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The Summer of Good Intentions

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  2,301 ratings  ·  270 reviews
Cape Cod summers are supposed to remain reassuringly the same, but everything falls apart when three sisters and their families come together for their annual summer vacation—and they are carrying more secrets than suitcases.

Maggie is the oldest. She feels responsible for managing the summer house and making sure everything is as it always has been. But she’s hurt that her
Paperback, 308 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Atria Books
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,301 ratings  ·  270 reviews

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Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
The Summer of Good Intentions is an ideal summer read. It is full of ever-changing family dynamics and ailments. It focuses from the POV of three sisters and their families, as well as their mother and father (the parents are separated).

Every summer the family travels from their various homes and head to their summer home in Cape Cod to visit each other and reconnect. This year in particular is more dramatic, heartbreaking, and touching than the times in the past.

There were parts in the book th
Laurence R.
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-review
Awww, this book leaves me with such a contented feeling. I love it.

Although I'm convinced these types of books are written for people way older than me, I absolutely love reading them. When there's a nice ending, they give me hope for my future, concerning my career and love life when I'm older. This one, although it was quite depressing and sad at some point, really did the trick!

I loved how each chapter focuses on alternated characters. It helped me vizualize them in a more complete way than
Put on your sunscreen, grab your beach chair, and throw this book in your bag for a pleasant afternoon of summer reading. Wendy Francis tells the story of the the Herington sisters, their husbands and children, and their newly-divorced parents traveling to the Cape Cod family beach house, just as they do every summer.

The book is a family drama, so you can probably guess some of the plot points and character archetypes (oldest sister is Type A? Yep. One of the sisters is on the brink of divorce?
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Ahhhhh Summer!!

Every July since they were babies, the Herington Clan gathered at their beach house. These summers were always memorable and something everyone looked forward to, but this year's family get together was turning out to not be the best.

The Herington's parents were divorced, Maggie was stressed just because she always had to be in control and organized, Jess and her husband were having trouble, and Virgie, the single sister, who had a stressful job had some bad news that was difficu
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, netgalley
I enjoyed this book for the most part. It centered around three sisters and their families while vacationing on Cape Cod in July. Which is perfect--the timing while reading this. I really felt that I was on the Cape (which is one of my favorite places I've ever been), Wendy Francis captured the essence of the summer magic there. I liked the characters. Every chapter was dedicated to each sister: Maggie, Jess, & Virgie, and also from their father. I didn't mind all the pov's, I thought each c ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arc
The cover says "great summer/beach read". And it is. But it it SO much more. Not light. Not fluffy. But still so much beachy summer goodness.

The Herinton sisters are spending July at their family Cape Cod beach house, like every year. This year though they are all struggling in some way. Maggie longs for "more" in her family. Jess feels her marriage isn't what she thought it was and has had a "fling". Virgie is the career woman, but health problems loom for her.

Add in their parents (who are 1.5
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was ok, just ok. I had much higher expectations, it seemed disjointed in places.
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: galleys-arcs
I can't rant about this book nor can I rave about it. All I can say is that it was more depressing than I would have liked to have read over the Fourth of July weekend.

Three grown up sisters, a set of divorced parents (mother with her "boy" toy!) and a beach house...naturally each family is having some sort of crisis/issues and hopefully a month/two weeks/week at the family beach house should put things into perspective. Discussions with your sisters over copious glasses of wine or fruity drinks
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As the dog days of summer wind down, Wendy Francis' The Summer of Good Intentions is the perfect book to read at the beach or on the porch.

