All Nancy Thayer Books in Order – Reading Guide

Nancy Thayer writes novels that are about family and friendship, many taking place on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts. If you’re interested in drama, a little romance, and dreams, you will love Nancy Thayer’s novels.

All Nancy Thayer Books in Order - Reading Guide

About Nancy Thayer

Nancy Thayer published her first novel, Stepping, in 1980. Since then she has published over 35 novels which have made their way onto bestseller lists for the New York Times as well as appeared in Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Cosmo UK. 

Thayer’s novels have also been translated into many different languages around the world. Let It Snow, a novel published in 2019, was even made into a Hallmark movie called Nantucket Noel in 2021.

Thayer lives on Nantucket with her husband and cats, where they’ve lived for 39 years now. Together they have two children, who sometimes come to visit, bringing along Thayer’s many grandchildren.

All Nancy Thayer Books In Order

Stepping (1980)

Stepping: A Novel

Stepping follows the story of Zelda Campbel, who married her college professor before she even graduated. With this, she became the stepmom to Charlie’s two daughters, Caroline and Cathy. Zelda struggled with the new world of stepparenting, but she was determined to get it right.

Thirteen years later, Zelda and Charlie have two more children, and the family goes to Finland on a scholarship. Zelda has once again put her dreams on hold for Charlie, and when she runs into an attractive man from her past, she is forced to evaluate what kind of life she really wants to be living.

Three Women At The Water’s Edge (1981)

Three Women at the Water's Edge: A Novel

Margaret has recently divorced after 30 years of marriage and moved to Vancouver, and she loves the freedom of being by herself. But her drastic change has confused her two daughters, who both need their mother.

Daisy, Margaret’s oldest, is pregnant and already has 2 kids, and she is shocked when her husband wants a divorce. Dale, Daisy’s younger sister, is back from Europe and teaching in Maine. She’s fallen in love, but after seeing what’s happened with her mother and sister, Dale is terrified that her relationship will end in the same way.

Three Women At The Water’s Edge follows these 3 women as they embark on their journeys and face their fears.

Nell (1985)

Nell: A Novel

Nell St. John used to be married to a director, Marlow, and they were the “it” couple in the town. But eventually, Marlow left Nell for another woman, and Nell was forced to raise 2 kids by herself.

When Nell is offered a job in Nantucket, she moves her family to the island. Soon, her ex-stepdaughter Clary, who is in college, moves in with Nell, and the two fall in love with the island together. 

Nell follows Nell’s experience in this new town, where she falls in love with not only the island but a man she meets, and things happen in Nell’s life that she never dreamed possible.

Morning (1987)

Morning: A Novel

Morning is about newlywed Sara, who moves to Nantucket with her new husband Steve, who is from the island. Sara has trouble feeling like she belongs in Steve’s group of friends, and she is also not having luck with getting pregnant.

She is a freelance editor, and when she finds several pages that don’t belong in a manuscript, Sara is determined to track down the author, Fanny Anderson. Fanny and Sara end up collaborating together and forming a friendship along the way.

Spirit Lost (1988)

Spirit Lost: A Novel

Husband John and wife Willy leave Boston for a Victorian home on Nantucket in hopes that John will find inspiration for his dream of becoming an artist. All is peaceful until John sees a ghost one night while painting and tells Willy about it.

Spirit Lost follows the couple as John grows more and more obsessed with the ghost, who only seems to show herself to him. It’s now up to Willy to save their marriage, and maybe even their lives.

My Dearest Friend (1989)

My Dearest Friend: A Novel

Daphne Miller is 46 and finally owns a house for the first time in her life, a rustic cottage in the mountains of Southern Vermont. Daphne’s daughter has moved in with her father, so it’s just Daphne in the home.

My Dearest Friend follows Daphne’s experience in this new place, along with her increasingly complicated relationship with Jack, her new neighbor. The relationship keeps bringing back memories for Daphne of a past betrayal, and she’s found herself at a crossroads, trying to reach the woman she wants to become. 

Everlasting (1991)

Everlasting: A Novel

Catherine was born into a rich family where she can have whatever she wanted, but she really just wants to be independent. Catherine moves to New York City and takes a job in a flower shop, ready to make it on her own. Eventually, she opens a flower boutique on the Upper East Side.

Everlasting brings us along on Catherine’s journey of running her business in its prime, until her brother does something to threaten the whole operation. Catherine also finds herself being whisked away to Paris with a lawyer from Boston, but in Paris, she becomes drawn to another man.

Family Secrets (1993)

Family Secrets: A Novel

Diane Randall has a very successful jewelry business but finds herself getting lonely as her children grow up. Diane’s mother is loving the freedom of being newly single in Europe, and Diane’s daughter is falling in love. When an FBI agent shows up on Diane’s doorstep asking about a long-buried secret, none of the women are prepared.

Family Secrets tells the story of the mistake that Diane made all those years ago and how it may now threaten the whole family…and that’s not the only secret being kept hidden.

Belonging (1995)

Belonging: A Novel

Belonging follows Joanna, the host of a very successful show on TV that showcases rich and famous people’s homes around the country. Even though Joanna has had success in her career and relationship, she still feels like something is missing in her life.

When she becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she decides to travel to Nantucket to get some much-needed peace and quiet. She builds a life for her new family, but when the past comes knocking on her door, Joanna is forced to make a decision.

An Act Of Love (1997)

An Act of Love: A Novel

An Act Of Love follows Owen and Linda who are both married after divorces, and they think they finally have a second chance at a happy family. They live in a farmhouse in New England with Linda’s 15-year-old daughter and Owen’s 17-year-old son, hoping that the family will blend together easily.

