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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Same Beach, Next Year

1. Recalling the first meeting of the two couples at Wild Dunes, if you were in Eliza’s place, how would you have handled meeting your husband’s old flame? Would you have extended yourself the way Eliza did?

2. When she first noticed the deep connection between her husband and his former flame, Eliza wondered “…did anyone ever find all they dreamed of and all they needed in one person.” Do you think this is attainable or impossible?

3. Do you think Adam was truly in love with Eve, or was he more in love with the idea of her, or how she was so irrevocably linked to his carefree youth?

4. How does Eve’s mother Cookie distinguish herself as the “mother-in-law from Hell”? How would you advise Eve on how to handle her prickly mother? Do you have any good in-law stories?

5. Why do you think Cookie was so miserable, especially to her own daughter?

6. Who do you think has the stronger marriage --- Eve and Carl, or Eliza and Adam? What do you think of Clarabeth and Ted’s relationship? And what of Cookie playing the third wheel?

7. Adam tells his young sons: “Families are your given tribe and you have a duty to your given tribe to take of them when they need help, to be respectful of them and so on. But they are not your chosen tribe….Those are your dear friends who you love and treasure because they make your life rich with all the things that matter.” Who makes up your “tribe”? What can your “chosen tribe” offer that family can’t?

8. Is an emotional affair as bad as (or worse than) a physical one? How and why?

9. Do you think it’s possible for a marriage to survive infidelity? What needs to happen to go forward?

10. Can you relate to Eliza’s dream of returning to her mother’s native Greece? Is there a place you’ve always wanted to go but haven’t yet? What makes that place special to you? Do you think Eliza will ever open her dream restaurant?

11. While in Corfu, Eliza thinks of dear Clarabeth and what she’d think of her situation with Adam, Eve and Carl: “She believed that men and women needed partners for life and that it wasn’t healthy for most of humanity to be alone.” Do you agree with Clarabeth’s theory?

12. After Adam falls seriously ill and requires a liver transplant, Carl proves to be a match. Even though he’s conflicted, he agrees to be a donor and go through the difficult operation to help save Adam’s life. What would you have done in his place?

13. After Adam’s ordeal and Carl’s generous act, Eve quotes a Joni Mitchell lyric, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…” What is it about loss that makes you reevaluate your priorities?

14. Were you surprised by Max’s announcement about his marriage to Eve and Carl’s daughter, Daphne? What kind of example of marriage did their parents set for them?

15. Has reading this novel encouraged you to vacation with friends, or to run screaming from that idea?

16. How did the lush setting of the Isle of Palms in South Carolina’s Lowcountry add to the story?

17. Adam and Eliza seemed to have put their marriage back on the right track. Do you think they would be in a similar place if Adam hadn’t fallen ill? How do you think Carl and Eve’s marriage will fare in the long run?

18. What was your biggest takeaway from SAME BEACH, NEXT YEAR?

Same Beach, Next Year
by Dorothea Benton Frank

  • Publication Date: April 24, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0062390791
  • ISBN-13: 9780062390790