SUMMER FRIDAYS by Suzanne Rindell

Summer Fridays by Suzanne Rindell is a romance set in 1999 in New York City, a nostalgic time before cell phones and social media, where you could be out all day and no one would know where you were. Twentysomething Sawyer works in publishing and lives with her fianc√© Charles, a young associate at a big law firm. Charles is working long hours, side by side with another associate named Kendra. One night, at a firm dinner, Kendra’s disagreeable boyfriend Nick tells Sawyer that he suspects Charles and Kendra are having an affair. Nick and Sawyer end up meeting up a week or two later, ostensibly to talk about their partners. After a rocky start, they end up spending most of their Summer Fridays together (Friday afternoons in the summer where people who work in certain industries like advertising and publishing get to leave early). The more time they spend together, the closer they get…

Why I picked it up: Penguin Random House offered me an ARC of this one, and it sounded really cute. I didn’t realize until after I had gotten the book that I once read something else by Suzanne Rindell – The Other Typist – which is a very different kind of book (more of a psychological thriller).

Summer Fridays is the perfect summer read – romantic, evocative and engrossing. I enjoyed this homage to New York City, as Sawyer and Nick spend sweltering Fridays exploring iconic destinations like the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum and Coney Island. I also liked the slow burn of their relationship and the murky path forward they faced. Sawyer was unrealistically clueless at times, and also not that considerate of Nick’s feelings, but their romance was sweet and appropriately tortured. It was also suspenseful! I wanted to know how it was going to end.

I listened to Summer Fridays on audio. Narration by Elizabeth Romanski wasn’t my favorite – she may have made Sawyer seem more clueless than she was on the page. She did a good job with swoony Nick, though.

Summer Fridays was the 21st book of 2024.