Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Book Review - That Summer; Jennifer Weiner

 

TITLE/AUTHOR: That Summer; Jennifer Weiner

PUBLISHER:   Simon & Schuster  Audio

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021

GENRE: Fiction / Contemporary / Women / Family

FORMAT: audio download LENGTH: 13 hours 21 min.

SOURCE:  Publisher / audio download

SETTING(s):  Cape Cod, MA and PA

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A story of two women who seem to have little in common except for a secret from the past.

BRIEF REVIEW:  When I began listening to this book, the prologue introduces us to 15 year old Diana, a young girl with her first job as a nanny and spending the summer on Cape Cod with the family she would be helping out.  It seems like the perfect summer for a young girl, away from home, meeting other teens her age and a first boyfriend named Poe.

The story soon after shifts to the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA to a woman named Daisy, wife to Hal a corporate lawyer and stay at home mother to teen Beatrice and a cooking business and volunteer work which also keeps her busy.  Daisy, however,  is clearly unsatisfied with her life and over-dependent on her husband.  When she starts receiving misdirected emails for a woman named Diana (their emails are different by one character) she's intrigued by what seems to be the glamorous life and corporate job of the mysterious Diana Starling.  Eventually an apology for the mixup leads to a meet up of the two women leading to a friendship.  The whole setup is not accidental.  What is Dianas real motive in getting close to Daisy?  

This story was not at all what I was expecting to be -  a light summer read. I actually thought the overview was a bit misleading for readers looking for something light. Readers need to know that there was a rape that took place and there is some explicit sex as well in case readers would prefer to avoid this in their fiction. That being said, this book left me disappointed. It wasn't the idyllic summer to remember story I was looking for; there was too much of the #metoo aspect to this novel. The story felt overly long and needed a bit of editing IMO. The saving grace in this one for me was daughter Beatrice who was difficult at times but, she provided a nice diversion from Diana and Daisy who were both a bit annoying in different ways.  Initially my review rating was a bit higher but, the more time passed and I thought about the story the more disappointed I was.

RATING:  2.5/5

The audiobook was a free download provided by Simon & Schuster Audio in exchange for my unbiased review. I did think the audio narration that was read by Sutton Foster was good.

24 comments:

  1. That was a bit of a let down I'm sure!

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    1. It was especially when you expecting something much different.

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  2. I thought this book was going to be a fun summer read, too. Until I read your review. I'll be passing on this one. It's not one I'd like.

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  3. I haven't read Jennifer Weiner in years, but liked the books I read. Sorry this one wasn't what you hoped for. It is a little depressing when a book that we look forward to doesn't turn out.

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    1. Yes, I have not read her books in a bit and was really expecting to like this.

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  4. I had this one as a "want to read" this summer, but now I'm thinking of crossing it off my list. Based on your description, it seems it is not what I thought it was.

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    1. YES, not the type of story I was expecting from the prologue.

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  5. Beatrice was such a great character! I wish I'd known this was a #metoo novel before beginning, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Agree it could have used more editing though.

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    1. I did like Beatrice, so happy she was part of this story.

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  6. I've had mixed reactions to her books so not quite sure if I'm going to be checking this one.

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    1. I haven't read too many of hers but, I am sure there are better ones by her I missed.

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  7. That blurb and cover would lead me to think it was a light & fun book. Sorry it was a miss!

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  8. Replies
    1. I really wanted something light - this wasn't it but, fortunately The Newcomer was good (followed this one - no review yet)

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  9. From the cover I definitely would expect light and fun. I have heard from a few readers who said otherwise so you are not in the minority at all.

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    1. I haven't read many of her books so I'm sure she has better ones out there.

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  10. Oh dear. I hate it when a book takes off in a direction I did not expect and which I do not like.

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    1. Yes, the prologue made me expect something else entirely.

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  11. I can see this coming across as a lighter read- the cover certainly gives me more of that impression.

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