Reviews for That Summer

by Jennifer Weiner

Publishers Weekly
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Weiner follows up Big Summer with another emotionally charged drama, this one centered on a #MeToo reckoning. Diana Shoemaker has been known as Daisy ever since marrying her husband, Hal. But when she begins receiving emails intended for another “Diana S.” with a similar address—and when the two Dianas strike up a correspondence—she starts to wonder what her life might have been like had she not fallen into Main Line Philadelphia motherhood and a modest culinary education business. A parallel narrative follows the other Diana, whom it turns out is intent on contacting Daisy to confront her about her sexual assault when she was 15 by a group of boys on Cape Cod, including some with connections to Daisy, whose family spent summers there along with Hal’s. After Daisy and Diana become friends, Daisy learns their seemingly accidental online encounter was anything but. Weiner’s writing is infused with evocative depictions of place, particularly year-round scenes on the Cape. Some villains are painted with overly broad strokes, and while the plot hinges on more than one coincidence, the account of a woman on a deferred quest, nearly three decades after an assault, feels emotionally honest. Weiner’s legions of fans will applaud this emotionally affecting and often surprising story. Agent: Joanna Pulcini, Joanna Pulcini Literary Management. (May)

Library Journal
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In the New York Times best-selling Henry's People We Meet on Vacation, vivacious travel writer Poppy once vacationed yearly with straight-and-narrow best friend Alex, but their last vacation left their relationship in shreds, and Poppy must talk him into one last trip so they can right the balance. In Jenoff's The Woman with the Blue Star, 18-year-old Sadie Gault is hiding in the sewers after the liquidation of the Kraków ghetto when she forms a tentative friendship with wealthy Polish girl Ella Stepanek (500,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). In Just Last Night, the latest from the internationally best-selling McFarlane (If I Never Met You), Eve is still crushing on Ed, among their group of four forever best friends, but her questions about what might have been are interrupted by a catastrophe upending all their lives (50,000-copy first printing). Best-selling novelist/memoirist Maynard returns with Count the Ways, which tracks the fate of a family when the parents break up after an accident that permanently injures the youngest child (50,000-copy first printing). Oakley follows up You Were There Too, a LibraryReads pick whose film rights have been sold, with The Invisible Husband of Frick Island, featuring an ambitious young journalist disgruntled about having to cover a fundraiser on Chesapeake Bay's Frick Island until he discovers the townsfolk pretending to hear and see a man who's not there—all for the sake of his widow. Inspired by a real-life individual, Phillips's The Family Law stars a crusading young family lawyer in early 1980s Alabama whose efforts to help women escape abusive marriages brings death threats that eventually endanger a teenager she has befriended. In Shipman's latest, terminally ill Emily wants the lifelong friends she made at summer camp in 1985 to scatter her ashes at the camp, and The Clover Girls find another life-affirming request from her when they oblige (100,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). No plot details yet on Weiner's That Summer, but the setting is sunstruck Cape Cod, and there's a 350,000-copy first printing. Weir's Katharine Parr, The Sixth Wife, tells the story of twice-widowed Katharine, cornered into marriage with Henry VIII and shamelessly used by an old lover after Henry's death.