SAME BEACH, NEXT YEAR by Dorothea Benton Frank

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This is Frank’s annual tribute to South Carolina’s Lowcountry in her latest beach read. I generally enjoy her books, especially because I’m now at the same age as her protagonists.

The story goes back in time to when two couples, Adam and Eliza, and Carl and Eve, first met one summer when they rented condos next door to each other. Carl and Eve live in Raleigh, and Adam and Eliza live out in the country, a nice distance from Charleston, but they both rented on the Isle of Palms, one of the barrier islands off the coast. Eliza and Adam have twin boys, and Carl & Eve have a daughter the same age, and they all become friends.

Except it turns out that Adam and Eve were high school sweethearts. Their spouses don’t know and they don’t feel the need to inform them. The friendship between the couples grow over the years, sharing summer after summer together but for me, a lot of the relationship stuff felt forced and even awkward at times.

Eventually all good secrets come out and the effect on their marriages isn’t good. Will they all work it out? It takes more than a death in the family or a magical trip to Corfu to put it back together – and I have to say I really hated the ending of this book. It just felt completely contrived, as if the author had written herself into a corner and took the easy way out. I was drawn in for the first 300 pages, despite some reservations, but the ending truly was a disappointment.

5/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

SAME BEACH, NEXT YEAR by Dorothea Benton Frank. William Morrow (May 16, 2017). ISBN: 978-0062390783. 384p.



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