Review: That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Featured photo by Nicholas Bartos| Retrieved from Unsplash

WARNING: this review contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk!

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner is one of those books that has been on my TBR for forever it seems. I finally picked it up at Barnes & Noble and dove right in. I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting, but I was definitely surprised at this book!

Book content warning: sexual assault and suicide.

The Synopsis:

“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.”

Read This If You Love…

  • Overcoming tragedies
  • Plot twists
  • Complicated relationships

When Diana didn’t say anything, Daisy said, “What’s going on? Is this some kind of…” Game? Joke? Trick?

My Review

For the first few chapters of this book, I was wondering where the heck this story was going. Even when my husband would ask if I was liking it, I would tell him, “Yes, but I cannot figure out for the life of me what EXACTLY this book is about!”

Based on the cover and synopsis, I was expecting some feel-good book about friendship.

Obviously, I figured it out and once I did, I had chills. It was quite the plot twist and gave me The Acts of Life by Kristin Mulligan vibes (YES, I still can’t get over that one). 

Anyways, I couldn’t put That Summer down. I stayed up LATE a couple of times and literally did not realize exactly how long I’d been reading for when I finally checked the time, and decided to practice some self-control and go to bed.

I loved the detail of this book, from the characters to the setting. I saw a lot of myself as well as my younger sisters in Beatrice, Daisy’s daughter. 

Jennifer Weiner definitely gives a new meaning to confronting people who have done you wrong in this novel, that’s for sure!

That Summer isn’t exactly an uplifting or lighthearted read, but it is empowering and inspirational, showing the reader the importance strength, resilience, and that it is never too late to become who you want to be.

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