“Death would be too easy. Death would let him off the hook. Life, though, life with the knowledge that Daisy knew what he’d done and who he was…”
― Jennifer Weiner, That Summer
While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction in her own life, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for another woman, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, the other woman is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, the other woman is making plans to reorganize corporations.
The emails give insight into a glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life, which is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. Eventually, the misdirected emails are acknowledged, which leads to the two women meeting and becoming friends. But, as they get closer, you learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?
In my opinion, it is best to go into this book blind. It goes back and forth between the past and the present. You realize pretty early on how the two women are connected. However, it’s what happens after that point that is intriguing and kept me engaged. It’s a thoughtful, meaningful story, but it is one that is not easy to read at times. I think it is a great show of wealth, privilege, and control.
I was expecting an easy summer read, but That Summer was much deeper and more meaningful than I was anticipating. It alludes to the #MeToo movement, and I think it is done very well. With that though, it might be good to double-check the content if you are sensitive to that topic.
First line: I almost went back for her.
Littleport, Maine is a small coastal town that spends half the year
catering to the wealthy visitors on summer vacation. The Loman family is
the richest and most prominent family in the area. One summer the
Loman’s daughter, Sadie develops a friendship with a local girl. They
become inseparable. As their friendship grows, Avery is brought on to
manage the family’s local rental properties and other business ventures
in town. Then one summer everything changes. Sadie is found dead. The
police rule it as a suicide but Avery feels like things do not add up.
Who could want to hurt Sadie and why?
My Thoughts: This
is a perfect read for summer vacations. It is set on a coastal town with
beaches, bungalows and bistros. While reading it I desperately wanted
to be sitting outside with a cold drink.
Miranda does a great
job a spinning a tangled web. The story jumps back and forth between the
summer Sadie died and the next one without her. But at the same time we
get glimpses farther back into Avery’s past as well. There seemed to be
so many possibilities for the ending. I was shocked by the big reveal
at the end. The last 50 pages fly by so fast. It was hard to put down.
FYI: My favorite Megan Miranda books is All The Missing Girls. It is fantastic. The story is told in reverse. You would think it would give away so much but it does not. Both of these books are perfect for your summer reading list!
I don’t know how you feel about summer, but my daughters and I start counting down the days shortly after Christmas. There are so many things to look forward to! Not having to hit the ground running every morning as soon as the alarm goes off. The almost transformative way laying in the sunshine by the pool makes you feel like a new person. The excitement of planning a summer vacation (with or without family). Most of all, at least for me, it’s the idea of making great memories that will keep us remembering the warmth even through the dead of winter.
I’ve found that when I’ve gone overboard to create the “perfect” summertime memory, those are never really the ones we remember. I’m usually stressed from trying too hard and it never lives up to the idea I had in my head. No, the times we end up talking about well into the next summer are the little things that don’t require much effort at all. Playing games outside and then staying out until dark eating dinner and watching them catch fireflies. Allowing them to have cheesy tots and pop at the pool. Letting them play outside in a summer rainstorm. Going to Riverside Park with a picnic they choose themselves and telling them about when we were actually allowed to go down the rocket ship slide.
Going to the park is still as cool to my girls as it was to me when I was young and in this day and age I think that’s really saying something. It must be the same for a lot of kids and their families because every time I drive by Madison Avenue Central Park here in Derby it is always buzzing with activity.
So in honor of “Creating Great Summer Memories” the Derby Public Library is hosting a free outdoor concert at the Madison Avenue Central Park on Monday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m., featuring the group Hungrytown. Worried about dinner? The food truck B.S. Sandwich Press will be in the parking lot serving up some delicious treats! We will also be collecting non-perishable food items to donate to the Derby Community Food Pantry.
To find out more about Hungrytown visit www.hungrytown.net