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Short Take: That Summer

The long sunny days lately had me reaching for Jennifer Weiner’s newest novel, That Summer. This is only the second Jennifer Weiner book that I’ve read, but I can see why she is a beloved author among our customers. Her writing is instantly evocative, whether she’s describing delicious food and the process of making it (I love good food writing), the atmosphere of Cape Cod throughout the year, or the internal workings of her characters. While the cover might give the impression that this is a light and breezy summer beach read, I found it to be a deeply moving examination of the male behavior that sparked the #MeToo movement in recent years. Weiner takes a heavy subject and creates a compelling page-turner of a story. What begins as an assumed mistaken email to Daisy, a stay-at-home mom with a side hustle of private cooking lessons, turns into a new friendship with the mysterious Diana. What is the connection between Diana and Daisy’s husband, Hal? What really happened to Diana the summer she spent on the Cape when she was 15? Weiner deftly weaves the narrative between Daisy, Diana, and Daisy’s daughter, Beatrice, as things that were hidden in the past begin to come to light. I especially loved Beatrice’s voice, a teenager coming into her own as a female, curious and bold and willing to speak up for herself and others. Make sure you have a free hour or two when you pick this up, because once I started I couldn’t put it down. Now I’m ready to dive into her backlist!

– Lori