are over simplified and the dialogue was often corny and scripted. (Cringe inducing). Wholesome ending - a bit saccharin. What on earth happened to the inlaws...?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2011

    Just ok

    Average

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    Loved this book as much as all the other stories from Nancy Thayer. Love her books!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2013

    I thought this was a wonderful book & I couldn't put it down

    I thought this was a wonderful book & I couldn't put it down! Great summer read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Good book like it a ton

    Love this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

    Raindrop

    "You were looking for a mate?" he asked.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Frostfire

    I will be your mate

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2012

    Another great summer read!

    Again Nancy Thayer takes us into the heart of a young widowed mother of two who needs to make her living. With a big house and lots of room she decides to open a "bed & breakfast"."

    We go along as rooms are made and decorated. We envision it all and want to visit this charming place.

    Nancy Thayer has yet to write a book I didn't like.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Hi

    I havent read this yet but it looks good

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    Xander

    Jumps onto a bed with no clothes*here*smile

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Fair

    Slow start but gets better as you read. Love this authors other books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Light Summer Read

    A light beach or deck read. The story itself was engaging but the dialogue is awful! No man I know uses the word "maudlin" in ordinary conversation! The dialogue seems very trite and contrived. I like Thayer's books but she really has got to work on intuiting how people really talk.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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