Inseparable throughout university, four friends graduate into an exhilarating world on the brink of a shiny new millennium. Eva, keen to shrug off the gruff socialist politics of her childhood, gets a job at a city investment bank, while Sylvie plans to become an artist. Physicist Benedict, meanwhile is devoting his life to chasing elusive particles. Things are less changing for Sylvie's mercurial brother Lucien, he simply intends to continue going to parties and sleeping around.
Invincible Summer follows them as they navigate two decades of furtive sex and thwarted dreams, lost jobs and broken hearts, buffeted all the while by forces of economics and history that shape our lives.
This book is delightful and I could not put it down. I read it in just over a day and I was so sad to say goodbye to the fantastic characters created by Alice Adams.
Eva is the main character and she meets Sylvie, Lucien and Benedict while at university. This story follows the four friends each summer after they have graduated. It is fascinating to see the different directions they all take yet they have a strong tie that inevitably brings them back together.
Invincible Summer deals with so much; growing up, getting a job, love, friendship, loyalty and so much more. Alice Adams makes you truly care for these characters; they all have their flaws but they feel extremely real and you quickly want the best for them.
Benedict was my favourite character; he is definitely the most gentle and unassuming which in turn leads him to miss out on several things. The other friends can easily overlook him at times and there were moments where I felt frustrated that they had this lovely man as their friend but they did not appreciate him.
By showing the characters year by year, it was easy to see who had changed and who had got stuck or a bit lost. I remember feeling so daunted when I left university; I had no idea what I wanted to do or how I wanted to move forward and I think that Alice Adams captures these feelings brilliantly.
For some reason the book felt very British and comforting. If a film was made of it then I think it would be in a very similar vein to Four Weddings and a Funeral or Notting Hill. Alice Adams' writing is extremely witty but she does not shy away from emotive subjects and difficult situations.
I really, really loved this book, I don't keep that many (as my husband would divorce me!) but I will be finding this one a place on the shelf so that I can enjoy it again in the future.
Many thanks to Helen Mockridge for sending me a review copy of this book, it is out now!