Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.
Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.
Big Summer opens with a prologue featuring a single mom and her young son and concludes with a cliff hanger. We see nothing more about these characters until the very end, after the culmination of some tragic events that turn the story about struggling characters searching for love into something more. It becomes a mystery.
In the first part of the book, we come to know Daphne in the present and through flashbacks of the past. Her friendship with Drue is tumultuous, with the kind of stormy episodes that, in my opinion, should have forever turned Daphne away from this so-called friend.
But when Drue begs Daphne to be in her wedding on the Cape and offers the opportunity for her to feature it on her online accounts, drawing traffic to her influencer business, Daphne cannot resist.
As the weekend winds down, Daphne is beginning to sense that more is afoot with Drue and her fiancé and with the hugely expensive wedding…and when the truth finally starts to unfold, the mystery begins.
I loved the descriptions of Daphne’s business, her thoughts and feelings about events, and how her plus-size figure challenges her constantly. Her business has boosted her self-esteem, but can she ever really dismiss how her supposed friend Drue has made her feel “less than” over the years? I couldn’t stop reading this book that carried us through issues of friendship, betrayal, loss, and finally, consequences. 5 stars.
My e-ARC came to me from the publisher via NetGalley.