A family reunites to spend their annual July vacation at their summer home on Cape Cod. Maggie is mom to three, married to a great guy, and the organizer of the family. Jess is a high school principal, struggling to balance her demanding job, her children and a husband who is more interested in his job than his family. Virgie is the single one, a career-drive
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Each July, the Herington sisters take off for their family's beach house in Cape Cod. There's Maggie, the eldest sister, who always tries to make everything perfect for the family. Her twin, Jess, is also coming with her family, except things with her husband aren't good. Then there's the younger sister, Virginia, or Virgie, who is always consumed with her job. To complicate matters further, her parents are newly divorced and want to spend some time with them this summer, but thankfully, Maggie ...more
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

In The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis, the Herington family's annual trip to their summer cottage on Cape Cod is rife with tension and minor discord. Unlike years past, the family vacation is anything but relaxing as each member is faced with challenges that play out during the month long visit.

Oldest daughter Maggie McNeil is looking forward the chance to unwind and escape from her hectic life. This über organized mom of three is more than ready to leave behind the hustle
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Summer Of Good Intentions
Wendy Francis

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Maggie and Jess and Virgie and their families spend every summer at their family's beach house. It involves certain traditions...Maggie gets there first and sets things up. She preps and plans and organizes. As soon as everyone else gets there they put in the dock...and the hammock...and summer begins. This year is just a tad different because Arthur and Gloria...parents of the girls...are divorced. Gloria is at a hotel wi
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this amazing book, and I'm still weeping from the ending, good tears and sad tears. This book is by far one of the best reads I've read in quite awhile. Reading a book like this is so refreshing, and ignites so many emotions, many of which we deal with in our own families. Love, loss, Family, Illness, and even hoarding!
The topics the author hits on are point on. I love books that have chapters labeled with a certain characters perspective. It brings it all together and you get de
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Give me a summer beach setting with a multitude of family dynamics involved, and I'm there. This story of three sisters and their families spending the month of July at their Cape Cod summer house that, natch, involves the usual array of issues such as infidelity, health secrets, sibling relationships, and marriage problems is a solid entry in the realm of women's fiction. This would fit nicely on the shelf with books by Nancy Thayer, Elin Hilderbrand, and Wendy Wax. Perfect for the beach tote.

Judi Fox
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book about family. These sisters could live next door they are so real. Meeting in Cape Cod for their annual summer get together the family brings along problems and baggage that could derail their vacation. The Herrington's pull together and their love come blazing to life. Just in time for a beach read, Wendy Francis has written a great summer time story.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Good summer read, easy and quick!!
Darr Ann Jablonski
Easy reading, but keeps you interested.

An excellent read an easy to get back to it it's interesting. I'll share this with other friends, Thank you Wendy.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a pretty good summer read. The Herinton sisters, Maggie, Jess and Virgie, are back at the family home in Cape Cod to spend the summer. Their parents, divorced roughly eighteen months, are part of the visit. Though not planned this way, their mother, Gloria, has dropped in with her current squeeze, much to the dismay of their father Arthur and of the girls. Each of the sisters has secrets they are hiding and life obstacles they are working to overcome. Maggie, the oldest, the family nurtu ...more
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Summer of Good Intentions focuses on the Herington family and how one summer has changed their lives forever. When all three sisters and their families comes together for their annual summer getaway at the family house but this year feels and is very different from summers past. Their parents are recently divorced and they have to deal with having them there separately since their mother is bringing a new boyfriend and their father just isn’t acting himself these days. Plus they all have to ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the book, it was a perfect book to just set back and enjoy.The locale was beautiful set in Cape Cod and the whole family tradition was just great. But, this will be the first time since their parents had gotten their divorce that they have all gathered at the summer house.

The three sisters, Maggie the oldest of the twins sisters, Jess is next then the youngest is Virgie. Maggie is one of these super types that everything
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
THE SUMMER OF GOOD INTENTIONS is a tale of three grown sisters, and their families, brought together for a family vacation at Cape Cod.
Maggie and Jess are twins who can usually read one another’s thoughts. Maggie is the organizer whose family gets to Cape Cod first to open and air out the summer house. Maggie has to have everything running smoothly in the house before she can relax and enjoy the vacation.
Jess is a few minutes younger than Maggie so she is considered the middle daughter. She love
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Normal Family: THE SUMMER OF GOOD INTENTIONS by Wendy Francis

I love Cape Cod, so was psyched to get into a book that occurs in a place I love to go. But I was disappointed to find a family drama where there was not too much dysfunction, but where there were a lot of issues: Parents’ aging, divorce, bad marriages, career vs. family life, tragedy, illness, OCD. There was the proverbial “something for everyone.”

