The Summer Place: A Novel (Hardcover)
May 2022 Indie Next List
“The Summer Place was my happy place. I saw a bit of myself in each character, and all of the drama a family can experience in a lifetime. I was laughing out loud, anxious about the characters and plot lines, and just could not put this one down!”
— Tim Ehrenberg, Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA
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.
“ [A] funny, tender read. A new novel from Weiner heralds the start of beach reading season, so prepare your collections accordingly.” —Booklist (starred review)
“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
“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
"From steamy affairs to juicy family secrets, bestselling author Jennifer Weiner’s scintillating beach read has it all." —Apple Books
“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
Praise for That Summer:
“Weiner, the undisputed boss of the beach read, is back with another stunner.”
— New York Times
“The summer wouldn't be complete without an aptly-titled novel from Jennifer Weiner.”
— Marie Claire
"Fun and flirty."
“Your ideal beach read, full of secrets and complicated female friendships.”
"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."
— Booklist (starred)
“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.”
— Good Housekeeping
"Weiner follows up Big Summer with another emotionally charged drama, this one centered on a #MeToo reckoning. Weiner's writing is infused with evocative depictions... [and her] legions of fans will applaud this emotionally affecting and often surprising story."
— Publishers Weekly
“Weiner’s ability to take a complex, painful situation and spin it into an engaging, thoughtful story about women’s inner lives is showcased throughout this novel. The beautiful beachside settings and aspirational lifestyles that women’s fiction readers gravitate toward are on full display, but the depth of the story is what shines. A likely summer blockbuster, this will have readers looking forward to the third volume in trilogy.”
— Library Journal
"A thought-provoking and timely book."
— Seattle Book Review
"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."
“This one will solve all your ‘I can’t get into any book right now’ problems.”
“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."
— Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
“A page turner about lost opportunities and decades-old secrets.”
— New York Post