Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Daphne Berg could not be more surprised when she's asked to be maid of honor at the wedding of the year! Sure the bride, Drue Cavanaugh, used to be one of Daphne's best friends. But their relationship ended quite explosively and was posted to social media for all the world to see.

Since that time Daphne has gone on to become a decently recognized influencer promoting plus size fashion, exercise programs and equipment, and even dog treats (or, her dog Bingo has). And while the fight with Drue might have kicked it all off, Daphne hasn't really gotten over the hurt of the whole event.

But now Drue is back, claiming that she has no one else and that she's missed Daphne. Drue has always had a bit of a hold on Daphne, but Daphne believes that she's changed. Plus, the chance to spend a weekend in Cape Cod is the perfect excuse to show off her newest contracted wares...

Big Summer is quite the perfect summer read! And, thankfully, it dropped EARLY amidst all of the current mess, giving readers a chance to dive into an absolutely delightful read about friendship, forgiveness, and maybe even a little romance!

And while Big Summer is a breezy and light read, for the most part, it does have a twist I did not necessarily see coming. It wasn't a total surprise, but it was a surprise in that it wasn't exactly what I expected.

See the book begins with a fashion writer who's left New York City to live in the Cape with her young son. And by the end of the opening chapter, she's dead.

When we jumped from that into Daphne's story I actually thought I had a glitch or a misprint in my reading! But no, it's the same book. The opening chapter is a precursor to something that comes out later in the book.

Daphne is an influencer, which means she's gets free stuff (and a little money) to promote products on Instagram. It's a job for her, and one she takes quite seriously. But she's small potatoes compared to someone like Drue. And so it's certainly surprising to find out that Drue has burned all of her bridges and has literally no one she can ask to be in her wedding.

And it's a high profile wedding, to be sure. Drue is a member of a highly prominent family and the groom was a contestant on a reality show wherein he found love, and then promptly overthrew his new flame to return to his old one, Drue. So to say everyone will be watching this wedding, is kind of true.

But Daphne's hurt over the incident that broke her own friendship with Drue isn't gone and likely never well be. As the story progresses, though, not only do we learn how their friendship came to be and how it ended, but the nuances of the relationship throughout the years. And it becomes clear to both the reader and Daphne that Drue has her own issues!

Weiner is such a charming writer. Her characters are fully formed and so easy to love. Even most of the bad guys have layers to them that make it hard not to have the teeniest bit of sympathy for them. And while Daphne and Drue are the focus of the story, the attention Weiner pays to fleshing out even the smallest supporting character makes her stories that much more enjoyable.

And since I listened to this one on audio, I have to say that the characters were even more lively and fabulous thanks to narration by Danielle Macdonald (Dumplin' and Bird Box). Macdonald was the absolute perfect choice for Daphne and did a wonderful job with the narration as a whole! Her performance brought the characters to life for me in such a way that now, I think I might hear her voice in my head for all of Weiner's books!

Big Summer was a real joy to read!

You can check out the audiobook here!

Order it from BookBar!

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