Library Journal - Audio
Weiner (That Summer) creates relatable characters in this summer story filled with relationship drama, figuring out what they want out of life, and secrets. The Danhauser family members are each battling their own demons: Sarah is feeling a strain in her marriage since her husband, Eli, has pulled away from her. Her stepdaughter Ruby is ready to be an adult and feels like the obvious next step is marrying her pandemic boyfriend. All are hiding secrets, and the authenticity of the characters drives this novel. Actress Sutton Foster (Younger) narrates a robust set of characters, giving each enough distinction so listeners know easily who is speaking in this multi-perspective story. These characters deal with death, heartbreak, love, tears, outbursts, and more, and Foster conveys all this without resorting to overperformance. Listeners should be aware that some instances could make them uncomfortable, including marital infidelity and possibly perceived derogatory comments to Jewish families on Cape Cod. VERDICT Weiner's Cape Cod novels are in high demand at most libraries, and this is a quintessential Weiner beach read, with predictable twists and connections.—Stephanie Charlefour
A family’s secrets and entanglements flare up during a Cape Cod wedding in this first-rate page-turner from Weiner (Off Season). Ruby Danhauser, 22, plans to marry her boyfriend, Gabe, at her step-grandmother Veronica’s beach house, and the choice of venue sets off a cascade of consequences. Veronica, who’s thrilled to be hosting a large family gathering before putting the house on the market, frets about a plan for everyone to take DNA tests and talk about their origins, because there’s a good chance her children were conceived in an extramarital affair. Her daughter, Sarah, thinks Ruby is too young to get married, and can’t understand why her husband, Eli is acting distant and haunted. Turns out he once had an affair with Gabe’s mother. Meanwhile, Sarah’s widowed twin brother, Sam, is raising his stepson Connor after his wife, Julie, died. The characters’ various secrets are thrust into the light when they gather on the Cape for the wedding, with well-wrought twists and turns. Weiner is a master of emotionally complicated narratives, and her smart and witty writing is on full display here. This engrossing novel will please her legions of fans. Agent: Celeste Fine, Park & Fine. (May)
New York Times
Praise for That Summer:
“Weiner, the undisputed boss of the beach read, is back with another stunner.
Your ideal beach read, full of secrets and complicated female friendships.
From the Publisher
Praise for The Summer Place:
“[A] funny, tender read. A new novel from Weiner heralds the start of beach reading season, so prepare your collections accordingly.” —Booklist (starred review)
“The Summer Place is so good, it will be on every beach this summer. [It] gets at the core of just how life's twists and turns, choices and moments can consume us – and how beautiful that entanglement can be, despite the hardships...with its Cape Cod setting that evokes seashells, cool water, melting ice cream and summer bliss, it's sure to be the must-have beach bag item this year.” —USA Today
“A meditation on mothers and daughters, Weiner’s latest novel also explores class conflicts, identity issues and real estate dramas." —The New York Times
"From steamy affairs to juicy family secrets, bestselling author Jennifer Weiner’s scintillating beach read has it all." —Apple Books
"The natural beauty of the Outer Cape is the backdrop for plenty of family drama and romantic intrigue in Weiner’s latest novel, which incorporates the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic but still manages to feel breezy and delicious to read." —Emma Specter, Vogue
"In Jennifer Weiner's latest...expect all of the hijinks, heartbreak, and happiness of a messy reunion." —The Boston Globe
“A family’s secrets and entanglements flare up during a Cape Cod wedding in this first-rate page-turner from Weiner. [She] is a master of emotionally complicated narratives, and her smart and witty writing is on full display here. This engrossing novel will please her legions of fans.” —Publishers Weekly
“Weiner creates a story with all the misunderstandings and miscommunications of a screwball comedy or a Shakespeare play (think A Midsummer Night’s Dream). But the surprising, over-the-top actions of the characters are grounded by a realistic and moving look at grief and ambition...even when the characters are lying, cheating, and hiding from each other, they still seem like a real and loving family...[a] poignant look at family bonds.” —Kirkus
The summer wouldn't be complete without an aptly-titled novel from Jennifer Weiner.
