Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Carley is an award-winning journalist and worked as an editor at some of Canada’s top publications, including The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Toronto Life, and The Grid. She was most recently the Executive Editor of Refinery29 Canada.

Carley spent her young life in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, and in Barry’s Bay, a tiny lakeside town in rural Ontario and the setting for EVERY SUMMER AFTER.

EVERY SUMMER AFTER was an instant international bestseller and Carley’s debut novel.

Meet Me at the Lake book Description:

Meet me at the lake book

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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 the city. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, and 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 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. 

Short Summary of the Book:

Fern and Max are two young adults who meet for the first time and spend an unforgettable twenty-four hours together. Though we only know Fern’s thoughts, it’s clear that Max has brought about a change in her life. However, Fern soon realizes that Max isn’t hers to have, and they agree to meet again at Fern’s family resort in a year.

Fern spends the next year thinking about Max, but he doesn’t show up for their planned meeting. This leaves Fern heartbroken, especially as she was already dealing with past hurts. Despite this, Fern can’t forget about Max and the time they spent together.

Ten years later, Max shows up at Fern’s family resort, but they both struggle to express their feelings for one another. Max is likable but guarded, and Fern is careful not to get hurt again. There are also interesting side characters that add depth to the story.

Overall, the book tells a sweet story of two people who meet at the right time but struggle to make their relationship work. Despite the obstacles they face, Fern and Max’s connection is undeniable.


Carley Fortune has written another touching and captivating second chance love story that reminds me of the film “Before Sunrise”. It’s a story that is both heartbreaking and engaging, leaving me with a mix of emotions including tears, sighs, and red eyes. I have become a big fan of Fortune’s writing as she has a talent for skillfully pulling at my heartstrings.

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