Thursday, June 4, 2020

Book Review: Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner

Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 5, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Ruth Cooperman arrives in beautiful beachside Provincetown for her retirement, renting the perfect waterfront cottage while she searches for her forever home. After years of hard work and making peace with life's compromises, Ruth is looking forward to a carefree summer of solitude. But when she finds a baby girl abandoned on her doorstep, Ruth turns to her new neighbors for help and is drawn into the drama of the close-knit community.  The appearance of the mystery baby has an emotional ripple effect through the women in town, including Amelia Cabral, the matriarch who lost her own child decades earlier; Elise Douglas, owner of the tea shop who gave up her dream of becoming a mother; and teenage local Jaci Barros who feels trapped by her parents' expectations. Ruth, caring for a baby for the first time in thirty years, even reaches out to her own estranged daughter, Olivia, summoning her to Provincetown in hopes of a reconciliation.  As summer unfolds and friends and family care for the infant, alliances are made, relationships are tested, and secrets are uncovered. But the unconditional love for a child in need just might bring Ruth and the women of Provincetown exactly what they have been longing for themselves.  With heartfelt storytelling, Summer Longing is Jamie Brenner's eagerly anticipated return to Provincetown; another unforgettable tale about motherhood, friendship, and finding your way home."

Ruth has come to the gorgeous coastal village of Provincetown to celebrate her retirement. She couldn't find a home to buy, so she rented the most perfect house while she looks to buy in the much sought out community.  She has worked her whole life building her cosmetic company from the ground up and now she wants to enjoy the perks of retirement.  However, upon her arrival to the house, drama ensues. Not only is the house not ready for her, she meets the owner who is very reluctant to leave for one reason or another.  To add to the drama, there's an abandoned baby left on her porch in the days that follow.  The last thing Ruth needs is to take care of an infant, even it it's only temporary.  All of this reminds her of her own fractured relationship with her daughter, Olivia, whom she feels like she never really had time for.  Could this be the summer they repair their relationship? Then there's the owner of the house, Elise, who has always dreamed of being a mother and after a series of heartbreaking events, she has decided to put it on hold, perhaps permanently.  She has her tea shop, a committed partner, so what more could she want? But she can't deny the hole in her heart that's left there when she faces life without a child.  Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner is a delightful beach read that highlights female friendships, a strong community, and second chances.

I really enjoyed the character of Ruth in Summer Longing.  As a working mother, she had major guilt about putting her job first on some occasions and her daughter, Olivia, would inevitably come second.  In turn, it has put a strain on her relationship with her daughter.  She is hoping she can repair it this summer. But things become complicated when the baby shows up on her doorstep. Even though she promptly calls the owner of the house, Elise, the baby keeps finding a way to mess up her plans and ultimately, remind her of her own daughter. 

While I didn't always agree with Elise's decisions in Summer Longing, my heart went out to her.  She really doesn't want to get the authorities involved with the baby that shows up on her doorstep, and her partner, Fern, is worried that this baby is going to be yet another heartbreak for her.  Elise even convinces Ruth that they need to move back into the house to help take care of the baby, which I found to be crazy since Ruth rented it from her already! Elise runs the local tea shop, so she needs help taking care of this baby and that's where the tight-knit community comes in.  All the while, they are wondering whose baby it is and Elise is wondering if this baby could be for her.

More family drama ensues in Summer Longing when Ruth's ex-husband comes up to visit along with Ruth's daughter.  Ruth thought this first foray into retirement was going to be a quiet time at the beach, but it is turning out to be anything but. Imagine Olivia's surprise when she arrives to the house and her mother is taking care of an infant!

Jamie Brenner's Summer Longing is a satisfying beach read. It touches on more serious issues, but doesn't dwell long to remind us that this is a summer read best enjoyed in the sunshine with a cool drink and a warm breeze.  

Are you a fan of Jamie Brenner's novels? Is this one on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below.   


  1. This sounds really interesting. I love the waterfront cottage setting!

  2. This one is definitely on my TBR - Jamie Brenner has become a go-to summer author for me!

  3. I've never heard of this author before.


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