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 look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever.
Synopsis source: Goodreads
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Everyone and their mother seems to be reading this book. I keep seeing it pop up all over Bookstagram and when my guest host for book club in July suggested it, I was excited. I love a good brain candy read and this cover just gave me all the summer vibes. But ultimately, [unpopular opinion alert] this one was just okay for me.
The story is told from two alternating timelines, telling the evolution of Sam and Percy’s relationship from best friends to more to nothing then picking up 10 years later when Percy goes back for Sam’s mom’s funeral. I was expecting a fun, flirty read, so I was a bit surprised by the amount of drama and angst in this story. That probably accounts for a major portion of why this was just “okay” for me. I didn’t feel like the buzz around this book properly communicated that. Had I known it going in, maybe that would have changed things…I don’t know, but I can say that it didn’t help.
My other problem with the story revolved around pacing. I was more engaged with the present timeline than the past. The past timeline just didn’t hold my attention as much as the present timeline did. I found myself wanting to skip ahead, flipping to see how many pages until the next chapter break when I could return to the present. Then I would get to the present timeline and I felt like Percy never really emotionally matured past adolescence. She seemed a bit shallow and self-centered, and I didn’t think it was cool how she treated her best friend, Chantal, ignoring her friend instead of replying with a quick text to let her know how she was doing.
What I did like was how easy it was to envision the setting. I read in the Readers Guide: Behind the Book that the author grew up summering in the same area the book was set in and wrote the story during lockdown, which she spent in Barry’s Bay. Her love for the location came through in her writing and brought the area to life. Her penchant for setting the scene lent a sepia-toned quality to the past timeline, full of nostalgia for simple pleasures and summer fun.
I also really liked the relationship Percy had with Delilah. I mean, sure, Delilah had a strike against her at the beginning of the book, but I think she totally redeemed herself throughout the rest of the book. I think she ended up being a true friend to Percy.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below, or better yet, join in with us on July 26th, as we discuss it live!
Join the Discussion!
Join us on Tuesday, July 26th at 7pm CST on Instagram Stories Live to chat with and get to know this month’s co-host, work on a project, sip some bevies, and talk all about Every Summer After. Allow me to introduce my co-host for the evening, Amber of YarnVibes!
YarnVibes – Amber Cox
Amber has been addicted to yarn for over 25 years!! Her day isn’t complete unless she has made time to knit or crochet. She never leaves home without a project, because you never know when you can sneak in a row or a few stitches. When Amber isn’t with her yarn, you can find her reading, applying a new at-home mani, snuggling her four cats, working in her garden, or on her Peloton! AND…finally after dreaming about it for years, she has set up a small yarn dyeing space to start dabbling in that art!
If you missed the live discussion, you can still catch the replay here! Remember, even if you haven’t read it or finished the book yet, there’s still plenty to tune in for! Laugh along with us and find out a bit more about this book! Don’t worry, I’ll give you plenty of warning before the spoiler segment of the video.
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