The Lowcountry is known for its beaches and bars, and we’re sure you know that there’s another B on that list too — books. With several prolific authors located right here in Charleston, we’ve got a wide array of novels to choose from, and you can bet your bottom (sand) dollar that they’re the kind you want to read while lounging in a beach chair. Here are some books we think are just peachy, from near and far.
Girls in White Dresses
By Jennifer Close
In Girls in White Dresses, Close invites readers into a circle of close girlfriends Isabella, Mary, and Lauren as they traverse early adulthood. To these girls, cloaked in pastel and eating dainty finger sandwiches at bridal shower after bridal shower, it seems like everyone else is getting married while their personal and professional lives are at a standstill. Don’t forget to put on sunscreen because it’s easy to get wrapped up in this tale and lose track of the world around you.
By Emily Straub
With complicated family dynamics and endless relationship drama, Straub treats readers to an enthralling read with The Vacationers. As the Posts attempt to take their first family vacation in years to the island of Mallorca, divisions within the family and the guests accompanying them threaten the success of the trip. After an affair with his younger assistant, Jim’s marriage to Franny is on the rocks, Charles and Lawrence fear their futures are going in different directions, Bobby is plagued with debt and relationship problems, and Sylvia is determined to lose her virginity before going off to college.
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories
By B.J. Novak
This book of short stories is great for readers with a shorter attention span — it’s hard to read a whole novel when there’s dolphin-spotting to be done. Novak offers readers a collection of short stories, with pieces that range from light and humorous to deep and thoughtful. One tale tells the story of a kid who wins $100,000 in a box of cereal, only to discover that the winnings may dismantle his family. Another story dives into the lives of post-college friends who try to deal with the world in the era of Facebook.
By Rainbow Rowell
In this day and age where modern technology has invaded every aspect of our lives, many people worry that their privacy is compromised. In Attachments, privacy is in fact compromised. Rowell puts an interesting spin on this idea: a love story between Lincoln O’Neill, a man whose job is to read company emails, and Beth, a co-worker unaware of his growing affections for her. How can this one-sided relationship possibly play out?
All Summer Long
By Dorothea Benton Frank
New York Times bestselling author Dottie Frank was born and raised on Sullivan’s Island and has become a Lowcountry legend. All Summer Long dives into the lives of Olivia Ritchie, prominent New York fashion designer, and Nicholas Seymour, her English professor husband, as they prepare to retire to the more slow-paced Lowcountry. While Nick is ecstatic to return home to Charleston, Olivia worries she will miss the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced city. Readers follow the couple as they deal with money issues and enter the next phase in their lives.
A Lowcountry Wedding
By Mary Alice Monroe
Often called the queen of Lowcountry fiction, Mary Alice Monroe is a pro at weaving tasty tales of love and life with messages about ocean conversation. In her latest, A Lowcountry Wedding, three sisters, Dora, Harper, and Carson, who are featured in her Lowcountry Summer trilogy, get ready for two weddings and a proposal. Monroe’s realistic portrayal of the brides-to-be — one’s a recovering alcoholic and the other is pregnant — is a refreshing take on Charleston weddings, which so often get portrayed as perfect and … boring. Don’t worry, Delphine the bottle nosed dolphin makes an appearance, too, reminding readers that environmental issues are Monroe’s true passion.