All Summer Long - Dorothea Benton Frank
Filled with her trademark wit, poignant themes, and rich characters, the perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with a sensational novel that follows the travels of a one couple though a tumultuous summer.
Dorothea Benton Frank’s magical stories take us deep into the heart of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry. In her novels, this lush landscape comes alive in all its vibrancy and color. She ignites all of our senses with her vivid descriptions of landscape and atmosphere. In her novels you hear the ocean washing the shore on different islands so profoundly that you can nearly hear the sea gulls squawking too.
This is a story of people whose lives are changing—a southern gentleman returning home to lead a more peaceful life and his talented New York wife who is not quite sure she is ready to make the transition. They are moving north to south, fast pace vs slow pace, downsizing. And while they are doing this, they are getting glimpses into other people’s lives over the course of a summer, holidays that will amuse, shock and transform them.
This irresistible story is home to captivating characters as funny, complicated, and real as our best friends—husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, friends and family who wrestle with the complexities, pain, and joys familiar to us all.
Finally, we’ll come to recognize the face of love, the kind that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. That leap changes them all.
So this book gives you the same feel as all of her others, and it's full of fun characters (some of which are hard to like), an amazing setting, humor, and the kind of story you can see yourself telling your best friend about this one time you went on vacation in the Lowcountry. Olivia is so hard to like, mostly because we meet her first and it's clear she's keeping some pretty big secrets from her husband, mainly their lack of income. Her husband, Nick, is blissfully oblivious and probably more so because he is going back to his roots as he and Olivia downsize and move back to the south as far away from their fast paced, overfull lives in New York City. He knows that the move is a lot for Olivia, it means she's making big sacrifices for him, but he's confident that once she's there she'll see the positive of the move.
But the move doesn't take place until an over the top, lavish vacation with clients of Olivia's, where we meet a whole slew of nut job characters. We have the rich undercover playboy married to a former southern waitress, that waitress is now the mom of a very demanding child but also oblivious that her husband is cheating on her with the nanny. The nanny, who can't stand the mother who is sure if only she'd get out of the picture, playboy who be faithful to her, and so many others who have their own agendas, are rude, but give you the absolute best stories to take back to your friends about your vacation. This leads to all kinds of absurd and obscene behavior, as if the guests have to one up each other in outrageous behavior, all the while Nick and Olivia maintain their normal relationship (despite Olivia not being totally truthful about their actual financial situation). It's funny, it's touching, and I would bet some of you could personally relate to Nick and Olivia's relationship, if not for the financial situation, but for the need to downsize and transition into a new stage of life with your partner.
It's a fun read, I got through this in a weekend and I adored it, just like I've adored all of Dorothea's books. It's a solid summer read and I suggest it because Dorothea will never leave you disappointed! You can find your own copy of All Summer Long on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble. In the meantime, follow Dorothea on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! And if you're more of a visual person, here's a super fun video of Dorothea talking about her books! This just makes me love her even more, which I didn't think was even possible.