Meg Donohue's 5 Firsts & Lasts

All_the_summer_girlsToday's guest: Meg Donohue Why we love her: We crowned her a Lit IT Girl after reading her sparkling debut, How to Eat a Cupcake.

Her latest: All the Summer Girls

The scoop on it: In Philadelphia, good girl Kate is dumped by her fiancé the day she learns she is pregnant with his child. In New York City, beautiful stay-at-home mom Vanessa finds herself obsessively searching the Internet for news of an old flame. And in San Francisco, Dani, the wild child and aspiring writer who can’t seem to put down a book—or a cocktail—long enough to open her laptop, has just been fired… again.

In an effort to regroup, Kate, Vanessa, and Dani retreat to the New Jersey beach town where they once spent their summers. Emboldened by the seductive cadences of the shore, the women begin to realize just how much their lives, and friendships, have been shaped by the choices they made one fateful night on the beach eight years earlier—and the secrets that only now threaten to surface.

Our thoughts: You know we're suckers for any novel that tackles the complicated bonds between female friends. Meg handles this flawlessly in this book. We highly recommend you add this book to your beach bag this summer!

Giveaway: TWO copies. Just leave a comment to be entered to win and we'll choose the winners on Sunday, May 26th after 12 PM PST.

Fun fact: You can read the first two chapters here!

Where you can read more about Meg: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.



First:  Surely my first kiss was from my mother or father in the moments after my birth. Did you expect something steamy? A good Philly girl never kisses and tells!

Last: Well, okay, maybe just this once: After a week of not kissing for fear of passing the flu to my husband, I am finally healthy and we shared a sweet kiss without the specter of plague attached. I hope.


First: It’s not the first book I read, but I remember being particularly enthralled by Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. I don’t recall the story, but I know I thought it was beautiful and very sad. I wonder if that was one of the first times I enjoyed the experience of reading something that made me sad? It seems like a monumental, and mature, moment in one’s life as a reader. (I just went online to read the summary of Bridge to Terabithia, and got something—ahem—stuck in my eye. So turns out I’m still carrying around a little seed of sadness planted by this book twenty-five years ago.)

Last: Speaking of beautiful and sad, the last book I read was Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This book haunted my dreams over the course of time that I read it. I found it to be quite devastating, in part because Atkinson’s characters are so vivid and whole.


First: I think some of the earliest risks I took were with humor. Being funny takes guts—you put yourself out there, and hope your sense of humor will resonate with others too. Sometimes there’s nothing scarier for a kid than just opening her mouth and speaking; fear of rejection can be a muzzle. Looking back, I realize that the jokes that fell flat (and there have been many over the years) were actually confidence builders. The world didn’t end when I swung and missed. I learned to laugh at myself and the cricket-filled dead air that follows an unsuccessful stab at humor, and that ability to laugh, shrug, and move on has served me well.

Last: My last big risk was when All the Summer Girls was published. I spend a long span of time working on a book in private; releasing it into the public sphere is both scary and exciting.


First: When I was in graduate school for creative writing, the Gettysburg Review published one of my short stories. It was the first time I was paid for my fiction, and the story attracted the attention of a couple of agents. I remember feeling very much like it was the start of my dream coming true. I was right, if only in that the experience gave me the confidence to continue believing in myself. Last: In April, my husband and I left our kids with his parents and went to Palm Springs for my birthday. We read for hours in the sun, swam, hiked, ate delicious food, and had Bellinis every morning. It was glorious. Hell ya!


First: During a back-to-school shopping trip with my mom when I was in middle school, she asked if I cared what brand my clothes were. The truth was that I did care about the brand of my clothes—I wanted to be cool, sue me!—but just my mom asking the question was enough to remind me that the coolest kids are the ones that march to the beat of their own drum, the ones that do things their own way, in pursuit of their own brand of happiness. Her question has served as a bit of a touchstone over the years.

Last: I’m in the early stages of working on my third book, and while I have had the general story arc in mind for a while, it has taken some time to feel like I have a handle on the important details that take a story from an idea to a novel. Lately, I’ve had a few breakthroughs, my protagonist is revealing herself, and many of the more intricate plot points are finally coming together and taking shape. I’m excited!

Thanks, Meg!