While vacationing on the Isle of Palms, Adam and Eliza Stanley strike up a friendship with Carl and Eve Landers—something Eliza didn’t expect to happen, given that Adam and Eve were once childhood sweethearts. Despite an awkward beginning marked by Adam acting like a besotted school boy with Eve, as well as Carl’s shameless flirting with Eliza, the unlikely friends spent the next two decades vacationing together with their families. But when two of them are found in a compromising situation, the bonds of couples’ long friendship—not to mention their marriages—are tested as never before.
I greatly enjoyed reading Same Beach, Next Year. Frank has long been one of my favorite Southern writers, and I am always equally entertained by the characters as well as the location(s) the story takes place in. This novel proved to be a double delight concerning the latter—much of the story takes place in the familiar Lowcountry setting, while other portions are featured in Greece. (Corfu, to be exact… and it’s putting it mildly to say I was completely enchanted by it.)
The story is told from both Adam and Eliza’s viewpoints, and it has a kind of he said/she said vibe at certain points in the story. This is a good thing, in my view, particularly when it came to things that were an issue between them.
There is a fairly large cast of characters included in the book. Most of them have a minor role, however, so there’s no risk of forgetting who they are. (Although, there were certain characters that I wished had played a bigger role in the story if only to learn a bit more about them. They didn’t need to have a larger part in the story, I was simply curious to know more.)
There were a few instances where I read about something that happened, or was said, that felt unnecessary to the overall story—for me, at least. This is probably down to my personal preferences, rather than any actual issues with the story itself, though. In any case, when something felt off, it wasn’t to the detriment of the story, and it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of it.
This was a fun read that kept me engaged throughout, with characters I was fully invested in. The plot was interesting, with a central conflict that was believable. The resolution wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was effective and tied up all the remaining loose ends in a satisfying manner.
Recommended for fans of women’s fiction.
Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Title: Same Beach, Next Year
Series: Lowcountry Tales #11
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction
Publication Date: April 24, 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 4 stars
About the Book
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.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author DOROTHEA BENTON FRANK was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.
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