Author: Jennifer Weiner
Genres: Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
A sparkling novel about the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.
If you are looking for a summer read that has contemporary issues, mystery, and a little romance, Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner is for you. I was hooked from the first pages and finished it in less than 24 hours. The main character, Daphne Berg, is a young woman with qualities that make her somehow familiar. She’s not unlike a favorite girlfriend you’ve known since childhood and is someone you find yourself rooting for almost from the moment she is introduced. Her best friend/nemesis, Drue Cavanaugh, is a typical mean girl ﹘ wealthy, privileged, and self-serving while at the same time charming and almost vulnerable. The two are supported by a cast of multidimensional characters in a world that contrasts the ultrarich and powerful with hardworking people trying to live their best lives.
We learn quickly that Daphne is a large woman, a fact that is central to her character. We see her insecurities as a young girl and can’t help but to applaud when she finds her power in rising above those that try to fat-shame her. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say there is a critical scene in which Daphne decides she will not let others’ opinions define who she is. This scene also involved Drue and leads to a falling out which lasts for years. We are surprised when after all the hard feelings and Daphne’s growing success as an Instagram Influencer, Drue comes back into her life to request that she be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding on Cape Cod. The wedding is a modern-day fairy tale affair set in plush and luxurious mansions on a private beach. No expense was spared for the array of guests including a man who would come to play an important part in Daphne’s life. What comes next is a complete and total shock.
I’m such a fan of twists in novels. Big Summer twists and then twists and twists again. I could not put it down. There is so much to love about this story. It’s a light read but keeps you thoroughly entertained. It really is the perfect summer read.
You can read more reviews about this book on Goodreads. I also came across a podcast in which Jennifer Weiner discusses this book. I recommend that as well because it’s always so interesting to listen to an author discuss a favorite book.