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THE LAST SUMMER

(of You and Me)

 

ANN BRASHARES

Contemporary Fiction
June 2007

Riverhead Books: Published by the Penguin Group
 
ISBN: 9781594489174

 

Paul, Alice and Riley are in their early 20s and meeting again on Fire Island, a well-known beach resort area in eastern Long Island, New York, that draws the same summer crowd almost every year. But this summer is to unfold like no other for the tight threesome.

Paul hasn't been visiting here for a few years and so Alice and Riley wonder what he'll be like, why he stayed away, and how they will bring the past into the present without too much change. For that's the essence of this initially slow-moving and then gripping plot - can a person make the world hold still with the intimacy of the past? Must change happen and does it always destroy what is precious, changing the future forever?

Alice and Riley are sisters, the former planning a legal career without much thought about that choice and the latter planning an outdoor leadership career more because of her disabilities than choice. Or is it that simple? What's it like to be super-rich like Paul and yet lack a family anchor that lovingly guides one's evolution through time and change? What are the family and friendship betrayals that are gradually revealed that have shaped the responses of this gradually threatened and questioning threesome?

When Alice and Pal bypass their casual connection to become passionately linked, a devastating occurrence will shake their worlds forever! Riley will assume control in the midst of her declining role, a journey that will move the reader intensely.

This is a wonderful book for a relaxing summer day read and a story that will remain indelibly etched on the reader for a long time!

This first adult novel by the well-known author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a grand success! Congratulations, Ann Brashares!

Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on May 20, 2007

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