New York Post
A page turner about lost opportunities and decades-old secrets.
Seattle Book Review
"A thought-provoking and timely book."
"Weiner's storytelling skill is such that she paints an uncompromising, complicated portrait of the insidious dangers of the patriarchy that is also a lot of fun to read. Weiner's latest is a summer banger with a ripped-from-the headlines plot, which is sure to garner lots of attention."
This one will solve all your ‘I can’t get into any book right now’ problems.
"Like many of Weiner’s works, the novel explores themes of femininity and motherhood, but it’s the book’s tackling of the #MeToo movement through more than one complicit character that sets it apart."
"Fun and flirty."
Jennifer Weiner's beachy books are basically a staple of the season, and this is no exception. This twisty novel about female friendship will make the hours fly by.
The Washington Post Maureen Corrigan
“Weiner has made a major literary career out of writing engrossing popular novels that take women seriously. One of Weiner’s signature strengths as a writer is her ability to realistically depict how people change in body and soul...Weiner writes incisively, yet with restraint... That Summer is a compelling, nuanced novel about the long, terrible aftermath of sexual assault and the things that can be stolen from women that can never be fully restored. But, because it’s a Jennifer Weiner novel, it’s no polemic. It’s empowering in its own way. Weiner seems to steadfastly believe in the saving grace of humor, the ability of time to open up possibilities and the strength of female friendship. Me, too."
With 18 New York Times—best-selling novels under her belt (In Her Shoes; That Summer), Weiner takes readers back to the beach with another compelling multigenerational family story. Sarah Weinberg Danhauser has spent the better part of the pandemic ensconced with her family in their brownstone. Her husband Eli occupied a home office, their young sons adapted to a hybrid school schedule, and Sarah's stepdaughter Ruby moved home to finish her NYU classes online with "pandemic boyfriend" Gabe in tow. When Ruby and Gabe announce their surprise engagement, family members' reactions run from deep introspection to indecipherable action. Sarah's alarm bells send her reeling and searching for answers. Eli withdraws, seemingly unbothered by the wedding but extremely distracted by something. Sarah's mother hopes for one last grand gathering at her family summer home on the Cape—a home she had once planned to pass down to later generations. Even the house doesn't want to let this family go. VERDICT This highly recommended novel, with its well-written characters who revisit their pasts and reconnect with the present, illustrates exactly why Weiner is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to summer reads.—Julie Kane
When a family convenes at their Cape Cod summer home for a wedding, old secrets threaten to ruin everything.
Sarah Danhauser is shocked when her beloved stepdaughter announces her engagement to her boyfriend, Gabe. After all, Ruby’s only 22, and Sarah suspects that their relationship was fast-tracked because of the time they spent together in quarantine during the early days of the pandemic. Sarah’s mother, Veronica, is thrilled, mostly because she longs to have the entire family together for one last celebration before she puts their Cape Cod summer house on the market. But getting to Ruby and Gabe’s wedding might prove more difficult than anyone thought. Sarah can’t figure out why her husband, Eli, has been so distant and distracted ever since Ruby moved home to Park Slope (bringing Gabe with her), and she's afraid he may be having an affair. Veronica is afraid that a long-ago dalliance might come back to bite her. Ruby isn’t sure how to process the conflicting feelings she’s having about her upcoming nuptials. And Sam, Sarah’s twin brother, is a recent widower who’s dealing with some pretty big romantic confusion. As the entire extended family, along with Gabe’s relatives, converges on the summer house, secrets become impossible to keep, and it quickly becomes clear that this might not be the perfect gathering Veronica was envisioning. If they make it to the wedding, will their family survive the aftermath? Weiner creates a story with all the misunderstandings and miscommunications of a screwball comedy or a Shakespeare play (think A Midsummer Night’s Dream). But the surprising, over-the-top actions of the characters are grounded by a realistic and moving look at grief and ambition (particularly for Sarah and Veronica, both of whom give up demanding creative careers early on). At times the flashbacks can slow down the story, but even when the characters are lying, cheating, and hiding from each other, they still seem like a real and loving family.
An alternately farcical and poignant look at family bonds.