The Summer Place: A Novel (Paperback)
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 the challenges of the 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 first-rate page-turner” (Publishers Weekly) 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)
“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