Four young women are assigned as suitemates when they're freshmen at Bedford University, a small Episcopalian women's college in western North Carolina. Even though they come from different backgrounds, the four become fast friends and remain roommates throughout college. The women haven't see each other in over twenty years when Lola calls and invites them to join her at her new beach cottage for a week. The four women are:
* Lola, the daughter of a former governor of Alabama - she's led a privileged life but ends up being forced to marry the "right" man instead of the man she loves. She has everything money can buy.
* Mel, who is the daughter of a hugely successful car dealer. He's a bully, though, so Mel has issues with love. She's a novelist who's been divorced twice.
* Annie, a sweet woman from a happy family. She's in a stable loving marriage, but doesn't know what to do with herself now that her children are grown.
* Sara, who struggles, along with her husband, with balancing their needs with the needs of their autistic child. She has a dark secret from her college days that is eating her alive.
When the women first get together at the beach house, they're reserved with each other and not all that kind. It's not until their last night together, when they each decide to reveal something about themselves that no one else knows, that they realize how important their friendships are to each other.
I found Beach Trip by Cathy Holton to be a pleasant, satisfying read with quite the dramatic ending! This is a great book to take to the beach with you this summer. The story is told in the present day with flashbacks to the characters' childhoods and their days in college. Since it's told in the third person, the transitions are easy to follow. All of the main characters is believable and well written - I saw a little of myself in each one of them. This book serves as an important reminder of the importance of friendships.