A satisfying tale of honor, chance, and star-crossed love infused with Southern wit, grace, and charm from the New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank After twenty years, Elizabeth "Betts" McGee has finally managed to put her past behind her. She hasn't been home to beautiful South Carolina and untouched Bulls Island since the tragic night that ended her engagement to Charleston's golden boy, J. D. Langley. And why is that? Really, this is the story of two old Southern families. The Langley family has more money than the Morgan Stanley Bank. And they think they have more class. The Barrett family made their nineteenth-century fortune in a less distinguished manner--corner grocery stores and liquor stores. It's no surprise that when J.D. and Betts fall in love and decide to marry their parents are none too pleased. And when the love affair comes to an end, everyone is ready to place blame. Now twenty years have gone by and Betts, a top investment bank executive, must leave her comfortable life in New York City to return to the home she thought she'd left behind forever. But spearheading the most important project of her career puts her back in contact with everything she's tried so hard to forget: her estranged sister, her father, J.D., and her past. Once she's home, can Betts keep the secret that threatens all she holds dear? Or will her fear of the past wreck her future happiness? And what about that crazy gator? All will be revealed on Bulls Island.
A sun-drenched story of the uncomfortable homecoming of a former Bulls Islander who plans to transform the unspoiled paradise for profit...and her inevitable reencounter with the scion of a wealthy family whom she once was scheduled to marry until cruel interference destroyed their engagement.
Still spry at ninety-three, Theodora has lived long enough to see her family grow into an insufferable bunch of truculent knuckleheads. Having finally gathered the whole bickering brood together for the holidays at her South Carolina home, the grand matriarch pines wistfully for those extravagant, homey Christmases of her childhood. How she misses the tables groaning with home-cooked goodies, the over-the-top decorations, those long, lovely fireside chats with Pearl, her grandmother's beloved housekeeper and closest confidante. These days, where is the love and the joy . . . and the peace? But this is, after all, a magical time. Someone very special has heard Theodora's plea--and is about to arrive at her door with pockets full of Gullah magic and enough common sense to transform this Christmas into the miracle it's truly meant to be.
Theodora is the matriarch of a family that has grown apart. While she's finally managed to get them all together in South Carolina to celebrate Christmas, this is shaping up to be nothing like the extravagant, homey holidays of her childhood. All they do is argue. What happened to the days when Christmas meant tables groaning with home-cooked goodies, over-the-top decorations, and long chats in front of the fire with Pearl, her grandmother's beloved housekeeper and closest confidante? Luckily for Theodora, a special someone who heard her plea for help arrives, with pockets full of enough magic and common sense to make Theodora's Christmas the love-filled miracle it's meant to be.
With its sandy beaches and bohemian charms, most consider Folly Beach to be one of South Carolina's most historic and romantic spots. It is also the land of Cate Cooper's childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam freely. Cate never thought she'd wind up in a tiny cottage named the Porgy House on this breathtakingly lovely strip of coast. But circumstances have changed, thanks to her newly dead husband, who has left Cate homeless, broke and unmoored. Yet Folly Beach holds more than just memories. Once upon a time another woman found unexpected bliss and comfort within its welcoming arms. An artist, writer and colleague of the revered George Gershwin, Dorothy Heyward enjoyed the greatest moments of her life at Folly with her beloved husband, DuBose. And for Cate, Folly Beach also holds the promise of the woman she's always wanted - and is finally ready - to become.
Experience the wild beauty and sultry magic of New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's Carolina Lowcountry-where the pull of family is as powerful as the ocean tides and love can strike faster than lightning in summer. . . . Folly Beach Home is the place that knows us best. . . . A woman returns to the past to find her future in this enchanting new tale of loss, acceptance, family, and love. With its sandy beaches and bohemian charms, surfers and suits alike consider Folly Beach to be one of South Carolina's most historic and romantic spots. It is also the land of Cate Cooper's childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam freely. Cate never thought she'd wind up in this tiny cottage named the Porgy House on this breathtakingly lovely strip of coast. But circumstances have changed, thanks to her newly dead husband whose financial-and emotional-bull and mendacity have left Cate homeless, broke, and unmoored. Yet Folly Beach holds more than just memories. Once upon a time another woman found unexpected bliss and comfort within its welcoming arms. An artist, writer, and colleague of the revered George Gershwin, Dorothy Heyward enjoyed the greatest moments of her life at Folly with her beloved husband, DuBose. And though the Heywards are long gone, their passion and spirit lingers in every mango sunset and gentle ocean breeze. And for Cate, Folly, too, holds the promise of unexpected fulfillment when she is forced to look at her life and the zany characters that are her family anew. To her surprise, she will discover that you can go home again. Folly Beach doesn't just hold the girl she once was . . . it also holds the promise of the woman she's always wanted-and is finally ready-to become. Folly Beach, filled with the irresistible charm, saucy wit, and lush atmosphere that have won her the devotion of fans and propelled her books to bestsellerdom, is vintage Dorothea Benton Frank.
The move from New Jersey to Hilton Head, South Carolina, wasn't easy for the Russo family--difficult enough for Big Al and Connie, but even harder for their daughter Maria Graziella, who insists on being called Grace. At thirty-one and still, shockingly, unmarried, Grace has scandalized her staunchly traditional Italian family by moving in with her boyfriend Michael--who, though a truly great guy, is agnostic, commitment-phobic, a scientist, and (horror of horrors) Irish! Grace adores her parents even though they drive her crazy--and she knows they'd love Michael if they got to know him, but Big Al won't let him into their house. And so the stage is set for a major showdown--which, along with a devastating, unexpected crisis and, perhaps, a miracle or two, just might change Grace's outlook on love, family, and her new life in the new South.
