Growing up and growing apart from friends is an inevitable—and bittersweet—part of life, one that has been poignantly captured in Alice Adams’ debut novel, Invincible Summer. The novel starts in 1997 as four friends graduate on the brink of a new millennium, and takes them through 20 summers.
Readers follow the characters through the decades, from the sunny coast of the Greek Islands to the rainy streets of London. Evie, the quiet and practical main character, finds her inner confidence while pursuing a high-profile finance job.The sweet and irresistibly lovable Benedict stays in academia to pursue a Ph.D. in physics, only to spend his life chasing scientific discoveries that are as frustrating as his love life. Added to the mix are cool siblings Sylvie and Lucien—who, despite their failures, are infinitely relatable characters. The creative Sylvie was marked from the start as a great artist but struggles to make her way in the real world, while her playboy brother works as a night club promoter.
Readers at any stage of life will see themselves within the pages of Invincible Summer and will recognize the terror of adulthood and the difficulties of keeping friendships alive. Adams, whose own background is as diverse as her characters’ (she has worked as a waitress and an investment banker, and has a B.A. in philosophy), particularly shines when focusing on Evie’s finance job. With beautiful attention to detail and keen observations on life, love and even finance, Adams has crafted a delightful novel that is as insightful as it is breezy.