Tag Archives: Summer Faves

Review: The Summer Demands

The Summer Demands

The Summer Demands
By Deborah Shapiro
Catapult, 9781948226301, June 2019, 224pp.

The Short of It:

Gave me all the feels of The Big Chill but with a smaller cast of characters.

The Rest of It:

On the verge of her fortieth birthday, Emily inherits an abandoned summer camp from her aunt. She and her husband move there, with the hopes of transforming it into an artist colony. The old, main house is full of charm and memories but the rest of the camp is in need of repair. They both realize it will take quite a bit of resources to get it to where it needs to be. What they don’t immediately realize though is that they already have their first guest.

I really enjoyed The Summer Demands. Emily and her husband are in a good place. Even though she is without a job and trying to find her way again after suffering a miscarriage, Emily is hopeful if not a little lost. But when she stumbles upon Stella, a twenty-something who is essentially squatting on their property, her first reaction is to help her, not oust her and she holds that secret for a little while before telling her husband.

It’s these moments between Stella and Emily that cause so much tension. Female friendships and intimacy, envy, jealousy and longing. Emily is a tad infatuated with Stella but when Stella meets Emily’s husband, Emily notices that everyone she meets is kind of infatuated with Stella. It’s just who she is.

Emily and Stella loll around the camp, swimming, watching movies, and soaking up the sun but as a reader you just know that this idyllic summer must end eventually, and it does. I loved the easiness of this novel. I loved the complexities of female friendships displayed here and I liked how the author explored things without making you feel too strongly about any one thing.

Plus, the setting was great. The lake and the sunlight filtering through the trees. It’s all so palpable. I really enjoyed The Summer Demands but it definitely falls into the “quiet novel” category which I enjoy very much.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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What Does Summer Mean To You?

What does summer mean to you?

Summer always sneaks up on me. This year especially because the weather has been so cool and nice and then BAM, feels like an oven and everything is brown again.  Yep, sure enough the calendar says June. How did this happen?

This time, I am going to sit down with my planner and pencil in summery things because before I know it, summer will be over and the kids will be reminding us that we didn’t do much in the way of fun. The other day I saw some bloggers talking about summer and their summers differed so much that I thought I’d ask the question:

What does summer mean to you?

In my head, this is what it means to me:

  • Several trips to the beach
  • Evening BBQs with fresh seafood, steak and lots of watermelon!
  • Summery drinks (Pimm’s Cup, Arnold Palmers, Mint Juleps)
  • After dinner runs to the ice cream shop
  • Lots and lots of reading
  • Summer movie blockbusters on the big screen
  • Sitting outside in the shade just to take in the view
  • Shortish road trips to undiscovered beach towns
  • Eating a tuna salad sandwich while watching the waves roll in
  • The smell of sunscreen mixed with an ocean breeze
  • The Otter Pup, happy for all the extra sunny spots to check out
  • Visiting air-conditioned museums when it’s blazing hot outside
  • Concerts at the park

Summer, in general, means a more carefree attitude. It should with school being out and all but since I work for a year-round university, we don’t have much of a break so I have to try harder to get those “feels” in there.

When I picked up my daughter from her last day of school yesterday, she literally did a dance down the sidewalk and I SO remember how the last day of school felt. Such promise of things to come. This year, I plan to make more of the above happen.

Now it’s your turn. What does summer mean to you? What are your must-have summer foods or drinks and tell me what you love to do during these hot summer months.