The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
.ePUB, 405 pages
Expected Publication Date: 10 May 2022
By: Atria Books
About The Book:
When her twenty-two-year-old stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. But the wheels are in motion. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah’s mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family’s beach house in Cape Cod. Sarah might be worried, but Veronica is thrilled to be bringing the family together one last time before putting the big house on the market. But the road to a wedding day usually comes with a few bumps. Ruby has always known exactly what she wants, but as the wedding date approaches, she finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, thanks to her meddling sister, and must revisit the choices she made long ago, when she was a bestselling novelist with a different life. Sarah’s twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is—questions he hopes to resolve during his stay on the Cape. Sarah’s husband, Eli, who’s been inexplicably distant during the pandemic, confronts the consequences of a long ago lapse from his typical good-guy behavior. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, and worn out by challenges of life during quarantine, faces the alluring reappearance of someone from her past and a life that could have been. When the wedding day arrives, lovers are revealed as their true selves, misunderstandings take on a life of their own, and secrets come to light. There are confrontations and revelations that will touch each member of the extended family, ensuring that nothing will ever be the same.
Jennifer Weiner is the reining queen of the summer beach read and a go to of mine for quality women's fiction; this my my seventh book by her and I have loved every one. I am so happy to report that she does not disappoint with The Summer Place. This is simply a story about family, one family in particular and all their secrets. I love being dragged into the drama of a family, that isn't mine, even if it is fiction. Each chapter is from a single family member point of view and there are a lot of members in this family...plus some of the extended family! It might sound confusing but Ms. Weiner is able to make her characters individual personalities stand out and the writing is vivid and detailed enough that I could keep them all separate, even the younger ones. I felt invested in this story and the people in it. I wanted good things to happen to them, I wanted them to be happy and fulfilled with their work and their love lives. I cheered them on, even though there were some who weren't perfect (who is?) but they were perfect for each other. This book has secrets, lies, romance and is even funny at times. There are many modern issues in its themes and I loved how the author delt with them honestly and sensitively.
The setting of The Cape was so perfect, I have always wanted to visit there. I have been up and down the Eastern Seaboard many times and have never made it to Cape Cod. Reading this book during a January extreme cold alert was a perfect time to put me there. I felt like I was with the family on the beach searching for crabs, swimming in the ocean and eating seafood meals. This book was a perfect place to lose myself for a few hours, I loved every minute of it and I see it being the hit of the summer of 2022. The author herself notes that she wanted the story to have a feeling somewhere between a Noël Coward farce and A Midsummer Night’s Dream , where the pairings are driven by otherworldly interference, well she has certainly succeeded in my humble opinion.
With many thanks to NetGalley, Jennifer Weiner and Atria Books for the giving of the ARC.