Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

Dorothea Benton Frank

Same Beach, Next Year

I’ve been wishing for many great summer beach reads. After all, we’ve all been reading some pretty heavy stuff over the winter months.  Well, never fear, along comes Dottie Frank with her summer novel, SAME BEACH, NEXT YEAR.

The Lowcountry is featured in this witty and profound novel of summer, family, friends, love and marriage.  I love reading about Charleston, South Carolina and it’s stunning barrier islands. Frank sets her novel on the lush Isle of Palms, a mere stone’s throw from the streets of one of the most Southern cities in the world, Charleston.

All my favorite Lowcountry books usually have something to do with an old beach cottage or an antique home.  This novel is unique in that Frank has decided to feature a condominium complex on the tip of Isle of Palms.  I have even seen this complex featured on HGTV. I love the big old mansions right on the Atlantic, and the cottages tucked away in lush gardens. So this was a surprise I was not prepared for, nor did I like it at first. But once the story took over and the characters brought their issues to the table, I eased into it.

Two young couples strike up a friendship that will last a lifetime. All this one summer while spending a week on the Isle of Palms at Wild Dunes where they’ve rented condos for a week.  Adam is a builder in nearby Charleston and his wife Eliza is a stay at home mom. They have twin boys aged 4. Carl is a pediatrician and his wife Eve is a mom who takes care of their young daughter who is also four.  The two families get along famously. As the women enjoy lying around the pool sipping cocktails and getting to know each other, the guys begin what will become a lifelong rivalry over golf and tennis.  When we discover that Adam and Eve ( really) were teen sweethearts, we can see where this is going…

Each year the couples return to rent condos and spend their vacations together. And each year Eliza sees more and more that Adam seems infatuated with Eve. She turns a blind eye knowing that he would never act on his feelings. But, little does she know that Adam and Eve were deeply in love all those years ago and if not for Eve’s mom they would have married.

Over the years, through trauma and slights, each marriage is tested. And then something unforgivable happens, or does it?

l love the addition of extended family members. This truly is a big book about family. God knows how important family is to our lives. This book brings all that to the surface.

Once this story took a leap and extended itself to the island of Corfu, Greece, I could not turn the pages fast enough. It’s almost four hundred pages and I devoured this novel. I think you will too. It took me a bit to get into it. I will say that, but once I did, that was it.

Put this novel on your summer reading list right now. I can’t thank the nice people at William Morrow enough. Thanks guys for overnighting a finished copy of this wonderful novel.!


Dorothea Benton Frank


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