Friday, June 30, 2017

(57)Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

Eliza and Adam Stanley have enjoyed their summer vacation on the Isles of Palms for years.  Their twin sons love to play in the pool and just getting away from the hustle and bustle of their everyday life is enough for Eliza.  One summer Adam discovers that his high school sweetheart is vacationing at the same resort.  So many years have passed that Adam fails to mention their romantic history, but Eve and Carl Landers soon become fast friends.  The couples and their children meet up every summer and over the years their friendship becomes more like family. Over the years the families share many laughs, tears, and fears.  But still, Eve and Adam don't share their romantic past.  It all comes to a head one morning when Adam and Eve are found in a compromising situation at the Landers' condo.   Even though they both swear that nothing happened Eliza and Carl are both forced to evaluate their marriages.  Eliza goes even go so far as to pack up and go visit family in Greece.  She has been putting it off forever, but the kids are grown and in college, so why not?  Eliza figures that putting distance between her and Adam will be beneficial for their marriage.  Or will it just push Adam farther away and be the final blow to their marriage?

I don't remember having read a Dorothea Benton Frank novel before, but I love a good beach read, so I gave it a shot.  I think it is meant more for the "grandma" crowd or maybe a more conservative crowd, but once I started to read it, I didn't want to stop.  The story is told primarily in the past - all the way back to when Eve is first introduced to the story all the way up to the present time - so over decades.  Both Eliza and Adam take turns narrating and while it is clear that Adam loves his wife - he is kind of an arrogant ass. And Eliza is a doting housewife with very gender-specific duties. It was so very annoying how she waited on Adam hand and foot and let him treat her like the domestic help.  I HATED how when he was the narrator he kept commenting on Eve's beauty - it was all physical.  Ugh.  I loved how she finally did what she always was wanting to do (but putting off because of Adam) and went to Greece to reconnect with her family.   In the end, things worked out the way that they were supposed to work out and there is even a nice little surprise to wrap things up nicely. 

Bottom line - Even though there were some horrible eye-roll-worthy situations in Same Beach, Next Year - I finished it and I wouldn't ever finish a bad book.  If you are in the "under 50" crowd it might not be the best beach read for you, but you can always give it to your mom as a gift.  She would likely love to read it!



Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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