Review: THE SUMMER PLACE by Jennifer Weiner

Review:  THE SUMMER PLACE by Jennifer WeinerThe Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
Also by this author: Mrs. Everything, Big Summer
four-stars
Published by Atria Books on May 10, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Women's Fiction
Pages: 432
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

It’s almost summer so you know what that means — it’s time for a new novel from Jennifer Weiner!  The Summer Place is everything I’ve come to expect from Weiner’s novels – a healthy dose of family drama, juicy secrets, flawed but relatable characters, and a whole lot of heart.

The drama in the story revolves around an upcoming wedding.  The story opens with Sarah Danhauser’s 22-year-old stepdaughter unexpectedly announcing that she and her boyfriend are getting married in three months.  Everyone in the family, Sarah included, thinks she’s too young and the wedding is too soon, but Ruby is determined so wedding plans commence and the wedding is set to take place at Sarah’s mom’s beach house in Cape Cod.  The house is about to be sold so the wedding will also serve as a perfect goodbye to a house that has been in the family for generations.

As the wedding plans are being made, however, it soon becomes clear that nearly every character in the book has a secret they’re trying to keep under wraps.  You can almost immediately tell that there’s going to be some pretty intense drama if and when these secrets start to come to light, especially since there are hints that the secrets could very well derail Ruby’s wedding.

Weiner is a master when it comes to fully fleshing out her characters, and The Summer Place is no exception to that.  She has the story unfold from the perspective of several key characters: Sarah; her husband Eli; Ruby; Sarah’s twin brother, Sam; Sarah’s mother, Ronnie, and Rosa, the mother of the groom. Weiner provides pretty extensive background on each of these characters, and I have to admit that it took me a little while to really become invested in the story.  Once all the characters are fully introduced though, the story takes off and becomes one heck of an addicting ride!

I can’t say much more without spoiling the plot, but I will say that there are secrets and mistakes from the past that come back to haunt many of these characters, there are misunderstandings that get blown way out of proportion, and there are confrontations and revelations that could rock everyone in the family to the core.  That said, The Summer Place is also a heartfelt and satisfying story about love, sacrifice, and especially about families sticking together no matter how messy things get.  Throw this one in your beach bag because you’re going to love it!

four-stars

About Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and, most recently, Mrs. Everything. Her new novel, Big Summer, debuted May 5, 2020. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.

23 replies
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’ve really enjoyed her last 4 books. They’re a bit different from her earlier chick lit novels and I’m loving the depth and layers of her plots.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yeah, her last four have been quite different from the chick lit I had gotten used to from her. I’m liking how she has changed things up and gone for some weightier, more dramatic topics.

  1. Mica - Away From The Blue
    Mica - Away From The Blue says:

    I did have this on my want to read list but after I read Big Summer I realised she isn’t the author for me – I didn’t like the big change in the middle of the book, I’d been enjoying it but after the incident it turned into the kind of genre I don’t enjoy, so while this sounds interesting and it’s good you enjoyed it I’ve moved it off my list.
    Mica – Away From The Blue recently posted…Jeans and Tee Outfits With Printed Kimonos and Chloe Marcie Bag | Weekday Wear Link Up

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      You would probably enjoy some of her earlier books. Those are more along the lines of what I would consider to be chick lit.

  2. Dini @ dinipandareads
    Dini @ dinipandareads says:

    I’ve still only read one Jennifer Weiner book to date but it was completely unexpected and I really enjoyed it so I have a feeling that I’m going to enjoy this one too. However, I also feel like I’m probably going to have to prepare myself for a bit of some angsty drama? It does sound like a good beach/pool read though and I’m glad that you managed to enjoy it! Great review 🙂
    Dini @ dinipandareads recently posted…ARC Review: Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

  3. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    I agree that it took a while to feel invested in this one. With so much background on everyone at the start, I felt like there was no forward momentum. But the second half really picked up and was juicy and interesting.

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