Fans of Carley Fortune’s popular 2022 debut Every Summer After will be excited to read Meet Me At the Lake, her heartwarming sophomore story that is set in Toronto and Muskoka and features a second chance romance.
The story centres around Fern and Will, two strangers who meet randomly and spend a life-changing day together in Toronto. Forced to part ways, they agree to meet one year later at Fern’s family’s lakeside resort in Ontario cottage country. But one of them keeps this promise and the other breaks it, with dire consequences for the couple.
Told in alternating timelines (current day, and Fern and Will’s magical day ten years prior) as well as entries from Fern’s mother’s diary, this story is a sweet romance that has a couple readers will root for. But its slow burn delivery will require readers to be patient as Fortune reveals what happened to the couple – who didn’t keep the promise and why.
The story is packed with interesting topics including family, friendship, mental health, loss and living your life on your own terms. These are heavy topics, but Fortune adds levity with regular mentions of pop culture and bits of humour. Ontarians should also recognize and appreciate many popular Toronto locations and attractions and easily envision the beauty of Muskoka.
My only issues with this book are the use of miscommunication and the use of only one POV. I also would have liked more time for the reader to digest and better understand the reason for the couple’s problems – which is revealed late in the book.
Overall, Meet Me At The Lake is a great pick for a summer read and an impressive follow-up to Carley Fortune’s very popular debut! You can put a hold on one of WPLs copies now in preparation for its May 2nd publication!
NOTE: I highly recommend reading the author’s note at the end where she details her writing process for the very personal aspects of this story.
Photo credit: instagram.com/carleyfortune