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Every Other Weekend

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  563 ratings  ·  105 reviews
A debut novel about an imaginative girl in the year following her parents' divorce, and what happens when her creeping premonition that something terrible will happen comes true in the most unexpected of ways.

A Barnes & Noble Discover Pick

The year is 1988, and America is full of broken homes. EVERY OTHER WEEKEND drops us into the sun-scorched suburbs of southern Ca
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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Casle Tough question. It's okay for some. There is language, some talk about sex, and talk of violent murder. Kids with unshared anxieties might really…moreTough question. It's okay for some. There is language, some talk about sex, and talk of violent murder. Kids with unshared anxieties might really respond to this book.
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  563 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Larry H
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'm between 3 and 3.5 stars.

"It is 1988 and America is full of broken homes. America's time is measured in every-other-weekend-and-sometimes-once-a-week. Her drawers are filled with court papers and photos no one looks at anymore. Her children have bags that're always packed and waiting by the door."

Nenny is eight years old when her parents tell her and her brothers, Bubbles and Tiny, that they are getting divorced, their father is moving into a new apartment, and they'll see him every other wee
Elyse Walters
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Strange kids names: Nenny,
Bubbles, and Tiny....are you kidding me?
I was bored often - yet the portrayal of just how much kids get the raw deal when parents divorce, is clear.

3 to 3.5 stars for the important ‘messages’
Lolly K Dandeneau
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
vai my blog:
'It is 1988 and America is full of broken homes.'

I devoured this novel, I absolutely loved Nenny and her entire wacky, lost family. I’m nostalgic for the 80’s, and I kept thinking about tv shows and toys as this novel took me back to my childhood, though my elementary school years were the early 80’s. It seems families started cracking, splitting more around that time than any other. This is a story about a family as it dismantled told through th
Brittany | thebookishfiiasco
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
‘Then suddenly, there’s a place near the fridge that Kat is staring into, and Nenny knows she’s not in the room anymore. Nenny, the kitchen, the house, all of it have been sucked into some swirling black hole. Everyone knows memory is like that. Memory is a flood that overwhelms you. It crashes through windows and toppled over walls, sweeps you away in a tide of furniture, photos, clothes you kind of hate, animals struggling to breathe.’
‘Rick folds his napkin, sips his wine, folds his napkin a
Kelly Gilbert
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book so much--sad, haunting, funny, beautiful and such a sparkling voice. There were so many stunningly beautiful observations and an almost Technicolor feel to the whole book. A stunning new talent--highly recommend.
Wendy Bunnell
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book because it is newly released but set in 1988, as I'm writing a book set in the same timeframe. This is very different, but yet awesome. It's an in-depth character study of Nenny, an 8 year old girl navigating her parents' divorce and living with both parents, but primarily (at first at least) with her mom, her two brothers, and her new step-dad and step sister and brother. Oh Nenny, what a well-drawn and fascinating character.

Things that I loved:

1. the descriptions of everyth
Karen Lewis
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
EVERY OTHER WEEKEND is an exquisite rendering of childhood heartache, filtered through pre-adolescent Nenny. Nenny's a middle-child daughter sandwiched between elder brother Bubbles and little brother Tiny. This is not so much a coming-of-age story, but a coming-to-grips with childhood narrative. Already anxious, growing up in 1980s suburban Los Angeles where alienation is an unavoidable lifestyle, Nenny navigates Catholic grammar school and her parents' divorce. This fragmented world is crafted ...more
Heather Boaz ( mlleboaz.bibliophile)
Thank you to Little Brown & Co for my free copy of EVERY OTHER WEEKEND for review. All opinions are my own.

What a heartfelt, warm and beautiful book – how are more people not raving about it?! This book reads sort of like Judy Blume for adults. Summerfield’s mastery of the young narrator’s voice is absolutely captivating. The way that little eight year old (going on nine!) Nenny speaks and perceives the world around her, the way her fears and anxieties manifest out of seemingly (to adults) i
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one is a slow-burning charmer - often funniest when things are sad, if that's possible. Most of the action is seen through the eyes of Nenny, 8 years old and a world-class worrier, and the recipient of a family upheaval when her parents divorce and she finds herself with a new stepfather and 2 step-siblings. She's a first-rate observer of people's quirks, from the angry nun who rules her homeroom class like a petty dictator, to her fellow middle-school denizens whom she describes with hilar ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, own, vine
Summerfield brilliantly captures the insecurities, angst, and bewilderment of a child going through the divorce of their parents. Here, Nenny is 8 years old when her parents split in 1988, and I was 10 in 1990 when my parents announced their separation, so there was a lot I could relate to. When Nenny’s mom remarries, she and her two brothers must adapt to living with their Vietnam vet step-father and two step-siblings. Between the late 80’s nostalgia, the atmosphere of a third grade classroom, ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
What was this book even about? If it was a story about how divorces impact kids, then I don’t feel it did a very good job. I didn’t connect with Nenny (and what kind of name is that anyway?) at all. Yes, she was a worrier like me, but other than that she didn’t really have a personality.
Who knew I'd love a book about a little girl named Nenny, which takes place in California in the late 80s? I did!
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
The writing was excellent but the story was much darker then I was expecting. There are a lot of moments of incredible insightful ness- i Just wasn’t expecting this novel to be so dark.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Oh my goodness what a sweet book! Nenny's parents get divorced and the book follows the split family through their healing process. Along the way Nenny's mom remarries so there are stepsiblings, etc, to deal with. Most of the situations presented are relatable for any reader, whether they come from a broken home or not. Interspersed throughout the book are chapters discussing random fears, like earthquakes, The Russians, and having a parent disappear. These were humorous because we all had the s ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Told from the perspective of a very funny eight-year-old girl during her third grade year in 1988-89. It's funny, sad, poignant and full of 80's references. Very quick read. I enjoyed it.
Shanna Loewen
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A magical view into the mystery and nuances of divorce in the 80's.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review at: http://www.everydayiwritethebookblog....

