Just days ago I was on the fence about my current read, Invincible Summer by Alice Adams. At that point, I was 60% of the way through the book and feeling like the marketing team had just used the word “summer” in the title as a clever way to get on summer reading lists. I wasn’t really sure that it was that great of a book – just one that had gotten some hype. Well, now I have finished it, and guess what?
It made me cry! Guess I can’t still be on the fence about it if it made me feel that strongly.
It wasn’t even that what the character or the author said was all that original or profound; it was just that what was said were things I had thought or experienced myself. This reminded me of a quote I read on Pinterest just today:
As the characters in Invincible Summer grew up and experienced marriage, babies, and loss, I connected with them more and more. For instance, my friends and I ended up scattered across different cities and states after college as we followed job opportunities for ourselves or our spouses. The main character thinks, “I guess this is what happens when you grow up. People drift off in their own directions. Sometimes I look around at my job and my flat and my car and can’t believe that people have mistaken me for an adult and let me have all of this. But this is it, isn’t it? We’re the grown-ups now.’” And like myself, she also misses her friends: “It wasn’t that there was anything specific they needed to talk about; it was just that there were so many things she’d made mental notes to tell him, nothing of consequence, just anecdotes she’d been saving up because she knew they’d make him laugh. She didn’t really have that in her life anymore, and she missed it, really missed it.” Even though the characters in this book drift apart and deal with the hardships of divorce, losing their jobs, bad decision making, and dealing with the death of a parent, they eventually find their way back to one another. This gives me hope that my group of girlfriends will continue to keep our friendships going, even through the tough times.
So would I recommend this book? Yes, I would – to the right audience. This book isn’t for YA-loving, dystopian, trilogy fans. Instead, I would recommend this to twenty and thirty-year-olds who are experiencing all of these major life changes. I think these are the readers who will appreciate the book’s simple beauty.