In Secrets in Summer, the “queen of beach books” (The Star-Ledger) returns to the shores of Nantucket in a novel about one memorable summer when flirtations flourish, family dramas play out, and scandalous secrets surface. Here, Nancy Thayer shares her library memories, and discusses how she wrote the main character in her new book who just happens to be a children’s librarian.
Dear Wonderful Librarians,
When I was a child in Wichita, Kansas, our library was the first stop we made when my mother took us on our Saturday morning errands. It seemed miraculous that I could roam the aisles and check out, with my own library card, a large pile of books. I felt as rich as Midas.
When I had my own children, I took them to Story Time at the library as soon as they could sit quietly. Okay, relatively quietly. They grew up devoted, I might even say addicted, to reading. Now when I visit my grandchildren, I’m happy to see they have their own piles of library books.
In 1990, I was invited to join the Board of Trustees of the Nantucket Atheneum, our local library. A change was in the salt air, and I was honored to be part of it. A bright, energetic, new director arrived. Our beloved old building underwent an enormous renovation. I started a Friends of the Library. Those days were some of the happiest in my life. Yes, even with all the committee meetings (On my website, I have a three-part series on my blog about the historic Nantucket Atheneum).
When writing Secrets in Summer, I talked with Leslie Malcolm, the director of the Atheneum’s Weezie Library for Children. My main character, Darcy Cotterill, is a children’s librarian who hopes to become a library director someday. Like me, Darcy loves seeing children—and their parents—leaving the library with their arms full of books, looking as smug as Midas.
So thank you, librarians and all trustees and friends who assist them, for keeping this vast and wonderful world available to us.
I hope you enjoy Secrets in Summer. I also hope you’ll forgive me for depicting a story hour where the children sit quietly, not wiggling, giggling, or fussing!
Happy reading and best wishes,