Also by this author: Mrs. Everything, Big Summer
Published by Atria Books on May 10, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Women's Fiction
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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!