July 25, 2022
Dear Summertime Loving Readers,
I am 100% in love with all of Jennifer Weiner’s “Summer Books.” 𝘉𝘪𝘨 𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 and 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 kept me company on the beach the past few years here in coastal Maine. AND this year, I happily devoured Weiner’s latest, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 with my toes nestled deep into the warm sand. Today I am happily sharing all three of her summer books with you, hoping you will enjoy them on a warm sunny day. At the end of the day, 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐚 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝗪𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫’𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐲 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐩𝐞!
Jennifer Weiner wowed me again with another family drama. In her latest creation, a wedding is in the works for Ruby on the shores of Cape Cod, bringing her family together for this special day. What is a joyous wedding if it doesn’t create tension, raise questions, and reveal past and present family secrets?
Weiner made me feel like I was vacationing in a small town on Cape Cod. I could hear the ocean waves, feel the mist of the sea air, and smell the hydrangea bushes in full bloom. Using her ideal backdrop, Weiner plopped me in the middle of a unique family drama. Secret pasts, blended families, and new discoveries keep this story floating without a cloud in the sky. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 is told from multiple points of view, including one “unusual” voice that ties all of the individual storylines together. This book is one for your beach bag!
“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 in 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.”
So, about 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳…Absolutely phenomenal! I love how Weiner took on a complex subject matter with dignity and grace. The fallout from experiencing trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, and Weiner highlights the struggles of surviving sexual assault with an unexpected twist. This book did have a heavy subject matter, but Weiner’s beautiful writing made it easy to digest. The characters in 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 felt natural, and I was invested in their stories 100%. Weiner knows how to write female characters better than anyone and constantly hits on relevant topics…And let’s face it, the Cape Cod atmosphere is ALWAYS on point!
“Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?
While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?”
Weiner’s Big Summer did not disappoint. I enjoyed how her coming-of-age drama managed to capture contemporary themes of body shaming, social media, self-love, and forgiveness. Weiner blended these issues into her story in a way that allows readers to empathize with the different characters in the book and relate to them on a personal level. I was pleasantly surprised halfway through her book when she switched gears and threw a mysterious twist into the mix. A chick-lit and mystery combined…who would have thought that this combo of genres would work so well? Guess what…it absolutely did. Throw in an ocean breeze and a warm Cape Cod summer night, and I am a delighted reader. Once again, Weiner’s book had me glued to my couch, completely enthralled. I hope you have the same experience.
Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.
Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.