About the Book:
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another timely and deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship, set on beautiful Cape Cod.
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 really enjoy Jennifer Weiner’s writing and ‘That Summer’ is a wonderful addition to her books. This one has a bit of a thriller aspect to it which I loved, and which kept me turning the pages.
This book is the story two very different Dianas. One of them is nicknamed Daisy, who lives a very comfortable suburban life in the Philadelphia suburbs with her attorney husband Hal and teenage daughter Beatrice. Conflict between her husband and daughter seem at first to be the only real issues in Daisy’s life. But as the story develops, we see that actually there is more to Hal and Daisy’s life an marriage than meets the eye.
The two Dianas meet after Diana, a consultant who lives in New York, accidentally receives emails meant for Daisy. The two women decide to meet in person and they develop a friendship, with Daisy going so far as to introduce Beatrice to her glamorous new friend Diana.
Told in alternating points of view, the book races along as the main characters’ history and motivations are eventually revealed. I could not put this book down once I started it. I felt very invested in Daisy and Diana’s stories and in finding out how they could possibly be connected. This book discusses very serious topics but still manages to feel like a beach read, much to the author’s credit.
Ultimately a story about empowerment, I was very satisfied with the ending, which felt very realistic to me. I was worried that the author would go for over-the-top dramatics and I am very glad she kept it real. There is even a clever nod to Jennifer Weiner’s last book ‘Big Summer’ (which does not need to be read before this one.) I highly recommend ‘That Summer’ for its fast-paced story and very sensitive treatment of important topics.
(Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review.)