When Linda’s daughter, Emily, attempts suicide, everyone is shocked. Luckily she recovers in the hospital, and while she’s there, Emily makes a horrifying accusation that will change everything Owen and Linda thought that they knew, sending their family into turmoil. 

Between Husbands and Friends (1999)

Between Husbands and Friends: A Novel

Lucy and Kate both married early and are new mothers, so when they meet, they instantly click. Soon their friendship deepens, and with their husbands and children, the women spend summers together on Nantucket Island. 

But one summer, Lucy tells Kate a secret that she has kept to herself for far too long, and Kate is left to pick up the pieces after this unnerving revelation.

Between Husbands and Friends is a story of love, friendship, secrets, and change.

Custody (2001)

Custody: A Novel

Custody is about Kelly, a woman who feels like all of her dreams are coming true. She’s engaged and has just gotten an appointment as a judge in the Massachusetts Family Court. 

But when Kelly starts an affair with Randall, a doctor she just met, her life is changed. Soon she finds out a secret that links her to Randall’s divorce case and is caught between her morals and her wants.

The Hot Flash Club (2003)

The Hot Flash Club: A Novel

Faye, Marilyn, Alice, and Shirley are four women who meet and realize that they share a lot in common. They start a club where they vow to help each other, talking about motherhood, sex, men, and everyday life.

The Hot Flash Club follows these women on their journey through life and friendship as they realize that maybe it is possible to have it all.

The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again (2004)

The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again: A Novel

The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again introduces four new women in the Hot Flash Club series who you will fall in love with. 

Polly is determined to be the perfect mother-in-law for her son’s new wife, but she keeps somehow saying the wrong thing.

Beth is caught up in a romance with a man named Sonny, but she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to handle his loud, athletic family and the presence of the woman who everyone wanted Sonny to be with instead.

Carolyn has finally gotten pregnant at the age of 37, and though she is used to constantly working, she is now actually at a point where she can relax. 

Julia has married Tim, a widower who has a daughter. She wants to support the daughter and Tim, but the daughter is exhibiting spoiled behavior and Tim’s ex-mother-in-law won’t stop meddling.

Hot Flash Holidays (2005)

Hot Flash Holidays: A Novel (Hot Flash Club Book 3)

The Hot Flash Club series returns with Hot Flash Holidays, following the women through their cheery and juicy holiday tales.

The women have experienced a dramatic and draining holiday season, and they all make resolutions that they want to keep. But life has other plans, and drama just can’t seem to stop itself from seeping into their lives.

The Hot Flash Club Chills Out (2006)

The Hot Flash Club Chills Out: A Novel

The Hot Flash Club Chills Out follows the women after they’ve opened up their day spa, The Haven.

When a long-time client at the Haven asks the women to house-sit in Nantucket for the summer, everyone is thrilled. They prepare themselves for a laid-back summer of peaceful chilling on the Island.

But things don’t always go how you expect, and the members of The Hot Flash Club don’t know what kind of summer they are really in for.

Summer Breeze (2007)

Summer Breeze: A Novel

Summer Breeze tells the story of 3 women who form a bond together. 

Morgan is a mom who has paused her career to take care of her son, and she feels restless. 

Natalie is a struggling artist who moves to her aunt’s lake home for a year to house-sit. 

Bella has just quit her job and returned home to help her mother, who broke her leg.

When these women meet, they form a friendship that will help them through life as they discover what they want. This is a story of comfort, growth, family, and friends.

Moon Shell Beach (2008)

Moon Shell Beach: A Novel

Lexi and Clare grew up together on Nantucket Island, but as they grew up, they grew apart and their bond was broken.

10 years after moving away, a recently divorced Lexi returns to the Island to make amends. Clare still resents Lexi, but when Lexi opens a shop next to Clare, there is no avoiding each other.

Moon Shell Beach is an emotional and dramatic story of their reunion and lives on the Island, touching on themes of friendship, childhood, and forgiveness.

More Novels By Nancy Thayer

  1. Summer House (2009)
  2. Beachcombers (2010)
  3. Heat Wave (2011)
  4. Island Girls (2013)
  5. A Nantucket Christmas (2013)
  6. Family Secrets (2014)
  7. Everlasting (2014)
  8. Nantucket Sisters (2014)
  9. Morning (2014)
  10. An Island Christmas (2014)
  11. The Guest Cottage (2015)
  12. A Very Nantucket Christmas (2015)
  13. The Island House (2016)
  14. Secrets In Summer (2017)
  15. A Nantucket Wedding (2018)
  16. Bodies and Souls (2018)
  17. Belonging (2018)
  18. Surfside Sisters (2019)
  19. Let It Snow (2019)
  20. Girls of Summer (2020)
  21. Family Reunion (2021)
  22. Summer Love (2022)
  23. All The Days of Summer (2023)


Do you need to read Nancy Thayer’s books in order?

Most of Nancy Thayer’s books are standalones and do not need to be read in any particular order. The only exception is the Hot Flash Club series, which should be read in this order: 
1. The Hot Flash Club
2. The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again
3. Hot Flash Holidays
4. The Hot Flash Club Chills Out

How many books does Nancy Thayer have?

Currently, Nancy Thayer has 42 books published, her newest being All The Days of Summer (2023).

What kinds of books does Nancy Thayer write?

Nancy Thayer tends to write novels with themes of family and friendship, humor, romance, and growing older.

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Freya Cook