Review: Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

Title: Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank
Publisher: William Morrrow
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss

Summary:

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank returns to her magical Lowcountry of South Carolina in this bewitching story of marriage, love, family, and friendship that is infused with her warm and engaging earthy humor and generous heart.

One enchanted summer, two couples begin a friendship that will last more than twenty years and transform their lives.

A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship—and flirt with an unexpected attraction—of their own.

Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island’s tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.

Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the infrangible power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love.

Review:

Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank is a funny and sometimes poignant novel about the close friendship of two couples who vacation together every summer.

Adam  Stanley could not be more surprised when he runs into his old flame Eve Landers while on vacation with his wife Eliza and their twin sons,Luke and Max.  Eve is also on vacation with her family, husband Carl and daughter Daphne and she issues an impromptu invitation for all of them to meet up later for drinks. Eliza is quite intuitive and she immediately realizes the Adam feels more than friendship for Eve, but she implicitly trusts her husband so she is not too overly worried. As the years go by and the families spend their summer vacations together, Eliza and Eve become close friends while Adam and Carl are friendly rivals at golf and tennis.  Several years into their friendship, Eliza and Carl discover Eve and Adam in a somewhat compromising situation which leads to an uncertain future for both of the marriages.

Adam and Eliza are quite happy with their lives when they first begin vacationing with the Landers. However, by the time the Eliza learns the truth about her husband’s long ago relationship with Eve, she finally decides to it is high time she puts her needs first. She impulsively arranges to fly to Corfu to reconnect with her extended family. Her marriage becomes more tenuous as days past without contact from Adam but she does not hesitate to return home for a family emergency. Quickly realizing Adam does not feel like he did anything wrong, Eliza returns to Corfu where she hopes to find much needed clarity about what she wants out of life and what comes next for her and Adam.

Eve has long believed her pediatrician husband has not been faithful to her. Her discovery of a co-worker’s sexy texts to Carl are the final straw and she is considering her options when she and Adam unexpectedly run into each other.  Both are stunned when Eliza and Carl jump to conclusions about their relationship and neither of them is willing to admit they have done anything wrong. The situation goes from bad to worse when Eve’s unpleasant mom gleefully fills Eliza in on Adam’s complete history with Eve.  After Carl makes an unexpected decision in the aftermath of these revelations, Eve is ready to throw caution to the wind with Adam but will he go along with her suggestion?

Same Beach, Next Year is a mostly light-hearted novel but Dorothea Benton Frank skillfully incorporates a few serious elements into the storyline. Although her marriage is on very shaky ground, the situation is the catalyst Eliza needs to finally step out from underneath Adam’s control and figure out what she wants for herself. The shake-up is also a turning point for Eve as she, too, makes a decision to stop using alcohol to deal with her problems. Although the marital discord for both couples is glossed over following an unexpected emergency, the novel’s conclusion is quite heartwarming. 

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1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Dorothea Benton Frank, Rated B, Review, Same Beach Next Year, William Morrow, Women's Fiction

One Response to Review: Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kathy