In most of the country, it’s still too chilly to be basking in the sun on a sandy beach. (What was that snowfall in the Midwest this weekend, anyway?!) But that doesn’t mean we have to wait until Memorial Day to solve our beach problem. No, the solution is very simple: read the novels of Dorothea Benton Frank. They are without exception set in the sultry climes of the South Carolina Lowcountry, on islands with names like Folly, Bulls, Sullivans, Pawley’s and (my favorite) Palms.
The characters in Dorothea’s novels know they’ve got it good. They take advantage of all that warmth, sunshine and sand. They go for long morning walks along the beach, the waves tickling their toes. They bring their children or grandchildren to the shore to collect seashells and pebbles. In what I consider a no-brainer, they set up with a beach chair, a bottle of water, and a good book. And in Porch Lights, available this week in paperback, Jackie, Annie and Deb set up a bar on Annie’s porch most evenings, turn on the twinkle lights, and sip their way through the sunset. Sometimes Steve, the hot doctor who lives next door, joins them for a toast.
If I had neighbors as fun as that, I would never need to go on vacation again.
Let me rephrase: if I had a porch to use like that, I’d never go on vacation again.
It’s a long haul to June, July and August. For now, I’m setting up summer in my mind by reading Dorothea’s novels along with the bloggers who are participating in the Hit the Beach with Dorothea Benton Frank Readalong. Want to learn more about it, and possibly even join in? Readalong details and sign-up information can be found here.
Need a little visual to entice you? Watch this video of Dorothea giving us a tour of Sullivans Island.
Read an excerpt from Porch Lights.
And keep your eyes on this blog for the next installment of the Hit the Beach with Dorothea Benton Frank Readalong! It can only get warmer between now and then!