Fortune, Carley. Every Summer After. Berkley, 2022. ISBN 978-0593438534 320 pp. $16
I read this in one unputdownable sitting. Percy is in a corporate rat race, plodding towards editorship at a design magazine, her horror novelist aspirations long forgotten, when she gets a phone call that’s a jolt from the past. Her first love’s brother wants her to know their mom Sue has passed and the funeral is Sunday. She drops everything to drive back to the tourist town where she spent her formative years, swimming across the lake, waiting tables at Sue’s Polish restaurant, and falling in love with her best friend Sam.
The narrative moves back and forth in time. Percy is still so guilt-racked with the incident that ended her relationship with Sam she still has panic attacks a dozen years later. Yet when they see one another again, she is torn between confessing and not. The attraction with Sam is still there, teasing, flirting big brother Charlie is ever-present, and everything is just so dang angsty and complicated.
Author Fortune strings us along and doesn’t deliver the gut punch to the near end, but the longing and regret is as palpable as cool dive off a pier or a warm, cheesy pierogi.
Every Summer After is perfect for fans of Josie Silver novels or Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters with it’s themes of friendship and betrayal, love and loss, and idyllic teenage summers.
I received an advance reader’s review copy of #EverySummerAfter from #NetGalley