Summer Beach Reads 5-Book Bundle: Beachcombers, Heat Wave, Moon Shell Beach, Summer House, Summer Breeze

BOOK: Summer Beach Reads 5-Book Bundle: Beachcombers, Heat Wave, Moon Shell Beach, Summer House, Summer Breeze
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Beachcombers, Heat Wave, Moon Shell Beach, Summer House
, and
Summer Breeze
are works of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

A Ballantine eBook Edition

Beachcombers
copyright © 2010 by Nancy Thayer
Heat Wave
copyright © 2011 by Nancy Thayer
Moon Shell Beach
copyright © 2008 by Nancy Thayer
Summer House
copyright © 2009 by Nancy Thayer
Summer Breeze
copyright © 2012 by Nancy Thayer

All Rights Reserved.

Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Ballantine and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Beachcombers, Heat Wave, Moon Shell Beach, Summer House
, and
Summer
Breeze were each published separately by Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., in 2010, 2011, 2008, 2009, and 2012.

eBook ISBN 978-0-345-54602-9

www.ballantinebooks.com

v3.1

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

Beachcombers

Heat Wave

Moon Shell Beach

Summer House

Summer Breeze

Beachcombers
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Thayer
Reading group guide copyright © 2011 by Random House, Inc.

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

B
ALLANTINE
and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Random House Reader’s Circle and Design is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc.

Title page and part title page image copyright © iStockphoto.com

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Thayer, Nancy.
Beachcombers / Nancy Thayer.
p. cm.
eISBN: 978-0-345-51830-9
1. Sisters—Fiction. 2. Female friendship—Fiction. 3. Nantucket Island (Mass.)—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3570.H3475B43 2010
813′.54—dc22      2010010064

www.ballantinebooks.com

Cover design: Shasti O’Leary Soudant.
Cover illustration: © Tom Hallman.

v3.0

Contents

Master - Table of Contents

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

Part 1 - Before

Part 2 - Now

Chapter 1 - Abbie, Lily, and Emma, Sort of

Chapter 2 - Marina

Chapter 3 - Abbie

Chapter 4 - Emma

Chapter 5 - Lily

Chapter 6 - Abbie

Chapter 7 - Marina

Chapter 8 - Lily

Chapter 9 - Emma

Chapter 10 - Marina

Chapter 11 - Abbie

Chapter 12 - Marina

Chapter 13 - Lily

Chapter 14 - Abbie

Chapter 15 - Emma

Chapter 16 - Lily

Chapter 17 - Marina

Chapter 18 - Abbie

Chapter 19 - Emma

Chapter 20 - Lily

Chapter 21 - Marina

Chapter 22 - Abbie

Chapter 23 - Emma

Chapter 24 - Lily

Chapter 25 - Marina

Chapter 26 - Abbie

Chapter 27 - Emma

Chapter 28 - Lily

Chapter 29 - Marina

Chapter 30 - Abbie

Chapter 31 - Emma

Chapter 32 - Lily

Chapter 33 - Marina

Chapter 34 - Abbie

Chapter 35 - Emma

Chapter 36 - Lily

Chapter 37 - Marina

Chapter 38 - Abbie

Chapter 39 - Emma

Chapter 40 - Lily

Chapter 41 - Marina

Chapter 42 - Abbie

Chapter 43 - Emma

Chapter 44 - Lily

Chapter 45 - Marina

Chapter 46 - Abbie

Chapter 47 - Emma

Chapter 48 - Lily

Chapter 49 - Marina

Chapter 50 - Abbie

Chapter 51 - Emma

Chapter 52 - Lily

Chapter 53 - Marina

Chapter 54 - Emma

Chapter 55 - Abbie

Chapter 56 - Marina

Chapter 57 - Lily

Chapter 58 - Emma

Chapter 59 - Abbie

Chapter 60 - Abbie, Emma, Lily, and Marina and Harry, Spencer, and Jim

Chapter 61 - Abbie, Emma, Lily, and Danielle, Kind of

Chapter 62 - The Family

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Reader’s Guide

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

—e. e. cummings, “maggie and milly and molly and may”

“Look,” their mother said to them.

It was late October, and Danielle had brought her daughters here to Surfside, the beach that faced, unprotected by bulkhead or harbor or jetties, the immense sweep of the Atlantic Ocean.

The water was sulky today, deep blue and aloof, the erratic autumn wind stirring its surface into restless waves. By now the girls knew how the ocean had its moods. On summer days it would be playful, sparkling, seductive, tossing up its lacy foam with sounds like kisses. In November, it would hiss as the tides spat and sank into the sand, dragging cold nets of froth back into its hungry depths, as if the sea itself were hunting. Winter made it warlike, hurling its waves toward the shore in battalions that rose up and thundered down, carrying the shrieking wind on its back. And when the skies were blue and the wind was mild, the ocean would shine, as if deep within, its own blue sun glowed.

