Fabulous Fiction Firsts #608


Fabulous Fiction Firsts #608

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. And that makes me happy.” -Albert Camus

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams is "a dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, ... a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world." (Kirkus Reviews)

Eva, Benedict, and siblings Sylvie and Lucien were inseparable throughout college. Upon graduation Eva, hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien breaks away to scale the peak of global finance, and finds herself lonely in her London loft. Artistic Sylvie and carefree Lucien travel the world, looking for adventure and good times. Only Benedict stays behind, pursuing a PhD in Physics, and pining over Eva.

Over the course of 2 decades, these friends would meet up, determined to remain close while circumstances, geography, and life choices strain their relationships until tragedies draw them together again, but in ways they never could have imaged.

"Adams has crafted a light, charming tale of love, loss, and the lasting power of friendship... the characters are engaging and one cannot help but care about them. All in all, a perfect summer read." (Booklist) For fans of Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings and Lucky Us by Amy Bloom.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #608

Chronicle of a Last Summer: a novel of Egypt by Yasmine El Rashidi traces a young Egyptian woman's coming of age through three pivotal summers, from the oppressive Mubarak era to the turbulent Arab Spring.

Cairo, 1984. the 6 year-old unnamed narrator, observant and wildly imaginative, spends the hot summer days away from her English school listening to her mother’s phone conversations, watching the three state-sanctioned TV stations with the volume off, and wondering about her father's absence - why, or to where, no one will say.

In 1998, the narrator, now a university student and an aspiring filmmaker, yearns for change but is deeply fearful of terrorism and the repression that surrounds her. Finally, as a writer in 2104, after reunited with her father, she is acutely aware of how difficult it is to affect any real change, and wonders about the silences that have marked and shaped her generation.

Yasmine El Rashidi covers Egypt and the Middle East for the The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. She splits her time between New York City and Cairo.