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Publisher's Weekly Review

The Summer We Read Gatsby

Two half-sisters search for the "thing of utmost value" in an inherited ramshackle Southampton cottage in Ganek's witty new novel (after Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him). The story is narrated by introverted, newly divorced, would-be writer Cassie, but the flamboyant center of the story is her older half-sister, Peck, a theatrical socialite determined to "bring out" her sister while thwarting Cassie's sensible plan to sell Fool's House, the cottage they've jointly inherited from their eccentric aunt Lydia. As they wonder whether the house's treasure is a Jackson Pollock painting, a first edition of The Great Gatsby, or a family secret, the sisters' contrasting personalities clash in hilarious ways. During a summer marked by parties that recall both the artsy milieu of Pollock and the posh extravagance of Gatsby, the two sisters run into long-lost loves, strange neighbors, aggressive real estate agents, and charming artist hangers-on as they ponder the legacy of their beloved Aunt Lydia and their relationship to each other. Even though many of the novel's revelations can be seen a mile away, getting there is a fun, witty, and surprisingly moving trip. (June)


Advanced Review - Uncorrected Proof
Issue: May 15, 2010
The Summer We Read Gatsby

"The beach can cure anything," or so Peck (short for Pecksland) tells half-sister Stella. They have never been close, but for the summer they''ll share the Hamptons beach home their beloved Aunt Lydia left to them in her will. Fool's House, a gathering spot for artists during Lydia's tenure, comes with an annual "resident fool" artist as a free lodger above the garage. Peck, a Manhattanite actress, and Stella, a journalist living in Switzerland, can't afford the house, but love it too much to sell it. In between the chic parties and events of the summer season, they search for the item of great value that Lydia says she has left them. Is it the unsigned painting above the fireplace? The possibly first edition of Gatsby? And, most important, is the treasure valuable enough to let them keep the house? Friendships and romances rekindle, sisters grow close, objects disappear, mysteries are solved, and what is truly of value eventually becomes apparent in this charming, entertaining, and brightly written summer read.
    - Danise Hoover

Denver Post

The Summer We Read Gatsby

A fully engrossing page-turner filled with delightful characters and sumptuous details about one perfect July in the Hamptons. Like summer itself, this bewitching novel will leave you half in love and yearning for more.
    - Denver Post

Additional Press

Vogue - Summers Hottest Beach Reads
Oprah.com - O's 2010 Summer Reading List
Glamour - The Four DO Books of Summer
People - Great Escapes - Books
Town & Country - Summer Reads
Cosmopolitan - Steamy Beach Tomes
The Wall Street Journal - East Egg, Meet Southampton
The New York Times - Jay, Daisy, Nick and Cassie
ARTNews - Thinking Biggsy
The New York Observer - Novels Get Newsy
Women's Wear Daily - Foreign Relations
Like summer itself, this bewitching novel will leave you half in love and yearning for more. Elin Hildebrand, author of Barefoot

JUNE 2011