Kim Kincaid can’t catch a break. She has a thankless job at a law office, a nasty co-worker, and a boyfriend allergic to genuine commitment. Meanwhile, her older sister, Dena, skates through life with a perfect husband, a perfect job, even a perfect daughter. Kim grits her teeth through their every phone call, counting the minutes until she can disappear into a drink or TV (preferably both). She doesn’t recall agreeing to babysit her niece. She only remembers Dena bragging about yet anotherromantic getaway.
When Dena arrives—daughter and designer suitcases in hand—Kim can’t admit her mistake. Her sister would only notch her scorecard with the latest blunder.
Kim won’t let that happen. After all, two weeks isn’t that long. How hard could it be?
With a fast-paced plot and a tender heart, "Two Weeks of Summer" chronicles one woman’s journey to becoming the woman she always wanted to be—discovering along the way that family bonds run deeper than she ever thought possible. What will Kim ultimately decide? Stay in the life she’s built? Or step outside her comfort zone into an uncertain future?
Tirado-Ryen’s story moves smoothly, traveling between the 2000s and the 1990s, sharing vivid glimpses into the reasons for the near rupturing in the bond between the sisters. While the emotions are resonant, the gentle humor and brisk prose give Two Weeks of Summer an appealingly light touch. All the characters are well etched and engaging, presented with empathy and, at the novel’s best, a plafyul sense of surprise. Scenes of bullying that Kim endured in school and the struggles, in the past, of the sisters’ single mother are memorable and effective.
Tirado-Ryen draws attention to how different people cope differently with grief and loss and though to all outward appearances some seem to have moved on, in reality, they haven’t. Some incidents, including a makeover and a confrontation with a childhood tormenter, play out as expected, but this bright, feel good novel about sisterly love, female friendships, and the meaning of family offers heaps of heart.
Takeaway: Buoyant, well-told story of sisters reconnecting while coping with loss.
Comparable Titles: Claire LaZebnik's The Smart One and the Pretty One, Megan Crane’s Names My Sisters Call Me.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A