Secrets of the Past bring Two Women Together in That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

That Summer

My Review:

Daisy Shoemaker, given name Diana, wife to a lawyer and mom to a teenage daughter in the Philadelphia area, is questioning her life and happiness. She runs a cooking business but never graduated from college, has a husband who is too busy for her and difficult parenting challenges. During a time where she is feeling unfulfilled and unsettled, she unexpectedly receives an email meant for a different Diana, Diana Sterling. Based on the message it is clear that Diana Sterling has an important job, is happy with her life and is taking her world by storm. In sorting out the email error, the two women connect, strike up a conversation and decide to meet in person. They forge an unlikely friendship that appears to be coincidental but is that truly the case?

With energy of the #metoo movement, and flashbacks leading up to a trauma experienced many years ago during a summer in Cape Cod, Jennifer Weiner’s That Summer, tells the story of two women deeply impacted by the past and their choices. We witness one taking back the power she once surrendered and making things right for herself, causing life changing disruption for the other. Along with this story of the new friends evaluating their lives, with a spotlight on how sexual assault has a lasting effect and can change the course of a victim’s life, there is a little mystery and a lovely romance. Another perfect Jennifer Weiner story…a deep dive into female friendships, heavy and impactful issues and some fun! With wonderful storytelling, this is a perfect book for the beach or the pool!

Check out the audio version as well – Tony award winner and Younger star, Sutton Foster is the narrator!

FYI, Jennifer Weiner makes an appearance as herself on the tv show, Younger (based on the publishing industry) – binge-worthy, for sure.

Jennifer Weiner

About Jennifer Weiner

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Weiner’s books have spent over five years on the New York Times bestseller list with over 11 million copies in print in 36 countries.

She is the author of the novels Good in Bed (2001); In Her Shoes (2002), which was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine; Little Earthquakes (2004); Goodnight Nobody (2005); the short story collection The Guy Not Taken (2006); Certain Girls (2008); Best Friends Forever (2009); Fly Away Home (2010); Then Came You (2011); The Next Best Thing (2012); All Fall Down (2014), and Who Do You Love (2015). She is also the author of two middle-grade novels, The Littlest Bigfoot (2016) and Little Bigfoot, Big City (2017), and the nonfiction collection Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing (2016). Her most recent novel, Mrs. Everything (2019) received both trade accolades and raves from readers.

Jennifer Weiner grew up in Connecticut and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English literature from Princeton University in 1991. She worked as a newspaper reporter in central Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Philadelphia, where she was a feature writer and columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Now a frequent contributor to the New York Times opinion page and Sunday Review, Weiner’s essays – “Mean Girls in the Retirement Home” and “Another Thing to Hate About Ourselves” – rose to the top of the “most emailed” lists and have been reprinted in newspapers and media outlets across the world.

With over 145,000 fans on Facebook and 164,000 followers on Twitter, Weiner appeared on Time magazine’s list of “140 Best Twitter Feeds.” Forbes magazine put her on their list of “25 Working Moms to Follow on Twitter,” writing “tune in for hilarious shards of brilliance.” Entertainment Weekly named her as part of its “brain trust” for social media coverage of the 2016 election.

A 2014 New Yorker profile called Jen an “unlikely feminist enforcer” and celebrated her “lively public discussion about the reception and consumption of fiction written by women.” 

In 2015, Slate praised Jen’s “power-tweeting. . . feminist brand” and her mastery of the “haterbrag,” “a bit of social media sleight-of-hand that turns an insult into an asset.”

Jen uses her social media platform to encourage women’s voices, self-esteem, and body positivity. In the summer of 2016, she posted a picture of herself in a bathing suit with the #weartheswimsuit hashtag, encouraging women of all ages and sizes to put on their bathing suits and get in the water. The movement, which was covered in media outlets including PopSugar, Time, Kveller, The Today Show and Good Morning America, encouraged hundreds of women to shuck their cover-ups, skip the heat rash, get in the water and post shots of themselves in their swimsuits. 

Jennifer has appeared on many national television programs, including The Today ShowGood Morning America, and CBS Sunday Morning, as well as #RichkidsofBeverlyHills and, as herself, on Younger.

Her work has been published in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including Seventeen, Redbook, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Allure, Ladies Home Journal, Time and Good Housekeeping. Jennifer can be found on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and, in real life, Philadelphia, where she lives with her family.

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