I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Summer We Read Gatsby. The story was light-hearted but well thought out; it had a bit of mystery, a bit of history, a bit of romance–but not too much of any; and it incorporated some of my personal favorite reading subjects like highbrow New York, cooky artist culture, and the greats of the past like Fitzgerald and Pollock.
The story follows Stella’s brief summer stay in the Hamptons where she has the unfortunate task of sorting through her deceased aunt’s affairs. She and her half-sister, Peck, reminisce the past summers that they’d spent in their family’s crumbling cottage, surrounded by artists-in-residence and their aunt’s constant nagging to write, write, write. In the midst of a sad affair, they have a splendid time becoming reacquainted with each other, falling in love with new and old flames, and uncovering some sides of their aunt they never knew when she was alive.
I was slightly annoyed at a couple of things in the book. Firstly, Ganeck is a skilled author. She seems to know the ins and outs of the English language; though at many points throughout the book, I wished she’d back away from the letter of the English law. I can appreciate a well-crafted sentence; but then there’s also something to be said for artistic freedom. It makes me feel less like I’m reading a text book or assigned summer reading.
Secondly, Ganek’s clear affinity for the things I love–highbrow New York, cooky artist culture, and the greats of the past like Fitzgerald and Pollock–is so obvious it’s almost gimmicky. It seemed unbelievable to me that every character in her book should be so well read, and on top of it have read exactly the same books as every other person they encountered. While it kept the story on theme, it certainly didn’t seem very realistic.
Aside from these minute annoyances, the book was a fun read. More than anything, I love that, in the end, the story resolves; and further, there’s even a bit of added foreshadowing courtesy of Peck. A fluffy, fun, and easy read, I would definitely recommend adding this book to your lists.