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We often omit prepositions before time phrase. But certain qualifier is included we don't need to use prepositions. If so, are these two sentences different in meaning.

Then one summer, she surrendered paying the interest.

Then in one summer, she surrendered paying the interest.

I prefer the first as I think ''one'' is a determiner.

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Both are fine. Using "in" emphasizes that this event happened during the summer of one year, but the overall meaning is the same.

Also there would normally be a comma after "then":

For most of her childhood she was shorter than the other kids. But then, one summer, she grew an inch and a half.

For most of her childhood she was shorter than the other kids. But then, in one summer, she grew and inch and a half.

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