Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Coming of Age Fiction
May 10, 2022
Review by Jen
How much did I love Every Summer After by Carley Fortune? To the moon and back. This book was SO good! It gave first love chills, brought back sweet memories of growing up, and special summers spent by the water. For me it was the ocean, for our heroine it was the lake.
At age 13, Persephone (Percy) and her family get a cottage and spend every summer by the lake. Next door is Sam and his brother Charlie, who live there year-round. Their mom runs a family restaurant and their dad died years ago. Sam and Percy get to be the best of friends. They grow up together and fall in love. They swim, play, watch movies, play games and every summer are able to pick up just where they left off. Meanwhile, Charlie is a player. He’s always with a new girl, very flirtatious, and teases Sam about Percy. It’s meant to be light-hearted, brotherly joking around. But, you can sense that this won’t end well.
After graduation, they all go to different colleges but Sam and Percy decide to try the long distance relationship. Sam is studying to be a doctor, he has a lot of pressure, he’s nervous about how he’ll do, and that manifests in his behavior being standoff-ish with Percy. He doesn’t call her back. Percy gets upset, and doubts his love. She calls him one time and a girl answers his phone. When Sam does get on the line, he’s clearly drunk. She’s devastated. And Sam eventually tells her he can’t do well in school and juggle their relationship.
It’s heartbreaking. Sam, Percy, and Charlie are all such rich characters. I felt each one deeply. Sam broke Percy. At that moment, feeling so much pain, Percy makes a choice that will tear all three apart.
Fast forward twelve years. Percy hasn’t spoken to Sam. Her parents sold the cottage a long time ago. Sam is a doctor. Percy is trying to make it in her own career. She returns back to the lake to attend Sam and Charlie’s mom’s funeral.
The book alternates between past and present, and kept me agonizing over how they’d find each other again. It’s a very emotional read. Percy wants Sam back. It’s not that easy. Things were said. Things were done.
Every Summer After is a terrific coming-of-age story. The cover even gives me all the feels. This is one of my top books so far this year. Such a beautiful story!!