Same Beach, Next Year: A Novel
Eliza and Adam and Eve and Carl are a fabulous foursome who just can’t seem to stay out of each other’s lives. Seemingly friends, this quartet at the heart of Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank has money, prestige, a gorgeous summer home, and very little trust in one another. Adam and Eve—yes, it really is that precious—were young lovers years ago, and Adam still holds a torch for the lithe blonde beauty so different from his dark, Greek wife with her practical skills of homemaking, cooking, and managing the books for his business. Where Eliza is a seemingly good wife, Adam sees routine, but in Eve he sees the life he could have had.
Of course, Carl and Eliza aren’t saints. They flirt and cross a few lines in the nearly three decades the book covers, but their real crime is in their total and complete self-absorption. Perhaps, if they’d been more attentive to their lives as they really were instead of how they appeared from the outside, they could have seen some of the crumbling veneer before the storm hit.
Same Beach, Next Year isn’t a bad read; it’s like a trashy printed soap opera: full of lovely clothes and locales, a snarky older woman named—no kidding—Cookie, and the kind of rich white people problems that are interesting in total absurdity. When Eliza flees to Greece to visit long-lost relatives, all of whom are more interesting on the page than any of the central characters, it is very hard to feel bad for her. Yes, she suspects her husband has been unfaithful, but she flies halfway around the world to sit with her feelings rather than confront him; she retreats into her money instead of behaving, well, like a woman who actually cares about what happens to her marriage.
There are bright spots in this book, and if you’re looking for a mindless escape on your own beach vacation, or in the bath, then Frank’s novel might be just the remedy for the ills of the real world.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Author||Dorothea Benton Frank|
|Page Count||384 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|