I really used to like author Dorothea Benton Frank. I loved her descriptions of life in the low country of South Carolina. I liked her ascerbic characters and their interesting lives. I even liked the romance that was almost always a part of her story.
But her last few books have been a disappointment, and All Summer Long was really the worse one yet. I have never in my life read a book that moved along more slowly and that featured characters in whom I was less interested.
Olivia Ritchie and her husband Nicholas Seymour have a lovely condo in New York City. Olivia is a very successful interior-designer-for-the-rich-and-famous and Nicholas was an English professor who has recently retired. Having been born and brought up in South Carolina low country, he has gotten Olivia to agree to sell their NYC home and move to SC. What Nicholas doesn’t know (apparently being the dumbest college professor who ever lived) is that the couple is nearly flat broke.
Olivia continues to try to build her business by wooing an exceptionally wealthy man and his southern belle wife (who must be one of Frank’s most predicable caricatures in any of her books). As such, much of the book takes place in settings other than South Carolina. Olivia and Nicholas fly to Caribbean islands and Spain and even spend time at a mansion in New Jersey. Seeings as the South Carolina setting is about the only thing the book has going for it, the book falls entirely flat.
The moral of the story, I guess, is that money doesn’t buy happiness. But it was hard for me to find the moral in the story since all of the characters were rich and all of the characters seemed to love being obnoxious, having no interest in changing.
I hardly ever finish a book that I so heartily dislike, but I just kept plugging along because I couldn’t believe that the author wouldn’t redeem herself and her characters in some way. She simply didn’t.
I recommend you not waste your time on this novel.