The Summer I Turned Pretty season 1 – what is Susannah’s secret?

June 17, 2022
Adam Lock 0
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This article, “what is Susannah’s secret,” contains spoilers regarding the Amazon original series The Summer I Turned Pretty season 1.

Access the archive of recaps, reviews, and news for The Summer I Turned Pretty.

Susannah’s behavior and emotions are quite erratic in the early instalments of The Summer I Turned Pretty and for good reason, she has a burning secret that she wishes to keep hidden from the children this summer. This secret has a monumental impact on the plot and all the main characters in this teen drama. When that secret is revealed it makes for an emotive and tense finale. But what exactly is Susannah’s secret?

The Summer I Turned Pretty season 1 – what is Susannah’s secret?

Out of nowhere, the secret is revealed during the closing scene of episode three, “Summer Nights”. Susannah explains to Laurel, her best friend, that she won’t be having any follow up chemotherapy. This shock revelation informs the audience that Susannah is battling cancer, has been for some time now, and would prefer to keep the deadly disease a secret from Conrad, Jeremiah and Laurel’s kids as well. It is hinted at that Conrad may be aware of the secret, but everyone else is in the dark.

Laurel has tried to support Susannah over the years with this awful news, but the two argue at the Fourth of July party. Susannah wishes to divorce from her cheating husband, yet Laurel says she’ll need her husband’s help now more than ever. She is adamant about leaving Adam though. Laurel comments on how she’ll have to help out more and things turn rather nasty. The friends eventually make up, but it does bring up important questions about end of life care and the effect all this dire news will have on both families.

Susannah’s coping mechanism is to ignore the cancer’s existence, as she hopes for one final perfect summer with all the gang together. These major life events that transpire over the course of the fated summer have an added, touching meaning to Susannah, who sees them for what they truly are, beautiful but fleeting memories. She signs Belly up for the debutante ball and convinces both brothers to attend. Jeremiah is Belly’s date, however Conrad gets to dance the final waltz in Jeremiah’s place. Susannah is extremely emotional at the ball, but manages to keep it all together until the secret finally comes out.

Conrad knew about the cancer all along, whilst Jeremiah was completely unaware. When he finds out, he is furious that Conrad knew, but didn’t tell him. They fight on the dance floor and poor Susannah has to split them up, asking why they are embarrassing her in front of the entire country club community. It’s a heart-breaking reveal, as both Belly and Steven are informed of the cancer as well. Later that night, Susannah has a frank discussion with her sons, where she admits that she won’t be going ahead with the risky trial treatment. The boys manage to convince her to reconsider and she decides to go ahead with the treatment after all. It’s a bitter sweet end to the story, but one that goes a long way to explaining the character’s motives.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Amazon Prime.

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