Whatever the weather, the surf always brought treasures; their mother had taught them that. It was their mother who started the Beachcombers Club.

The universe is always speaking to us, Danielle told her daughters. Sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something
more.
And those of us who are lucky enough to live surrounded by the ocean have more opportunities than many to see, to know. You have to be willing to step away from what we consider normal life. You have to have imagination. You have to be aware that we’re all part of a wonderful, mysterious game.

They came to the beach at least once a week, no matter the season or weather. They stalked the edge of the beach, the mother and her three daughters, heads bent forward as they scanned the sand, stopping when someone discovered a prize, and usually they tossed
their finds back into the watching waters, but occasionally they slipped the rock or shell or glass into their bags to take back to their house on Fair Street.

At home, they’d gather around the kitchen table and wait until their mother had set out cups of hot chocolate frothy with marshmallows or lemonade tinkling in icy glasses. Their mother would sit at the head of the table—she was the ultimate judge—and the girls would present their discoveries: a mussel shell with the glossy indigo iridescence of a starling’s head. A broken whelk, its interior twisted into a perfect spiral staircase, as smooth as bone. A flat square of blue glass like a pane of summer sky fallen to earth. Sometimes a human object: the handle of a translucent china teacup, a bracelet or hair clip or key chain, a bottle.

They’d hand their treasures around, then vote to see which one was the best, and the winning find was proudly placed between the cookbooks—on the lowest shelf so little Lily could see—until a new find was brought in. The unchosen ones were usually returned to the beach the next week, but a surprising number of them remained in the house. The windowsills of each girl’s bedroom were littered with ocean trophies.

Abbie, who was the oldest and wisest, might go into a tidying fit and decide to clean her room and toss it all out, and then she would spot a rock, thinking, this is only a funny old rock, there are zillions of them on the beach. But when she picked up the rock, she would suddenly remember why she kept it, because of the way it fit into her hand like a secret promise or the weight of safety, and she kept another rock, the white one, because it was marked with a crooked blue-gray vein like a scribbled message she was sure to interpret someday, if only she had patience.

Emma liked slipper shells. Turned upside down, they became cradles for her many babies. Twisted bits of driftwood became sofas, chairs, bureaus, and beds for the dollhouse her mother had helped her create out of several packing boxes.

Little Lily liked the pretty things best. The fluting of a snow-white angel’s wing or the twist of deep coral from a channeled whelk pleased her, but best of all was the discovery of sea glass, and her favorite of colors was a deep cobalt blue. Sometimes her mother glued colored yarn to a shell to make a bracelet or necklace.

Now Emma called out triumphantly to the others. She’d found
a bottle, complete, unbroken, an old-fashioned, long-necked thing of pale, clear turquoise. Lily and Abbie clustered around to scrutinize the object, checking first of all, of course, for a letter rolled up and tucked inside. But the bottle was empty. They inspected it for writing, because sometimes on this beach they found items inscribed in Portuguese or French. No writing on this one. They held it up, trying to guess what it once contained.

Only Abbie was aware that while they concentrated on the bottle, their mother, standing near them, gazed out at the sea, her longing so extreme it hurt Abbie to see it.

“Mom,” Abbie said, calling her back to them.

Their mother immediately focused her attention on Abbie. “I’m here.”

She dropped to her knees. She put her arm around Lily’s waist and held her close as she said, “Girls. Look.” She wet the tip of her finger, pressed it into the sand, and held her finger up for them to see. She blew gently and most of the grains fell back down. “See this grain of sand? This one, here. Now look at the ocean. Think of the size of the ocean compared to the size of this grain of sand. This is what we are in the universe. Think of it. How enormous the universe is. How tiny we are.”

Emma shivered. She didn’t like it when her mother talked like this.

“Think of the creatures swimming in the ocean depths,” their mother continued. She was beautiful, with long auburn hair she allowed the wind to toss into tangles. “Whales and mermaids and monsters and long squirming eels and fish striped with gold and silver. We haven’t even discovered all that hides in the deepest parts of the ocean.” She looked out at the water. “So many mysteries,” she told them. “Never think that there is only here.”

“Mommy, I’m cold!” Lily, bored and hungry and chilled, pulled away from her mother.

Their mother kissed the top of Lily’s head. She stood up. “Okay, kids, let’s race for the car. The winner gets the front seat.”

“Yay!” Lily yelled and took off running down the beach.

Abbie and Emma followed, pacing themselves, letting little Lily win, because it meant so much to her.

Abbie turned to look back at their mother. She was standing very still, facing the ocean, yearning for its depths.

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