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The Summer Place

The Summer Place

by Jennifer Weiner

Narrated by Sutton Foster

Unabridged — 14 hours, 19 minutes

Jennifer Weiner

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Overview

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER

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 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.

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.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

03/21/2022

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)

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

New York Times

Praise for That Summer:

“Weiner, the undisputed boss of the beach read, is back with another stunner.

Cosmopolitan

Your ideal beach read, full of secrets and complicated female friendships.

Marie Claire

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."

Booklist (starred)

"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."

TheSkimm

This one will solve all your ‘I can’t get into any book right now’ problems.

PopSugar

"Fun and flirty."

Shondaland

"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."

Good Housekeeping

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."

Library Journal

★ 05/06/2022

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

Kirkus Reviews

2022-02-09
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.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940173218964
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 05/16/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

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