The Summer Sail

A Novel

The Summer Sail

“A great summer read for fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin.” (Library Journal)

A trio of college friends who reunite aboard a cruise ship experience an unforgettable vacation in this compelling novel from the author of The Summer of Good Intentions, which was hailed as “everything a summer read should be” by Elin Hilderbrand.

Three college roommates are celebrating a twentieth wedding anniversary by taking a cruise to Bermuda. As the ship pulls away from the pier, everyone is looking forward to lounging by the pool, sipping sunset cocktails, and reminiscing. Abby, the mother hen of the group, will be celebrating her wedding anniversary in style, even as she and her husband keep a secret from the group. Ambitious career woman Caroline happily anticipates several stress-free days away from her magazine job with her boyfriend, Javier, who may or may not be finally inspired to propose. And single mom Lee (annoyingly gorgeous and irresistibly popular in college) hopes she’ll win back the affections of her formerly sweet daughter Lacey, who after her first year in college, has inexplicably become a little bit of a monster.

As the balmy pink shores of Bermuda come into view, tensions simmer, and old jealousies flare, sending the temperature from soothing to scorching in this engrossing tale of three best friends on a vacation they won’t soon forget—but not for the reasons they expect.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501188916 | 
  • May 2018
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Summer Sail includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Wendy Francis. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Three college roommates reunite for a twentieth wedding anniversary celebration on board a cruise ship. Abby, the proverbial mother hen of the group, is hoping to enjoy the occasion despite the secret that she and her husband, Sam, are keeping from their friends. Caroline, an ambitious and independent career woman, is hoping for a proposal from her boyfriend, Javier. And Lee, a single mom, is most looking forward to having some bonding time with her daughter, Lacey, as their relationship took a turn for the worse during Lacey’s first year in college. As the ship sets sail and tensions rise, Abby, Caroline, and Lee soon realize that their secrets won’t just disappear in a sunset cocktail or an ocean breeze.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Describe Abby, Caroline, and Lee. How do their differences complement each other? What do they teach you about female friendship?

2. Lee admittedly sacrifices her own happiness for the sake of Lacey’s. But rather than feel appreciative, her daugh see more

More Books from this Author

The Summer of Good Intentions
Three Good Things

About the Author

Wendy Francis
Photograph by Claudia Starkey

Wendy Francis

Wendy Francis is the author of the novels The Summer Sail, The Summer of Good Intentions, and Three Good Things. She is a former book editor whose work has appeared in the Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, Yahoo Parenting, The Huffington Post and Congnoscenti. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and son.