Happy Friday, everyone! School has started back now, and everyone on Facebook is buzzing about one thing: pumpkin spice season. But, I refuse to accept that Fall is “technically” almost here. In the South Carolina Lowcountry, summertime will last for AT LEAST another couple months, temperature wise. Sure, we’ll have pumpkin patches and corn candy, but it’ll still feel like summertime outside.
So, to me, it’s still 100% summertime. Heck, I still have a beach trip coming up (Edisto Beach 2018), so I wanted to share my five favorite “beach read” authors. All of these women write books that are perfect for tucking into your beach bag or reading while you lounge poolside, and I’m excited to share them with you.
Mary Alice Monroe is a skilled storyteller and weaves her passion for nature, marine wildlife, and the Lowcountry into each one of her books. Monroe creates beautiful characters and her Beach House and Summer Girls are such good reads. Fun fact: Monroe lives on Isle of Palms (fifteen min away from me), and I’ve met her several times at different events. She’s so sweet and even though she probably doesn’t know my name, I know she recognizes me now when she sees me.
Mary Kay Andrews writes about a sassier, saucier side of Southern life. I’ll be 100% honest that when I first read her books, I wasn’t too sure about her. I felt as if she made Southern women seem a little silly, mainly because she always gave them quirky names. But now that I’ve lived in both Savannah and Charleston, I have determined that the types of characters Andrews writes about are very much real life people who live in these cities. These are the folks who still talk with a deep, slow Southern drawl. I’ve developed a new appreciation for Andrews’ work, and I have a lot of her books on my shelves.
Nancy Thayer sets her books mostly in the Nantucket/Cape Cod area, and I love the way that her books often feature several different generations of family. Many of her books center around family and the different dynamics that families have, especially different generations of women. Her books have a soft, sweetness to them, which is a lot like her, I think. I had the privilege of hearing her speak last year at a local event (she, Mary Kay Andrews, and Mary Alice Monroe all spoke at a local Author Series early this year, and I got to hear all of them).
Elin Hildebrand also writes about the Nantucket area, but her books have a more fun, lively vibe to them. The characters often enjoy cocktails at Happy Hour, attend fun local events, and deal with drama like husbands having affairs, husbands losing all their money in scams, etc. Each one of her books feels as if you’re sharing a juicy piece of gossip with a good friend while sipping a fruity cocktail at a beach bar. Hopefully that makes sense—that’s just how these books make me feel.
Dorothea Benton Frank is one of the biggest Lowcountry authors and one of the most widely known. I enjoyed some of her older books more than her newer ones, but she has written well known titles such as Sullivan’s Island, By Invitation Only, Same Beach, Next Year. I have heard her speak and got a book signed by her, but I was sad to discover that she didn’t seem to have as much warmth as other Lowcountry authors. She lives locally, too, though.
So there they are–my summer authors. To be honest, I read them year round, but these authors have books that are the perfect mixture of light reading, human emotions, and real life struggles that you’ll need for a “beach read”. Check them out the next time you head out to the beach or over to the pool. You won’t be disappointed.