Thursday, June 13, 2024

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in Toronto. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn't.

At thirty-two, Fern's life doesn't look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern's back home, running her mother's Muskoka lakeside resort—something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend's the manager, and Fern doesn't know where to begin.

She needs a plan—a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern's going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern's not sure she wants to know what it is.

But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?

Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 2, 2023
by Viking
 3.5/5 stars

This is Canadian author Carley Fortune's 2nd book which takes place in Ontario. This Canadian reader loves reading with Canadian settings and places that are familiar.

This was an audio book for me and the reader did a stellar job bringing this story to life. This dual-time story is told from the point of view of Fern Brookbanks, a 32 year old taking place just months after the death of her mother.  It also jumps back 10 years when she first meets Will. 

Meet me at the Lake is story a of relationships, loss and finding oneself. As Fern is still grieving, the past unexpectedly comes back. Can she come to grips with what happened 10 years ago and reconcile to the present. Well, you will have to read the book to find out.

I enjoyed this read, I was draw into the story. It had me itching to head north find a lake and paddle around.  The only negative takeaway is that I wish the ending wasn't rushed and the issues presented were given more space.  The author notes added to the ended with her own experiences.

A good start to my summer reading, hopefully I will be reading her recent release, This Summer Will Be Different in the coming months.

This book was part of my 2024 reading off my shelf challenge .

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