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  • Writer's pictureGaili Schoen

The Summer Place

How's your week going? I've been enjoying delving into my pile of recent releases for summer 2022 and this is a great one, in my humble opinion!

The Summer Place is a multigenerational story of an extended family who gathers together for a wedding at the matriarch of the family Veronica's Cape Cod beach house during the Covid pandemic; twenty-two year old granddaughter Ruby is marrying her college sweetheart Gabe. Ruby's father Eli and stepmother Sarah try to appear supportive though they fear that she is far too young to marry. Veronica is thrilled that her family will converge at her beach house for one last visit before she puts the house on the market. Veronica had wished that her twin children Sarah and Sam would want to keep the beach house. But Sam's move to California and Sarah's hidden painful Cape Cod history keep them both away, save for only the briefest visits.

As they travel to Cape Cod, each family member holds secrets that threaten to turn the wedding into a nightmare experience. Eli has been tormented with worry about the parentage of his daughter's intended; is it possible that Gabe could be Eli's son? Sarah, suffering from a year of her husband's aloof and testy behavior, fears he might be having an affair, and is tempted to have one herself. Sam is questioning his romantic proclivities, and Ruby is questioning her readiness to marry. Veronica is afraid that her meddling sister will uncover her long past affair, and even more pressing, she has health issues that she intends to reveal after the wedding.

Though the wedding doesn't go as planned, the time they spend in Cape Cod enables each family member to confront their secrets and demons, and to begin the healing process. Sarah grows closer to Veronica, realizing that she has much to learn from her mother and the choices she has made:

"Maybe if she'd understood that her mother, too, had a road not taken... she would have seen the world differently."

I loved reading The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner for its detailed character development and for her authentic depiction of the crazy and devastating coincidences that life often throws in our pathway. Weiner has written many other great summer reading books including Mrs. Everything, Big Summer, and That Summer. She is definitely an author to follow! You can order The Summer Place below, or better yet, pick it up from your local bookstore!

Hardcover 428 pages, Audiobook 14 hours, 19 minutes

P.S. If you are new to Ripe Reads, welcome! And thank you for subscribing! I read and review books that are (mostly) by and about adults over 50, because it's more fun and relevant reading about characters whose experiences and concerns mirror our own! I'm always happy to hear about what you're reading, and any book suggestions you might have. I also write book reviews for Pamela Lamp's wonderful blog called Who I Met Today, featuring interesting interviews, food and drinks, travel and of course books! You can follow @RipeReads and @WhoIMetToday on Instagram, and Pamela Lamp and Ripe Reads on Facebook. Though some bemoan social media, I love connecting via these platforms and on blogs; for me it's great to learn new things and make new friends, far and wide. Have a great weekend and I hope you can carve out some time to read! Best, Gaili


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