Published by William Morrow ISBN 9780062390752
Hardcover, $26.99, 384 pages
Each summer I look forward to heading to the beach with a new Dorothea Benton Frank book, and this year is no exception. Last year's All The Single Ladies was a real winner, and I'm pleased to say that this year's book- All Summer Long- is another ray of sunshine.
Usually we get a setting in Charleston's Low Country, where the days are hot and lazy. This time around, All Summer Long takes us on a ride from the bustle of Manhattan to the exclusive celebrity Caribbean enclave of Necker Island to Charleston, South Carolina to Nantucket Island to a yacht anchored off the Spanish coast to a home in Jackson, Mississippi, and boy is it a journey.
Olivia is a top interior designer, but since the recession, things have been quiet. Thanks goodness for Bob Vasile, an uber-wealthy business tycoon who keeps getting married and buying homes across the world. That keeps Olivia's business afloat.
Bob's current wife, the much-younger Maritza, has become good friends with Olivia, and when Bob and Maritza plan a trip to Necker Island, Olivia and her retired professor husband Nick are invited to join.
The interplay among the wealthy and their guests is a blast to watch, especially the bitchy women who are annoyed that Bob has married the hired help. (Maritza once worked as cook on Bob's yacht.) Their young and spoiled daughter Gladdie's nanny is acting up, and there is concern that Bob is having an affair with her.
Olivia is moving to Sullivan's Island near Charleston, South Carolina, Nick's hometown. She is concerned that her business will suffer even more than it has with the move, and the money situation is tight, information she has not shared with Nick.
The action jumps to Nantucket, where Bob and Maritza plan to buy another home, and then to Bob's yacht off of Spain for a family wedding, where things seriously fall apart thanks to a visit from one of Bob's ex-wives.
All Summer Long has a lot going on in it, from the numerous settings to the multiple characters. But at its heart is the story of Olivia and Nick, and how married people make a commitment to each other and sacrifice for each other's happiness. I loved Olivia and Nick's relationship, and Maritza became one of my favorite Frank characters of all time.
Frank's writing is crisp as always, and she certainly has a way with words that makes me laugh out loud, like when she described a woman who "swaddled herself in fashions so bizarre that she looked like Jane Jetson met Lady Gaga in a dark place."
I've been on a real HGTV kick lately, so I found Olivia's career as a designer fascinating. And as always, Frank always drops in some terrific restaurant suggestions for me to add to my Charleston Pinterest board, and this time I was able to add a few NYC hot spots too.
All Summer Long is a fun, fast-paced beach read from one of my favorite authors. I put this one at the top of my list of Most Enjoyable Summer Books Ever, and it will find a place on the bookshelf at our beach house for all our guest to enjoy as well. I highly recommend it.
Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Dorothea Benton Frank's tour. The rest of her stops are here:
Tuesday, May 31st: A Tattered Copy
Wednesday, June 1st: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, June 2nd: bookchickdi
Friday, June 3rd: Stranded in Chaos
Monday, June 6th: Seaside Book Nook
Tuesday, June 7th: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, June 8th: Tina Says…
Thursday, June 9th: Lavish Bookshelf
Monday, June 13th: 5 Minutes For Books
Tuesday, June 14th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, June 15th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Wednesday, June 15th: Staircase Wit
Monday, June 20th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, June 22nd: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, June 23rd: A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog
Friday, June 24th: Queen of All She Reads