Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank


Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Other Books By Author: The Last Original Wife
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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. "

Olivia Richie is a successful interior designer living a lavish life with her husband in New York City. Her husband, Nicholas, is from the south, Charleston to be specific, and she has promised him that when the time comes they will retire there and simplify their lives.  Well, that time has come and they are buying a fixer-upper on Sullivan's Island.  Olivia is really nervous about this move though, because she isn't used to the slow pace of the lifestyle there; plus, what about her interior design company? Can she work from the beach? Will she lose clients? She should be thinking about retiring, but she is having some financial issues that she doesn't share with her husband.  So, with the hope to drum up new clients, she and her husband go with her friend/client, Maritza, on a trip to Necker Island. Who can say no to a private island anyway?  She also accompanies billionaire couple, Maritza and Bob, to other glamorous locations.  Olivia comes to realize that all things that glitter aren't gold and money isn't everything.  All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank is pure summertime fun.  This novel explores the lifestyles of the rich and is a perfect poolside indulgence.  

Olivia is an interesting character in All Summer Long. I couldn't necessarily relate to her, but I sympathized with her from time to time. I especially enjoyed her down-to-earth relationship with her husband, Nicholas. I liked his southern charm and his affinity for Charleston. Their relationship was probably the best part of the novel. 


Olivia's friendship with Maritza was also interesting. I obviously can't relate to the one percent at all, but I appreciated being transported into their world filled with private islands, butlers, caviar, yachts, and all things fabulous.  But if you dig deeper, you will see that perhaps Maritza and Bob aren't exactly happy. There are rumors of his infidelity with the nanny and the fact that he is losing interest in Maritza, who is desperately trying to gain his attention.  Olivia is thrown in the middle of this predicament as well as many others that arise when traveling together abroad along with their other rich friends.  For example, there's a wedding aboard a yacht and it is pretty much a disaster. The drama, the fighting, the scandal...it's all there.  It definitely kept me entertained in All Summer Long


However, I didn't feel for these characters like I did with Frank's previous novel. This was more of a "fun" read as opposed to one that might tug on my heartstrings. I mean these rich people behaved badly. I really didn't like any of the characters other than Olivia and Nicholas. They rest acted like they were not the set of the Real Housewives.  Nonetheless, I suppose that makes for a fun summertime read, much like reading US Weekly and other gossip rags.


So, if you like a glimpse into the lifestyles of the one-percent along with exotic locations in the Caribbean, Spain, and of course, Frank's beloved South, add All Summer Long to your beach bag this summer.  



2 comments:

  1. I enjoy reading books that show us how the rich actually live and the "struggle" they go through on a daily basis. Lol.

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    Replies
    1. Haha. Yes! It definitely was an interesting glimpse into the 1%. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

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