The Last Summer (of You & Me) Review
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Sisters Alice and Riley return to Fire Island every summer. They grew up on sand, going for midnight swims and gale-force sails. They grew up with their best friend, Paul, who lived in the beach house next to theirs. For them, Fire Island is a place of solitude—a place of happiness and endless memories.

Now in their twenties, Alice and Riley still return to the island. Alice is kind and gentle, preferring to think or read, and worshipful of her older sister. Riley is a tough tomboy and a lifeguard who’s always looking for an adventure. Both know that they have to look to the future in the real world—and that the island may have to be left behind. But, as we all know, a lifetime of plans can be cancelled within five minutes. Life’s that way.

Working through his mother’s indifference toward him and his grandparents’ attempts to sign over a fortune that he doesn’t really want, Paul returns to Fire Island after a three-year absence. Alice is there waiting for him, as always. He does his best to ignore his feelings for her, going as far as to deny them to her face. But love cannot be denied, and he finds himself hoping for wonderful things—and he’s at her mercy when he’s in her arms.

A serious and senseless illness strikes and threatens the peace and nostalgia of the summers that Alice, Riley, and Paul have spent together. Secrets are revealed, and the outside world intrudes much too soon—and things may never be the same again.

We all have a place in our childhood that we return to in our memories. Mine is the old swimming hole where my siblings and cousins and I spent many hot summer days. As soon as you step onto Fire Island in The Last Summer (of You & Me) you’ll remember your childhood place and smile.

Ms. Brashares gives us a sweet and gentle love story, filled with wistfulness. She’ll lead you back to the joy and pain of first love and friendship. An underlying sadness makes this novel bittersweet—and it’ll break your heart even as it fills you with joy.

Evocative and haunting, The Last Summer (of You & Me) is one of the best literary romances I’ve read in a very long while. Ms. Brashares writes with deep emotion, spilling it onto the pages so the reader can absorb every last drop.

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