That Summer

Jennifer Weiner's page-turning, revealing novel That Summer, set in a suburb of Philadelphia and on Cape Cod, examines the gray area of denial that holds the tension between innocence and guilt.

Daisy Shoemaker is lonely. Her handsome, successful husband, Hal, is busy with his career as a lawyer; her teenage daughter, Beatrice, back home after her recent expulsion from boarding school, wants space to develop her online enterprise; and Daisy's best friend recently died. So when a flurry of e-mails come to Daisy instead of to another woman with a similar e-mail address--someone more successful, surely, with a fuller life--she arranges to travel from Philadelphia and meet up with this other woman in New York.

Jennifer Weiner (Mrs. Everything; Hungry Heart) starts with an idyllic summer on Cape Cod. But it soon becomes clear that something dark and disturbing happened there. The author nimbly exposes the underbelly of wealth and social position, and the harm that comes to perpetrators as well as their victims. Everyone has kept a secret from Daisy. But when it's out, she must decide whether to live a lie or embrace the truth, whatever the cost. Weiner explores the after-effects of trauma, and honesty as the first steps out of the pain and shame that often accompany it. The plot points she layers in from the very first pages contribute to a wallop of a reveal; just when readers might think they know where she's headed, she takes a turn, ever true to the authenticity of her characters. --Jennifer M. Brown, senior editor, Shelf Awareness

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