Review: Every Now and Then by Lesley Kagen


Title: Every Now and Then
Author: Lesley Kagen
Published: October 2020, Alcove Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 296 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

For fans of Where the Crawdads Sing and This Tender Land.

heartfelt coming-of-age story about three young girls searching for
adventure during the summer of 1960 from the New York Times bestselling
author of Whistling in the Dark.

The summer of 1960 was
the hottest ever for Summit, Wisconsin. For kids seeking relief from the
heat, there was a creek to be swum in, sprinklers to run through, and
ice cream at Whitcomb’s Drugstore. But for Frankie, Viv, and Biz,
eleven-year-old best friends, it would forever be remembered as the
summer that evil paid a visit to their small town–and took their young
lives as they’d known them as a souvenir.

With a to-do list in
hand, the girls set forth from their hideout to make their mark on that
summer, but when three patients escape from Broadhurst Mental
Institution, their idyllic lives take a sinister turn. Determined to
uncover long-held secrets, the girls have no idea that what they
discover could cost them their lives and the ones they hold dear.

Six decades later, Biz remembers that long ago summer and how it still haunts her and her lifelong friends in Every Now and Then. A story about ties that bind forever, the timelessness of guilt and grief, and the everlasting hope for redemption.

My thoughts: As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I wanted to read it and I’m glad I did. It was a great coming of age story and I enjoy picking these types of books up every once and again.

This book really kept me engaged from start to finish. It’s set in 1960 in a small town and tells the story of three girls who are on the cusp of adolescence when one summer everything changes. I loved the innocence of the three girls and how each girl had such a big personality. While I grew up a couple decades later, this definitely brought me back to my childhood summers, being free to ride bikes around my neighborhood, being outside all day from sun-up to sun-down, and not being tied to any electronic device. 

Of course, I didn’t have a mental institution near my house, and that is where things take a dark turn for the girls. Not to mention, this is what drew me to this book. I loved how just as I am fascinated with this, these young girls were equally fascinated and drawn to this place. They make friends with the more gentle patients, but after spending time there, begin to realize something rather sinister is going on with other patients.

This book tackles some rather heavy topics, yet it does so with such a light hand. It was so well-written and quite thought-provoking at the same time. This was my first time reading this author, but it won’t be my last. 


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