Toi et moi à jamais by Ann Brashares

East coast of the United States, an island

Riley, Alice, and Paul get together every summer. Childhood friends, lifelong friends, they live free from all parental restrictions. Riley and Alice, her younger sister of three years, have their house adjoining Paul’s, on the edge of the beach. From the start of the season, the ferry punctuates the arrivals of holidaymakers, regulars, families settle in, get together, reopen dormant houses… until the end of the summer cycle.

The island is “sacred territory”. They have their own life, Californian for Paul, New York for Riley and Alice, existences that must not be mixed up with those of this resort. “Outdoor life is to be banished”. Their days and their nights are lived in threes. Riley and Paul are inseparable, the impulsive ones, the intrepid, and Alice is the sweet, the intellectual, who follows her elders everywhere.

When the little sister was born, Paul was four years old. He then had an absolute love for this baby which he tried to weaken, silence, moderate. Weakened by the untimely death of his father and the immature behavior of his mother, Paul follows an apprenticeship in life different from that of young people his age. He then weaves fraternal bonds with Riley and Alice, while keeping a modest and fearful distance.

Two years that Paul has not come. This year, Alice is twenty-one years old. She would like to devour life like Riley, project herself into the future and stop dwelling on the past. It would be enjoyable to grow up and no longer wait for him…hope for a word, a look. She will therefore still postpone time for one last season, receive him, accompany him, and interpret the role of the little sister.

The trio is rebuilt happily between maturity and childish carelessness. Everyone is in their place, or at least everyone is careful to stay in their place. “That’s when tragedy strikes.” The joys will be fleeting and the island will no longer hear the exaltation of the three friends.


Maud Jaquet



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