Review: THE SUMMER PLACE by Jennifer Weiner
Also by this author: Mrs. Everything, Big Summer
Published by Atria Books on May 10, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Women's Fiction
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via 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!
I love messy and love that this seems to be what I’d hoped! Excellent review, Suzanne💜 Squeezing this one in this month.
Jonetta | Blue Mood Café recently posted…The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni @robertdugoni @esuttonsmith @BrilliancePub
I hope it’s a great read for you!
I have a soft spot for Jennifer Weiner but it’s been years since I’ve read one of her books. Glad you enjoyed it!
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…BOOK OF NIGHT by Holly Black – Review #wyrdandwonder
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.
Weddings bring out the best and worst in people, so that’s always a fun element in a book! Great review!
They really do, lol.
Sounds cute. I have seen it pop up on GR a couple of times. Will add it to my TBR list.
Hena Tayeb recently posted…lately
Ooh this sounds good. I want to read more by Weiner!
ShootingStarsMag recently posted…B&N Monthly Book Picks: May 2022
Her last few have been wonderful!
I’ve heard good things about this author but have not read her books. Fantastic review!
Anne – Books of My Heart recently posted…Series on Saturday: Park Ranger
I remember reading an older book by Weiner that was nothing like the last few. They flipped from easy breezy summer read to something with much more gravity. Sounds like this takes that turn like Big Summer did.
Sam@WLABB recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Still Haven’t Read It
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.
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
You would probably enjoy some of her earlier books. Those are more along the lines of what I would consider to be chick lit.
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
Yeah, there is definitely some angsty drama in this one, lol.
The Summer Place looks like a perfect read for summer!
Deb Nance at Readerbuzz recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: Monet’s Garden at Giverny
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.
Right? I loved the second half of the book!
That sounds like a really good one! I always mean to read one of her books but so far it didn’t happen. I hope this year will be the year!
Sophie recently posted…Flame and Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody : review and blog tour
I think you would like her books, especially her most recent three or four.