The book is pretty clean, I can’t recall if ther
Cindy Gargano
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, netgalley
I received an ARC of this book from its publisher through netgalley.

When I saw the cover of this novel and read the description of the story inside, I was excited to find the "perfect beach read" to enjoy while relaxing outside. I was even more excited that it took place in Cape Cod which isn't far from where I live. My town was even mentioned a few pages in. I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the area and the summer traditions that anyone who has experienced a summer in coastal New England c
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book involves a family that each year comes together in July to meet at the family's summer house in the Cape. The family consists of the parents, Arthur and Gloria, who have divorced after 46 years of marriage, and their three adult daughters. Maggie, Jess and Virgie. Maggie is the micro manager of the family and is married to Mac and they have 3 kids and the idealistic marriage. Jess and her husband, Tim, have 2 kids and are on the verge of divorce, the final sister, Virgie, is a workahol ...more
Kelly Hager
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book in Baltimore, on my couch (and between work shifts). That's maybe not the farthest you can get from the beach setting of the novel, but it's probably fairly close. Even so, I definitely felt that I was on vacation. That's a pretty magical book, right?

And it was.

I loved all three of the sisters, although probably I overidentified with Virgie (the single one who works in TV news). All three were great, though, and I love how they were what I imagine sisters to be like. They're gro
Shannon Canaday
Aug 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Absolutely No One
Shelves: whiffers
I had to quit this book. It is so...........BORING! I found myself clicking two or three pages at a time and not missing anything. It's just so..............................navel-gazing. I couldn't care less about these people, there is no storyline or plot. It's just a bunch of people dissecting their boring, average lives in a boring, average house that apparently has so much significance that they spend 11 months of their year living like shit (relationships, boozing, affairs, health etc) and ...more
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is my second-favorite type of story, the story of a family. Arthur, his ex-wife Gloria, their daughters, Maggie, Jess and Virgie, Maggie and Jess's husbands and children and the summer house that they own at the Cape. This book basically covers one July and August in their lives and certainly a lot happens in these 2 months: A marriage that teeters on the edge, a life-altering medical diagnosis, a wish for another child. This story is about beginnings and endings and always, family. A ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can’t remember when I have ever read a book in which the characters all work out their difficulties by talking about their problems together and trying to change the behaviors that are not working. Isn’t that a refreshing idea? In addition, the story can’t get much more summer-ish than this, with a setting at a beach house. A perfect little read.
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Romance Readers R...: Great Book Club Read from Wendy Francis 1 9 Sep 02, 2015 12:13PM  
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  • Those Secrets We Keep
  • The Summer Cottage
  • Under a Summer Sky
  • The Bake-Off
  • The Lake Season
  • The Single Wife
  • Rome in Love
  • Heart's Desire (Hallie Palmer, #2)
  • A Playdate With Death (A Mommy-Track Mystery #3)
  • The Crockin' Girls Slow Cookin' Companion: Yummy Recipes from Family, Friends, and Our Crockin' Community
  • Recipe for a Happy Life
  • Holiday Royale
  • Better With You Here
  • Hey Harry, Hey Matilda
  • Waxed
  • Dissent and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court's History and the Nation's Constitutional Dialogue
  • Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista
Wendy Francis is a former book editor and the author of The Summer Sail, The Summer of Good Intentions, and Three Good Things. Her essays have appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, YahooParenting, The Huffington Post, and WBUR's Cognoscenti. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and 9-year-old son. When she isn't ferrying her son to hockey games, she loves to run, spend time w ...more
“however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary.” 2 likes
“If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary.” 1 likes
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