Zulema Renee Summerfield’s new novel Every Other Weekend is one of those books that starts out a little weird but grows on you while you’re reading it, so that by the end you realize that, damnit, you really do care about these characters.

Nenny, an 8-year old girl in Southern California in the 80s, lives with her mother and two brothers. Her parents get divorced, and she spends time with her father on weekends. Then her mother moves in with
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a third grader growing up in 1988 and learning how to be a part of a family when due to divorce and remarriage she lives in two homes. When tragedy strikes a glancing blow, this third grader also has to deal with the repercussions, and hopefully become stronger. The novel is written in the third person, but feels first person and sometimes second person throughout. It's an interesting writing style from the voice of an omniscient third grader that sometimes can see and refl ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an unusual and beautiful story. Zulema Rose Summerfield is an author I will be watching in the future. Here we have a fictional memoir related by an 8 year old girl named Nenny. Nenny is bright and articulate but very quirky and full of fear. The fears that live inside of Nenny are typical childhood bugaboos that are taken to the extreme in her very overdeveloped imagination. Nenny’s parents become divorced in the 1980s, a time when divorce ravaged so many American families. Nenny, a third ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
Much has been made about this book's 80s nostalgia, and this was the primary reason I wanted to read it. However, aside from a couple of passing mentions of Nintendo and Aqua Net hairspray, this book could have been set in any time period. It could have easily been set in 2018 and you wouldn't see any differences.

None of the characters in the book were particularly likeable or fleshed out. Most of them were neurotic children. The adults were kind of arbitrary. None of the characters seemed to h
Melanie  Hilliard
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
My rating: 3.75 stars

Quirky selection of short stories (if short stories are your thing). At first I was bored but then I reached back to my own experience growing up in the 1980s and realized that's much of what Summerfield is trying to convey. Before middle class kids were overscheduled, we mostly just sat around with only our sibling(s) to talk to, or ignore, or fight with. If you're feeling nostalgic for the fall of Communism and fear of home invasions (I had forgotten that hysteria!) and ot
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I was so excited for this one and I only wish I had more time to get immersed in the story. I only had small bits of time to read this one so I felt like I couldn't get as in to it as I normally would. That being said, I think this book perfectly captured the experience as a young child of divorce. I found so many relatable moments as a child of divorce and was especially happy to see the subtle moments where Nenny reflects on what it means to have two homes.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book told a story of a divorced couple through the eyes of one of their three children, as well as the impact it had on everyone involved. While deeply sad, emotional and confusing at times, it did provide a spark of hope throughout as well as showing the power and meaning of personal connections.
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
This book is written as vignettes, didn't think I'd like that but Nenny was just so damn loveable and relatable. The book does an amazing job capturing the time period and the experience of being a child of a broken home. I felt so connected to the characters and invested in this tale, and the writing was beautiful.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! And that means that I read it too fast. I think I will read it over again, more slowly. It reminded me a bit of Ann Patchett's 'Commonwealth,' but this one was so much better.
Donna McCaul Thibodeau
Three stars rounded up to 3.5. This is the story of Nenny, an eight year old in the late 1980's. Her parents are divorced and she has a blended family. The plot didn't feel very strong but I did like the main character.
Yat-Yee Chong
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Every Other Weekend: a first review

(I reveal no plot points but if you don't want to be biased by my most opinionated review so far, you should skip this.)

This is book is about Nenny, an eight-year-old who imagines bad things happening at every turn, and whose life is almost as bad as what occurs in her mind.

The story starts with her parents’ divorce, which is difficult enough for children who don’t imagine earthquake causing damage and death in great details, much less one who does, about ever
Nate Hawthorne
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I have been reading a lot of books lately that re-define what "family" is and how it is created. This book falls into that category. As typical nuclear families fall apart, new families replace them.
Jaime Gillmann
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I couldn’t tell if the author was writing in a style to make the 8/9 year old narrators voice realistic. There wasn’t much sophistication to the writing. The chapters were brief recollections that sometimes related and sometimes were disjointed in the story. The overall tragedy of the story doesn’t hit until the middle and there are almost two different books. I was also confused as to whether this was intended to be a YA novel?
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Zulema Renee Summerfield is a writer, educator, and creative coach. Her short fiction has been published in a number of literary journals, including Guernica and The Threepenny Review. A MacDowell colony fellow, Zulema lives in Portland, Oregon.
“It is 1988 and America is full of broken homes. America's time is measured in every-other-weekend-and-sometimes-once-a-week. Her drawers are filled with court papers and photos no one looks at anymore. Her children have bags that're always packed and waiting by the door.” 1 likes
“The thing about fear that no one tells you is that it's like the cup in the myth of Thor: you can drink and drink and you will never be done. Fastidiously, steadily, without consciousness, you can devote everything you have to being afraid. Through dedication-- or mere habit, really-- fear becomes as hardwired within you as the length of your scrawny limbs or the color of your turd-brown eyes. Fear doesn't define you, fear /is/ you: your breath, your eyes, your ears, your mouth. /You/ are the house ablaze. You are the earth being torn apart. You are the masked men, their hunger, their rage. You are the vacant eyes of what really happened in Vietnam.

Until something real happens. When something real happens, you're not even afraid anymore. Brittle, maybe, or a little coarse. Fear leaves and a kind of anger settles in its place. And you know what? There was never any point! The sleepless nights, the churning in your gut, the gnawed-down fingernails-- what a waste! Because the most frightening thing possible will never even occur to you. If anything, /that's/ what's you should fear. That you will never, ever anticipate the thing you should have feared the most.”
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