28 Summers

Little, Brown. Jun. 2020. 432p. ISBN 9780316420044. $28. F
Jake has spent 28 Labor Day weekends with Mallory at her home in Nantucket, starting in the early 1990s when they were in their 20s. Taking inspiration from the movie Same Time, Next Year, and because Jake is committed to someone else, they decide to indulge their romantic attraction one weekend a year, which they agree to keep secret from family and friends. Despite their deceitful actions, Jake, a charity spokesperson, and Mallory, a teacher, are portrayed as selfless, good-hearted people who just can’t deny their love. Navigating a large cast and long time line, Hilderbrand (The Perfect Couple) steers this tightly written novel with ease and skill, introducing each chapter with the year’s current topics. The stakes are raised when Jake’s wife becomes a political figure; how long will they be able to keep their secret?
VERDICT Because Jake and Mallory meet only one weekend a year, their relationship is rendered, a perpetual holiday. Less a story about a secretive affair and more a tale of sweet nostalgia and fate, this title will be popular with a wide audience. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/19.]
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