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Big Summer

A Novel
Written by: Jennifer Weiner
Narrated by: Danielle Macdonald
Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by Literary Hub, PopSugar, LibraryReads, Booklist, and Library Journal

“Big Summer is the perfect beach read.” (PopSugar)

“Friendship, weddings, and rich people being weird? Obviously I am in.” (Literary Hub)

“If you love Jennifer Weiner, you’ll love this one.”(Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

The number one New York Times best-selling author of the “nothing short of brilliant” (People).

Mrs. Everything returns with an unforgettable novel about friendship and forgiveness set during a disastrous wedding on picturesque Cape Cod. 

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.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.

©2020 Jennifer Weiner (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book, unbeatable narrator!

This book was excellent! Kept me on my toes until the very end. I highly recommend reading it!

However, the narrator drove me completely crazy. I honestly feel terrible writing this, because I love Danielle as an actress, but her reading was very frustrating. She spoke in what sounded like a baby voice the whole book and did not enunciate a single thing. Buttons, cotton, and certain became buddens, coddin, and cerdan. She even at one point prounounced ‘mountains’ as ‘mowns.’
Anyways, great book, frustrating narration!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun book, issues with reader’s enunciation

Reader, please learn to pronounce T’s in the middle of a word — kitten is not pronounced kidden, cotton not coddon, written isn’t wridden etc — very distracting in a professional reader.

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I Enjoyed the Narrator

I actually really enjoyed Danielle MacDonald as the narrator in this one, her voice was I thought perfect for the role of Daphne, and I didn't notice the mispronunciation of words as other listeners commented. Maybe that is because I was listening to the book speed at 1.3x - 1.4x, as I normally find the pauses and general speed way too slow for my liking. Either way, I found the listen to be quite interesting while driving and doing errands and it didn't take me that long to finish. I thought Jennifer Weiner had a well thought out and interesting plot.

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a bit boring with unlikable characters

This story is about several young women who are all supposed to be sympathetic as they were hurt by a rich mean girl when they were kids. Unfortunately none of them are all that likable themselves and I ended up thinking the mean girl might have been the best of the bunch. In this world everyone is jealous and nobody gets over anything no matter the passage of time. I was close to quitting but then it got a bit more interesting.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • katherine rosenberg
  • 2020-05-07

Book is great; narrator is painful to listen to

I love Jennifer Weiner. I pre-ordered this and started it the minute it became available. I’m not even on chapter 7 and I had to write this review because I can’t take it anymore. I spend time thinking of how the narrator has pronounced words and how I’d describe it and where she’s from and then I have no idea what’s happening in the story and have to rewind.
I only took one semester of linguistics 20 years ago but I also had a college roommate from Philly. The accent reminds me of hers, and knowing Weiner is from Pa. I have to wonder if she used a friend or something? I haven’t even looked up the narrator’s name yet but I would be surprised if she has any other credits to her name because the pronunciation is atrocious. Here are some examples: “Written” is “riddin;” “hadn’t” is “hant;” “eaten” is “edin.” As I’m typing she said “haaaverd” when she meant “hovered.” “Nourish” was “nerresh.”
I’ve laughed at reviews like this in the past and always thought I wouldn’t be so petty and rude as to write one bashing a professional who did their best. But it actually is ruining the experience of listening to a book I’m dying to hear. It’s really frustrating and people who find that they’re overly sensitive to such things (I’m apparently a card-carrying member of this club) may want to steer clear of this title. I hate saying that because I so admire Weiner and want her to get paid all the money she deserves for her incredible writing. Maybe for this one title, go buy a copy instead? (I also hate pushing anyone away from audible which I also absolutely love.) I know I sound conflicted- but not about the narration.

40 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 2020-05-08

Worst narrator ever!

I always enjoy Jennifer Weiner's books and was really looking forward to this one, but I'm not sure I can finish it on Audible due to the narrator! She sounds 16, her full sentence "up-speak" and "vocal fry" are painful to listen to and the mispronunciations are getting more ridiculous as the book progresses. I think I'll have to finish in on Kindle!

24 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jerry
  • 2020-05-07

The narrator! Ugh

The narrator or should I say narraDor? She refuses to pronounce the TT. Buddon instead of button. Wridden instead of written. The author takes so much time
to craft sentences and choose words and then the narrator just barfs them out with such lazy pronunciations; it’s maddening.

24 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly
  • 2020-05-08

Interesting book - Strange read.

The book had some good twists. The reading was ok but I was really distracted with the reader Danielle Macdonald not seeming to know how to make the t sound in a word and several other strange pronunciations. Button was budden, cotton was codden, disappointed was dizapoinded. It would be one thing if it was just the way the main character talked but every character seemed to have “forgodden” how to prounounce the T sound or swapped z’s for s’s. The author managed to throw in a few bashes for anyone that liked Trump or the American flag. Completely gratuitous and lending nothing to the story. Also the notion of eating healthy was also bashed as backward thinking. Other than that the plot kept moving and was an interesting read.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Bonnie McIntyre
  • 2020-05-08

Decent read

The story was fine but the ending was weak. Do not get why Daphne felt compelled to be around the awful bully Drue. The prologue was so different from the rest of the book & more compelling. It felt like a different book. But the worst part about the audio was the reader. Swallowing the T sound ... Bu-in instead of button. Li-ul instead of little. Could you please pick an adult to read the next one?

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-05-12

It’s pronounced buTTon not buddon!!!

I like the characters and story line, at least so far. I’m afraid I can’t finish, the narrator’s persistent need to turn a crisp t into d’s id killing me! Buddon, coddon over and over instead of button and cotton!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Audible member
  • 2020-05-11

Great read, narration needs work

The book was an entertaining, compelling read. And I appreciated much of the narrator's contributions; she was believable as a twenty-something woman. But as others have said, her inability to pronounce "t" was a major buzz kill, and an enormous distraction. It got to the point that I actually started to make a list on my phone of the mispronounced words, and wrote down a few dozen before I stopped (cotton: "cod-den", mittens: "mid-dens", satin: "sad-den", butter: "bud-der", etc). I hope she can get some sort of dialect/elocution/whatever coaching, because I think she's talented. But I won't listen to anything else narrated by her unless her pronunciation issues are addressed.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TERESA
  • 2020-05-08

BIG SUMMER

Absolutely loved this book. First time I think I’ve heard this narrator I thought she did a excellent job. Great story line. Nice to read/listen to a book that has a story to help people who struggle with different things. And to help boost ones self-esteem. WELL DONE JENNIFER!!

5 people found this helpful

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  • MlLASuser
  • 2020-05-15

cannot get past the reading

I cannot listen to this. I have not even gotten to the 2nd chapter. The reading performance makes me crazy. The words are all pronounced in the throaty way of a stereotype teenage girl in California. She says "bu-in" instead of "button" and "threa-in" instead of "threaten". No way can I listen to this for 8 hours. I am returning now.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Minmtl
  • 2020-05-12

Fantastic!

I loved everything about this book. Jennifer Weiner’s style has evolved to include such depth of characters and a twisting woven plot. There were so many deeper lessons in the big picture and yet the book was so entertaining. A great listen!!!!

4 people found this helpful