Hard to put down family drama!
The Summer Place Book Cover The Summer Place
Jennifer Weiner
Literary Fiction
Atria Books
May 10, 2022
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, Kindle

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of That Summer comes another heartfelt and unputdownable novel of family, secrets, and the ties that bind.

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.

The Summer Place reminds us that growing up shouldn’t mean growing apart

The Summer Place is a story about stories. Told from multiple POVs, we meet Sarah and Eli Danhauser, who are struggling to reconnect but are breaking under the pressure of the secrets they keep from each other. Ruby and Gabe, a young couple encouraged to fast-track their relationship by the COVID quarantine. Sam, who has always been unlucky in love, raising his young stepson after the sudden death of his wife. Veronica, the family matriarch, grappling with the loneliness of growing old. And finally, a beach house in Cape Cod at the center of it all.

As each member of the family prepares to celebrate Ruby and Gabe’s wedding at the family beach, they also start to realize they can no longer outrun their secrets. The wedding promises to be both cathartic and explosive for these characters, and the book takes us on an immersive and emotional journey across the decades and secrets the led us to the present. The Summer Place is about grief and regrets, resentment and longing, and finally coming back to love.

True to her style, Jennifer Weiner writes a creative story reflective of our times

As soon as I finished reading The Summer Place, I reread my last two reviews for Jennifer Weiner books. I remember Big Summer and That Summer as two completely different stories with the only commonality being that they take place in Cape Cod. But now I realize that, even though these books can be read as stand-alones, there is a powerful connection between the three. They are fun, fast, and flirty, and also insightful and meaningful. These are all stories about what it’s like to be a woman, society’s expectations, family pressures and other shared experiences.

In The Summer Place, we also discover new viewpoints and perspectives. The men of The Summer Place are tender, responsible and supportive of the women in their lives. In the beginning, the multiple voices might feel confusing, but it all quickly clicks into place as you get to know these lovable and relatable characters. In the end, you’ll feel renewed and hopeful. And this is why I will never pass on the opportunity to read a Jennifer Weiner book.