This Summer Will Be Different Summary, Characters and Themes

“This Summer Will Be Different” is a romance novel by Carley Fortune. It follows Lucy, a tourist who vacations on Prince Edward Island, and Felix, a local who captures her heart. Unbeknownst to Lucy, Felix is the younger brother of her best friend, Bridget. Despite undeniable chemistry, their connection is complicated by circumstances and they vow to avoid each other. 

As Lucy returns to the island year after year, their paths inevitably cross, testing their resolve and raising the question: Will this summer truly be different?


Lucy “Bee” Ashby embarks on a transformative journey over six years, marked by a secret romance with Felix Clark, the brother of her best friend, Bridget. During a trip to Prince Edward Island (PEI), Lucy and Felix share an intense encounter, agreeing to keep it hidden from Bridget.

Their connection continues to spark over subsequent visits to PEI, despite Lucy’s growing feelings for Felix. 

Amidst professional changes and personal grief, Lucy spends a pivotal visit alone with Felix, realizing she’s in love. However, her fear and uncertainty lead her to distance herself, causing a rift between them.

The present narrative finds Lucy preparing for Bridget’s wedding while managing her thriving floral business. An unexpected distress call from Bridget brings Lucy back to PEI, where she grapples with the awkwardness between her and Felix.

Bridget’s uncharacteristic secrecy and the looming wedding date escalate tensions, culminating in a confrontation between Lucy and Bridget. 

This emotional outburst leads to a beachside confession from Felix, revealing his reciprocated feelings. Amidst this revelation, they discover Miles, Bridget’s fiancé, has arrived to address the unspoken issues plaguing their relationship.

Lucy and Felix embrace their newfound love, but Bridget’s return with Miles remains strained. Recognizing the need for honesty, Lucy confesses their relationship to Bridget, only to learn that Bridget was already aware. 

With their friendship restored, the Clarks and Lucy travel to Toronto for the wedding.

Following the wedding, Felix spends time with Lucy, prompting her to consider moving to PEI permanently. Felix encourages her to reflect on her desires and pursue her passions before making a decision. 

This leads Lucy to explore new hobbies and invest in friendships, while Bridget starts a new life in Australia with Miles.

Guided by Bridget’s advice, Lucy buys land on PEI to fulfill her dream of a cut-flower farm. 

After a three-month hiatus, she reconnects with Felix, culminating in her move to PEI. 

Their love story blossoms with the construction of Lucy’s dream home and a heartwarming gathering with friends and family. Bridget’s surprise visit with her family solidifies their enduring bond, leaving Lucy with a profound sense of contentment and optimism for the future.

This Summer Will Be Different


Lucy “Bee” Ashby

Lucy is the protagonist and narrator of the novel. She is portrayed as a loyal and caring friend, demonstrated by her unwavering support for Bridget throughout the story. 

Lucy’s journey is marked by her struggles with self-doubt and fear of commitment, which stem from her parents’ divorce and her aunt’s death. 

Despite her insecurities, Lucy is ambitious and hardworking, successfully running her inherited flower shop. Her dream of starting a cut-flower farm reflects her desire for a simpler, more fulfilling life. 

Over the course of the novel, Lucy learns to prioritize her own happiness and embrace the unexpected turns that life throws her way.

Felix Clark

Felix is Bridget’s younger brother and Lucy’s love interest. He is depicted as a charming and carefree individual who initially appears to be commitment-phobic. 

However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that Felix deeply cares for Lucy and desires a serious relationship with her. His patience and understanding throughout their tumultuous relationship demonstrate his emotional maturity and unwavering affection for Lucy. 

Felix’s passion for his work as an oyster shucker and his love for his family and home on PEI reflect his grounded and genuine nature.

Bridget Clark

Bridget is Lucy’s best friend and a central figure in the novel. She is portrayed as outgoing, energetic, and fiercely loyal to her friends and family. 

However, Bridget struggles with vulnerability and openness, often hiding her true feelings behind a facade of cheerfulness. Her decision to withhold information about her move to Australia from Lucy highlights her fear of change and potential loss. 

Despite this, Bridget’s love for Lucy remains steadfast, and she ultimately supports Lucy’s relationship with Felix, realizing the importance of their happiness.

Miles Forester

Miles is Bridget’s fiancé and later husband. Initially, he appears to be a supportive and loving partner. 

However, his decision to accept a job in Australia without consulting Bridget reveals a lack of communication and consideration for her feelings. Miles’s actions create tension and conflict in the story, ultimately leading to a turning point in both Bridget and Lucy’s lives. 

While Miles eventually demonstrates remorse for his actions, his character serves as a catalyst for change and growth in the other characters.

Stacy Ashby

Stacy is Lucy’s maternal aunt and a significant influence in her life. She is depicted as a free-spirited and adventurous woman who encourages Lucy to pursue her dreams. 

Stacy’s death from cancer is a major turning point in the story, prompting Lucy to re-evaluate her priorities and confront her fears. 

Although Stacy is not physically present for most of the novel, her memory serves as a source of inspiration and guidance for Lucy, reminding her of the importance of living life to the fullest.


Belonging and Found Family

Throughout the novel, Lucy grapples with finding her place in the world. She feels like an outsider in both Toronto and PEI, never fully belonging to either place. In Toronto, she’s consumed by work and lacks a sense of community. In PEI, she’s a tourist, enjoying the island’s beauty but not truly part of its life. 

Her relationship with Felix complicates this further, as she fears losing Bridget’s friendship and the sense of family it provides. However, as Lucy spends more time on PEI, she begins to forge connections with the locals and find solace in the island’s slower pace. 

Her dream of starting a cut-flower farm represents a desire to root herself in a place and create something meaningful. 

By the novel’s end, Lucy has found a true home and a chosen family in Felix and the PEI community, finally feeling a sense of belonging she never experienced before.

Miscommunication and the Folly of Assumption

Miscommunication and unspoken truths drive many of the conflicts in the novel. Lucy and Felix repeatedly fail to express their true feelings, leading to misunderstandings and missed opportunities. Their fear of hurting Bridget and the potential consequences for their relationships keep them from being honest with each other. Bridget, too, keeps secrets from Lucy, assuming her friend would disapprove of her choices. These assumptions and lack of communication create a wedge between the characters, causing unnecessary pain and delaying their happiness. It’s only when they finally confront their fears and speak openly that they can begin to heal and rebuild their relationships. The novel emphasizes the importance of honesty and communication in building healthy, lasting connections.

Accepting Life’s Changes

The novel spans six years, during which the characters experience significant changes in their lives. Lucy goes from a directionless twenty-something to a successful business owner and eventually to a woman who builds her dream life on her own terms. Bridget transitions from a carefree single woman to a wife and mother living on the other side of the world. Felix matures from a playboy to a man ready for a committed relationship. 

These changes challenge the characters’ perceptions of themselves and each other, forcing them to adapt and grow. The novel suggests that embracing change, even when it’s unexpected or uncomfortable, can lead to personal growth and ultimately to greater happiness.

The Power of Friendship

The friendship between Lucy and Bridget is a central pillar of the novel. Their bond is deep and complex, weathering misunderstandings, secrets, and geographic distance. It’s a source of comfort and support for both women, but it’s also a source of conflict when their feelings for Felix clash. 

The novel explores the intricacies of female friendship, showcasing its strength and resilience but also acknowledging its potential for hurt and betrayal. Ultimately, their friendship proves to be a powerful force, capable of healing wounds and enduring even the most challenging circumstances. 

The novel celebrates the importance of female friendships in navigating life’s ups and downs, emphasizing their value as a source of love, understanding, and unwavering support.