This is the time of year when those of us who live at the beach realize how many friends and relatives we actually have. This is a good thing because many of these wonderful people head south to visit us and enjoy the beautiful place where we live. I always wonder why these visits don't necessarily come in the winter when we have way better weather than those north of us but since many "frelatives" (friends+relatives=frelatives) have children in school, it makes sense for our summers to be full of visitors.
It is fun being able to show people all the attributes of living at the beach and the beach itself is only a small part of that. We have water parks and amusement parks, a boardwalk, the Myrtle Beach Eye, Broadway at the Beach, and lots of shopping venues, as well.
The visits are usually without drama but often family dynamics can get in the way of fun. Here are some family saga books that will make your gatherings look tame in comparison.
The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett - The trilogy (three huge books) consists of Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, and The Edge of Eternity and follows five interconnected families as they go from pre-World War I through the Cold War.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck - At its heart, East of Eden is the retelling of the Cain and Abel story. The details within the story make it a masterpiece. Taking place in California, the book is about two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, their interactions and rivalry. Another big book to sink your teeth into.
A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford - Bradford's book follows Emma Harte and her family from Emma's servitude to an upper class British Family, to her remarkable transformation into a retail magnate. This is the first of the series.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - Tan's story about mothers, daughters, and families is a modern classic. The book chronicles the lives of four women, immigrants from China who, in 1949, start to get together to play mahjong, eat, and talk. As their lives bring joy and sorrow, they choose to focus on the positive and their stories are heartfelt and, their daughters think, maybe not so believable.
North and South by John Jakes - I love the word "raconteur" or storyteller and Jakes fits it about as well as anyone can with his North and South trilogy. The trilogy is North and South, Love and War, and Heaven and Hell. The saga is about two families and their relationships during the Civil War.
Do you have a family saga book that makes your family look like a Norman Rockwell painting? Please share.