Friday, May 26, 2023

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Every Summer After
by Carley Fortune
Published November 2022 by Penguin Publishing Group
Read by AJ Bridel
9 hours, 38 minutes

Publisher's Summary: 
They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry's Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek-the man she never thought she'd have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family's restaurant and curling up together with books-medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her-Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.

When Percy returns to the lake for Sam's mother's funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she's spent punishing herself for them, they'll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.

Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic story of love and the people and choices that mark us forever.

My Thoughts: 
Would I be happy to work from home every day? Sure; I'd love to work in my pj's, avoid rush hour traffic, and eat hot lunches. But if I did that, then I wouldn't get to talk to book people every day. In my department of seven, three of us are avid readers who talk a lot about books and we've gotten to know each other's tastes well enough to have a pretty good idea what the others might enjoy. So when one of them recommended this book, I didn't hesitate to check it out. She didn't sell it as high fiction; she sold it as chick lit and some depth, but also light enough to break up the heavier reads. 

Which is exactly what this book is. You have to be willing to buy into the idea that a couple of childhood friends will develop such a deep love for each other than twelve years after they last saw each other, both are still incapable of falling in love with anyone else. To be honest, I did have to remind myself periodically to let go of the idea that the premise was highly unlikely and just go with the flow. Is Sam too often a little too perfect? Yes, also that. But Fortune has him mishandle things just often enough that he still feels human. Did it seem strange that Sam's mom and Percy's parents, who never seemed to spend that much time together in the summer, suddenly decide to spend holidays together. Yes; it probably would have helped to talk about them sitting on the deck having cocktails, watching the kids swim. But Fortune needed a way to have Sam and Percy spend more time together beyond just the summers so, again, you just have to go with it. And did I figure out what the big revel at the end was ahead of time. Yeah, I did (and you know how rare that is!). But I was still, to be fair, disappointed in Percy when it was revealed. 

But I loved the way Fortune described Barry's Bay and life there. I could vividly picture the lake, the houses, the lifestyle, the kind of bond two kids could develop over a summer spent living together in a world apart from real life. And I'd always prefer a relationship to develop from friendship, rather than the kind where two people bicker throughout the book (or show, or movie) and then suddenly succumb to deep passion. 

So, no, it's not high literature. But it's always fun to read a book set in the summer, with plenty of references to books, that you can just race through. AJ Brindel does a great job of handling all of the various voices and really adds to the book. Oh! One more thing! Midway through my listening, the coworker who recommended the book was talking to my other reading coworker about how this book has some depth and I said, "yeah, and plenty of sex!" Which she, not all that long after having read the book, didn't even recall! She read it for the romance and that's what she got! Which is exactly what you want in a book like this - to get exactly what you want from it. 

1 comment:

  1. Mystica VarathapalanMay 27, 2023 at 2:04 AM

    High literature not always necessary. This sounds delightful