In Long Past Summer (HQN, $16.99), author Noué Kirwan deftly traverses decades to tell the story of New York City attorney Mikaela Marchand’s intertwined relationships with her best friend and her first love. A not-so-chance meeting one steamy summer day forces her to reconsider what she thinks she knows about friendship, love and herself. Here, we talk to Kirwan about her book and the unique charms of the warmer months.
Why is summeryour favorite season?
Noué Kirwan: I adore summertime! My ideal temperature is 78 degrees and balmy. As far as I’m concerned, there are only two seasons: summer and the season that is not summer (winter, I think they call it).
Which songs signal to you that it’s summer?
Kirwan: “I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)” by Hi-Five, “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye.
Summer fling or summer vacation?
Kirwan: The part of me who likes romance and angst—whirlwind love and sorrowful partings—says, “summer fling.” The sensible part that’s like Mikaela says, “summer vacation.” I’m essentially sensible.
You’ve lived in the Bronx and the Bay Area. Which has the best summers?
Kirwan: My summers in Cali were much closer to the idyllic descriptions of summer in the book, but I have to say summers in New York, even with the concrete swelter and wall-to-wall people, are better. Nowhere beats summer in the city!
If you could give your younger self one piece of relationship advice, what would it be?
Kirwan: Like Mikaela, I was a people-pleaser growing up, so I’d say don’t lose track of yourself and what you want by trying to be what your partner wants.
What do you want readers to walk away with when they finish Long Past Summer?
Kirwan: I want readers, particularly Black women, to run the gamut of emotions with Mikaela—love, lust, jealousy, heartache and joy—and walk away satisfied. I also want them to see her as a reflection of themselves, a woman of a certain age in love and being loved, who is unafraid to wait for a relationship that fulfills her. To say any more would be a spoiler!
Check out Kirwan’s Long Past Summer playlist below as you prepare to dig into her new novel.
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