The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Women's Fiction
No. of Pages: 428
Date of Publication: 10 May, 2022
My Rating: 5 Stars
Jennifer Wiener has given us another winner. This is ultimate beach reading with twists and turns that you won’t see coming.
Fortunate enough to receive an advance reader copy of this, I dove right in and didn’t want to stop reading (and pretty much didn’t; I read this one in mere hours over a snowy weekend). Also, I read this during a personally trying time - my dad died less than two weeks ago and this novel was a lifeline, a happy escape from a bitter and cold start to 2022. Reading is probably my favorite form of self-care and I’ve been doing a lot of it these past few days.
Okay, I’ve had a full day to work out my feelings regarding this one.
I loved it, pure and simple. It was exactly what I needed to read right now, from the house herself down to Lord Farquaad, the corgi - each and every character enriched this book and you’re rooting for them all.
eARC kindly provided by Atria Book and NetGalley. Opinions shared are my own.
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.
From “the undisputed boss of the beach read” (The New York Times), The Summer Place is a testament to family in all its messy glory; a story about what we sacrifice and how we forgive. Enthralling, witty, big-hearted, and sharply observed, this is Jennifer Weiner’s love letter to the Outer Cape and the power of home, the way our lives are enriched by the people we call family, and the endless ways love can surprise us.
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