The Summer Place

by Jennifer Weiner

Kirkus 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, Rubys 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. Sarahs 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 Gabes wedding might prove more difficult than anyone thought. Sarah cant 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 isnt sure how to process the conflicting feelings shes having about her upcoming nuptials. And Sam, Sarahs twin brother, is a recent widower whos dealing with some pretty big romantic confusion. As the entire extended family, along with Gabes 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 Nights 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. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list Sarah Danhauser is not so sure when her 22-year-old stepdaughter, Ruby, announces she is getting married—in three months—at Sarah's mother's house on Cape Cod. Ever since Ruby brought Gabe home, Sarah's husband, Eli, has been acting distant, or as distant as he can while working from home. In fact, their four-story brownstone feels cramped with their two young sons just going back to in-person school, so Sarah rents a studio where she can play her piano and think. Meanwhile, Sarah's mother, Ronnie, is thinking about selling the house after the wedding; it's too big for just her, and Sarah and her twin brother, Sam, don't spend the summers there anymore. By alternating points of view between all the major players in the story, Weiner (That Summer, 2021) gives a full panoramic view of a family and their secrets leading up to the wedding. Cape Cod is vividly rendered, with the house getting a sweet metaphysical moment at the end of the book. Though the plot is somewhat soapier than usual for Weiner, she capably takes readers along for the wild ride in this funny, tender read. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A new novel from Weiner heralds the start of beach reading season, so prepare your collections accordingly.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Examining colonialism, art history, and greed, Jonasson's Sweet, Sweet Revenge LTD brings together Maasai warrior Ole Mbatian Jr.; Kevin, the young man he calls his son: and trod-upon Agneta, who joins forces with Kevin against an underhanded gallery owner with the help of a Stockholm company specializing in revenge services (originally scheduled for July 2021; 60,000-copy first printing). Successful realtors serving tourists at The Shore, Brian and Margot Dunne face a different kind of summer in Runde's debut; even as daughters Liz and Evy seek self-redefining experiences, the entire family struggles with the tragedy of Brian's brain tumor (125,000-copy first printing). In Straub's This Time Tomorrow, Alice is reasonably contented but wishes she were closer to her father, and she gets the chance at a remake when she wakes up one morning in 1996 as a 16-year-old. In Weiner's latest, when Veronica Levy bought The Summer Place on the Outer Cape, she imagined it staying in the family for generations. But with the family now dispersed, she gathers everyone together for one last blow-out summer until she sells it (350,000-copy first printing).

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Publishers Weekly 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)

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Kirkus 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. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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