Four friends. Two decades. One unforgettable journey.
"[Adams'] characters are nearly impossible not to root for, and she captures their often troubled dynamics with tremendous empathy and charming wit ... Breezy with substance; an absorbing summer read." Kirkus Reviews
Inseparable through university, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie and Lucien graduate into an exhilarating world on the brink of the new millennium. Eager to shrug off the hardships of her childhood, Eva breaks away to work at a big bank. Benedict stays behind to complete his PhD in Physics and pine for Eva, while siblings Sylvie and Lucien pursue a more bohemian existence.
But as their twenties give way to their thirties, the four friends find their paths diverging as they struggle to navigate broken hearts and thwarted dreams. With every summer that passes, they try to remain as close as they once were - but this is far from easy. One friend's triumph coincides with another's disaster, one finds love as another loses it, and one comes to their senses as another is changing their mind . . .
A novel about finding the courage to carry on despite life not always turning out as expected, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world, Invincible Summer is a dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood and the greater forces that shape us.
PRAISE FOR AN INVINCIBLE SUMMER
"Invincible Summer goes down as smoothly as the steady flow of wine knocked back by its disarming characters as they make their way not only into adulthood ... Be forewarned, though: It packs a punch." Anne Korkeakivi, author of An Unexpected Guest
"Like life, this breezy, charming novel about four college friends deepens and darkens as it moves through the years, presenting its characters with challenges and choices that test them in ways their younger selves couldn't imagine." Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and The Leftovers
"A sophisticated yet fun novel about four friends venturing into adulthood. Alice Adams does a magnificent job of describing the way life's heartbreaks and ecstasies unfold over the course of 20 years." Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Rumor
"A novel that will have you running for the phone to call your old friends and reconnect. Alice Adams is a beautiful storyteller." Adriana Trigian, bestselling author of All the Stars in the Heavens
Adams's fun and memorable debut is a tale of the friendship of four British college chums. Working-class Eva falls in with a magnetic pair of siblings, rakish Lucien and artistic Sylvie. Sylvie's trajectory to success (according to the group) seemed "inevitable" due to "a certain shine, a vividness about her... causing people to cluster around her." And finally there is Benedict: wealthy, humble, and a talented student of physics. Upon graduation in 1997, Eva, Sylvie, and Lucien head to London, where Eva has secured a traineeship at an investment bank, while Benedict stays behind in Bristol for a Ph.D. That summer, just prior to Eva starting her adult life, Benedict invites Eva to his family's vacation home in Greece and almost manages to make a move on her, wondering, "Did she genuinely not know how beautiful she was?" From there, the story follows the group chronologically through the years as they make choices that bring them by turns closer to and further from each other and from the dreams they'd had as students. Adams's characters have many ups and downs, disappointments and adjustments, but they are believable due to her understated exposition of the characters' psychologies. The reader will stick with the book, not from a real sense of jeopardy about how things will turn out, but because the characters are such good company.