The Summer Place

Jennifer Weiner

Contemporary Fiction

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 on 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.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) While this is labeled as romance, I think the better label would be family drama. It had lots of romance but the drama was off the charts! Two young people are engaged and planning a wedding. The family members each have their own opinions and secrets and it’s inevitable it will all come crashing together in the end!

We hear from each member of the family which was really well done. I had a great understanding of each person, I knew about their childhood and I felt I “knew” them on a deeper level. When the twists came at the end, I had all the extra info and I knew their reasoning and the back story as to why. I loved this!

Ultimately, the novel started slow and was too long in my opinion. While the writing was excellent, I felt there was almost too much drama. Like really, how can one family be so unlucky? Instead of it being a terrible situation, it became too much, ridiculously so, to the point I was rolling my eyes. I like a good drama but a lot of this story went over the top at the end. 

General content summary: F words: 11, language, a college guy has intimate relationships with men and women, drugs (marijuana and edibles), intimacy with few details, spouse/parent death (car accident), intimacy with details, infidelity, a man explores his sexuality determining he might be gay, m/m kiss, m/m intimacy with details, talk of abortion, parent abandoning child.

Thank you to Atria Books for the gifted copy!

The book releases May 10, 2022.

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