2.61 (68 ratings by Goodreads)
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A splendid Hudson River estate, complete with cook and rose garden. The landscape is inebriating, the women are in full, passionate bloom, and the men are incomprehensible. Susie-chic, smart, spacey, and no longer promiscuous- decides, at forty-five, to do what she would have done at twenty-five: invite a group of amusing friends to spend eight weekends of summer in stunning surroundings. The invitees include her oldest friend, Kay, elegantly nursing a broken heart; her former lover Dodge-still the sexiest man she knows; his randy, neurotic, comedian friend Ron; and Elise, an on-the-cusp artist determined to be in a relationship before she hits forty. Add to the mix Susie's very ardent, very surprising twenty-four-year-old son, and an exhibitionist au pair next door, and you have a delicious romantic farce that deftly slides into and out of something quite a bit darker.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 291 pages
  • 134.62 x 195.58 x 20.32mm | 294.83g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156029650
  • 9780156029650

Back cover copy

"Clements's second novel is one of those rare, satisfying books in which nothing much happens and yet nothing is left unchanged."--The New Yorker
The setting is a ridiculously grand Hudson River estate, shared by a group of friends for the summer. At first, Susie's idea is to cheer up her old schoolmate, Kay. She invites an ex-lover, Dodge, who brings in Ron, a comedian. On impulse, Susie also invites a woman artist she knows only slightly. Everyone looks forward to a respite from Manhattan but each privately anticipates something more. The landscape is inebriating; the relationships intense. Over the course of the summer, attraction and withdrawal succeed one another at an astonishing pace. When the party is crashed by Susie's ardent and surprising twenty-four-year-old son, as well as by the exhibitionistic au pair next door, the summer turns into a study of desire--its charm, its futility, and its power.
"A book full of a rose garden's suggestive stillness, heat, and cultivated beauty . . . A beautiful book, light in tone as summers and gardens often are, but not at all light in its lasting effects."--O, The Oprah Magazine

Marcelle Clements was born in Paris and moved to New York at age ten. Her previous books were a collection of essays, The Dog Is Us; a novel, Rock Me; and a nonfiction book, The Improvised Woman. Her articles and essays on culture, politics, and the arts have appeared in many national publications.
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Review quote

"Marcelle Clements, in her fine, graceful Midsummer, has given us a
book full of a rose garden's suggestive stillness, heat, and cultivated
"Midsummer is a novel of haunting beauty and almost terrifyingly
acute perceptions. By the time I reached the book's subtle, devastating
closing lines, I actually gasped at Clement's command of comedy and
pathos, and her ability to chart their endlessly intermingling."
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Rating details

68 ratings
2.61 out of 5 stars
5 4% (3)
4 15% (10)
3 38% (26)
2 24% (16)
1 19% (13)
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