Summer People

Overview

Dinah, Willie, and Susan have long outlived the scandal associated with their ten-year-old menage-a-trois. Dinah, an avante-garde compler, treasures her independence. Yet it takes Willie's kindness and Susan's fire to sustain her. Willie is a left-wing sculptor in a right-wing age. And Susan, his wife, is a fabric designer who craves glamour, wealth, and the attentions of the summer people who visit Cape Cod every year. Then one summer, the balance shifts. Passions are tested, honesty forsaken, and the trio must ...
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Overview

Dinah, Willie, and Susan have long outlived the scandal associated with their ten-year-old menage-a-trois. Dinah, an avante-garde compler, treasures her independence. Yet it takes Willie's kindness and Susan's fire to sustain her. Willie is a left-wing sculptor in a right-wing age. And Susan, his wife, is a fabric designer who craves glamour, wealth, and the attentions of the summer people who visit Cape Cod every year. Then one summer, the balance shifts. Passions are tested, honesty forsaken, and the trio must face the changes brought by their beautiful visitors . . .

Strange as their menage a trois looks from the outside, Dinah, W illie, and Susan have for ten years satisfied each others' needs. Then one summer, the balance shifts, and their passions are tested. The author of the bestselling Gone to Soldiers turns her narrative gifts to a complex story of passion and romance among three sensual Cape Cod artists.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Related in an absorbingly leisurely fashion, Piercy's latest (after Gone to Soldiers ) is an old-fashioned novel in the sense that it doesn't tell a flashy story but delves into character and relationships, slowly weaving a richly nuanced tale. For over a decade, Willie Dewitt, a sculptor and sometime carpenter, and his wife Susan, an emotionally fragile fabric designer, have maintained a harmonious marriage while each has been the lover of Dinah, a flutist and avant-garde composer. This unusual menage a trois occupies adjoining houses overlooking a pond on Cape Cod, sharing a compound with manipulative wheeler-dealer Tyrone Burdock and, this summer, a Boston doctor and his seductive wife. The plot segues back and forth among the major characters--who include Tyrone's suddenly widowed daughter, the Dewitt's prodigal son, newly separated from his wife, and a celebrated flutist who woos Dinah. A rumination on the nature of sexual love and friendship, and of artistic creativity and commitment, the narrative is fleshed out with details that create versimilitude to daily life. Susan's envy of the summer people erodes her hitherto stable relationships and leads to a slowly gathering but inevitable tragedy. Piercy eschews sensationalism in portraying her unorthodox trio; her characterizations are solid and believable. Some readers may find the story's pace too deliberate, but those who like to ponder the ways in which character influences fate will welcome this solidly satisfying novel. (June)
Library Journal
After 11 years, the menage a trois of Dinah Adler and Willie and Susan DeWitt is a strong family unit, accepted in its Cape Cod community. Dinah is a respected composer, devoted to her music, and Willie is a sculptor and carpenter happy with his life (and the envy of the local men). But Susan's growing discontent--with her work as a fabric designer and her role as unofficial gofer and hostess for summer people--ruptures the relationship and leads to tragedy. Piercy tells this story in short chapters in the alternating voices of several characters, making the narrative choppy and occasionally repetitive, and stuffs it with details so it sometimes seems interminable. Worse, these characters--except for the three primary ones--are basically shallow and opportunistic, and difficult to care about. A disappointing novel from a notable author.-- Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743241854
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 3/22/2002
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 1.18 (d)

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