Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

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.

Kobo (via CloudLibrary), 432 pages,
Published May 10, 2022 
by Atria Books
2.3/5 stars

I'm relatively new to Jennifer Weiner, this being my 4th read and my least favourite - yes I am going against popular opinion.

The Summer Place is the story about a young couple getting married 4th of July weekend in Cape Cod - post pandemic. With only months to pull this off, it’s where the past meets up with the present.

The majority of this book is back story as family members go back in time to revisit ghosts of the past. At times confusing and long winded with very little about the happy couple. With the volume of characters it was hard to connect and in some cases to even like them. Selfishness was a common trait as was infidelity along with many secrets.  Though I did like Ruby's mom and appreciated her views and honesty.

I started out by reading and alternated with the audiobook (via Scribd).  Both formats were good but I preferred the audio just to listen and get through the book.

The ending was almost comical on a couple levels. Suffice to say not my favourite Jennifer Weiner.

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