Four women find themselves in a tangled family web that they work to unravel over a Provincetown summer in this new novel by Brenner (The Wedding Sisters, 2016, etc.).
When Marin Bishop breaks off her perfect-seeming engagement to pursue a passionate affair with her boss at a Manhattan law firm, she believes it’s the most dramatic thing that will happen to her as the summer begins. But when her firm finds out, she and her lover are summarily fired, right after she learns from her Philadelphia society parents that they’re getting a divorce (something her mother, Blythe, is struggling to accept herself). In the wake of all this, Marin is thrown for an additional loop: while she's a daddy’s girl at heart, she finds out that she's not her father’s biological child. Indeed, she has a half sister neither she nor her mother knew about, a young Californian named Rachel who comes to New York to see Marin before continuing to Provincetown to meet her newly discovered grandmother Amelia. The biological father of both girls, Amelia’s son, died many years ago. On a whim, Marin joins Rachel, and, out of desperation, Blythe tags along. They all find themselves at Amelia’s beachfront guesthouse—closed for this summer but open to a new, blended family. As the summer unfolds, each of these women must process the information they’ve gained and the new people they’ve encountered, relearning how they fit in the world and what it means to be family. Soap-opera twists and turns are tempered with the believable goodness of the characters, the messiness of their journeys, and just a hint of unpredictability as events unfold. Not all the endings are happy, but most are.
Engaging and not too fluffy, an excellent choice for summer vacation reading.