Title: That Summer
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship.
Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?
While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?
From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.
I finished this over the final summer weekend. I was surprised when it ended up being tangentially related to Weiner’s previous book, Big Summer. Even though portions of the book take place in a beachfront location, it’s not entirely set during the summer. In fact, don’t let the title full you – this could be read while snuggled up near a cozy fire.
This novel was an interesting read. I thought it was going to be women’s fiction but it was more than that. There was intrigue and mystery around the circumstances that brings Daisy and Diana together.
I enjoyed the alternating timelines between the past and the present day. I never felt they dragged on too long. Perhaps a lot about Daisy’s life was identifiable to me that I felt Diana was the stronger, unexpected character.