I was once told that you can’t outrun your past, no matter how hard you try. The past is part of who you are and part of who you’ve become. We can become comfortable in the way that things are, but inevitably, something will catch up with you.
And it will change your entire life. Every Summer After examines just that, returning to a place that you never thought you’d be and facing the past that you thought you left behind.
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.
While the plot of Every Summer After is familiar, there is something about this story that makes it feel completely brand new. Carley Fortune wove together a coming of age tale with such grace, angst, and pain that I found myself devouring the pages and wondering how words could be woven with such grace and ease that I found myself turning the pages, wondering what would happen.
Though I will start out by saying that two of my favorite tropes are a friends to lovers romance and a story of second chances. Fortune blends both effortlessly and flawlessly. The story is told in two timelines – six summers in the past and one weekend in the present.
The last person that Sam had ever expected to see again was Percy Fraser. Her family had sold their house on the lake and moved twelve years ago. He remembered when she came into his world and she remembered the impact that he had on hers.
Fortunes story reminds you why every choice, every decision can lead to a different life. She paints the picture of why they fell in love and why they fell apart. You understand the reasons why each thing happened to them. You celebrate when they celebrate. You are angry when they are angry. You are smiling when they are smiling. You are feeling pain, when they feel pain.
Heading back to the lake for Sam’s Moms funeral is a lot for Percy. His brother had contacted her to let her know their Mom had died and she knows that returning to the lake will open a lot of issues for her and for Sam.
But what Fortune does so well is explain those issues, subtly, and as if you are watching everything unfold in front of your eyes. Her words are woven together so beautifully and sometimes so painfully, that you can’t help but turn the page.
As the story unfolds, you realize that this isn’t just a romance – the story is about friendship, family, and the art of holding on and letting go. It’s a story of secrets and how you can’t outrun them, but you can face them.
Sam and Percy were both dynamic characters that you couldn’t help but love from the beginning of the story. Their characters grew, processed their emotions, and made you process your own.
You’ll find yourself crying, laughing, and embracing the power of forgiveness. Every Summer After is a must read and definitely a book I will be reading again.