Hilton Head is supposed to be heavenly - but for Big Al and Connie Russo, the move from New Jersey to this southern Californian paradise, close to their daughter's home, has been fraught with just a few complications. Especially for their daughter, Grace, who at thirty-two is, horror of horrors, still unmarried. No wonder her family drives her crazy. Over the years, Grace has become a bit ambivalent about her family's traditions. So the stage is set for a major showdown that just might change Grace's outlook on life, family, and the New South.
Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can't talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.So where is Clayton, Liz's husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father's love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who's an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley's precarious situation. Who's in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.
Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long - for three generations of one family, drama is headed in their direction too.At eighty, determined matriarch Maisie Pringle is a force to be reckoned with. She will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, dreams of a future that keeps them all at odds.This storm season, Maisie, Liz, and Ashley will deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. Can they establish a new order for the future of the family?This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.
Anna Lutz Abbot thinks she has her independence, and therefore her happiness, intact. She is a capable woman, a sensible woman, not someone given to risky living. This all seems to be true enough until her lovely daughter returns from college for the summer a very different person, her wild and wonderful ex-husband arrives, and her flamboyant new best friend takes up with Anna's father, turning a hot summer into a steaming one - only to be cranked up another ten degrees by Anna's own fling with newcomer Arthur. All the action unfolds under the watchful eyes of Miss Mavis and Miss Angel, her next-door neighbors of a certain age, who have plenty to say about Anna's past, present, and future.
A special note and offer to readers from Dorothea Benton Frank! "If you'd like a signed bookplate for any of my books, just send me your name and address and how you would like it inscribed (send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org). I'll send it right out to you in the mail." About Isle of Palms: Anna Lutz Abbot thinks she has her independence, and therefore her happiness, intact. She is a capable woman, a sensible woman, not someone given to risky living. This all seems to be true enough until her lovely daughter returns from college for the summer a very different person, her wild and wonderful ex-husband arrives, and her flamboyant new best friend takes up with her daddy, turning a hot summer into a steaming one--only to be cranked up another ten degrees by Anna's own fling with Arthur, who is, heaven help us, a Yankee. All the action unfolds under the watchful eyes of Miss Mavis and Miss Angel, her next-door neighbors of a certain age, who have plenty to say about Anna's past, present, and future
Breaking rules can either save us or destroy us. This novel, set off the coast of South Carolina, is fun, filled with unusual characters, who could be a part of your own family.
Her despicable husband left her for a lingerie model who's barely more than a teenager, and her kids are busy with their own lives. But before Miriam Elizabeth Swanson can work herself up into a true snit about it all, her newest tenant, Liz, arrives from Birmingham with plenty of troubles of her own. Then Miriam meets a man named Harrison, who makes her laugh, makes her cry, and makes her feel like a brand-new woman. It's almost too much for one Manhattan quasi-socialite to handle--so Miriam's escaping to the enchanted and mysterious land of Sullivans Island, deep in the low country of South Carolina, a place where she can finally get her head on straight--and perhaps figure out that pride is not what's going to keep her warm at night . . .
Experience the sultry Southern atmosphere of Atlanta and the magic of the Carolina Lowcountry in this funny and poignant tale of one audacious womans quest to find the love she deserves, from New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank. Leslie Anne Greene Carter is The Last Original Wife among her husband Wesleys wildly successful Atlanta social set. His cronies have all traded in the mothers of their children they promised to love and cherish--til death did them part--for tanned and toned young Barbie brides. If losing the social life and close friends she adored wasnt painful enough, a series of setbacks shake Less world and push her to the edge. Shes had enough of playing the good wife to a husband who thinks hes doing her a favor by keeping her around. Shes not going to waste another minute on people she doesnt care to know. Now, shes going to take some time for herself--in the familiar comforts and stunning beauty of Charleston, her beloved hometown. In her brothers stately historic home, shes going to reclaim the carefree girl who spent lazy summers sharing steamy kisses with her first love on Sullivans Island. Along Charlestons live oak- and palmetto-lined cobblestone streets, under the Lowcountrys dazzling blue sky, Les will indulge herself with icy cocktails, warm laughter, divine temptation and bittersweet memories. Daring to listen to her inner voice, she will realize what she wants . . . and find the life of which shes always dreamed. Told in the alternating voices of Les and Wes, The Last Original Wife is classic Dorothea Benton Frank: an intoxicating tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, and love, that is as salty as a Lowcountry breeze and as invigorating as a dip in Carolina waters on a sizzling summer day.
When Caroline Wimbley Levine returned to Tall Pines Plantation, she never expected to make peace with long-buried truths about herself and her family. The Queen of Tall Pines, her late mother, was a force of nature, but now she is gone, leaving Caroline and the rest of the family uncertain of who will take her place. In the lush South Carolina countryside, old hurts, betrayals, and dark secrets will surface, and a new generation will rise along the banks of the mighty Edisto River.
Dorothea Benton Frank is a native of the South whose novels vividly capture the wild beauty, laid-back atmosphere, earthy characters, and charming eccentricities of life in South Carolina's Lowcountry. Written with compelling honesty and emotional depth, her stories have touched readers from coast to coast, and propelled her to the top ranks of bestsellerdom nationwide. Now this remarkable writer revisits some of her most unforgettable characters in this enchanting new story sure to make you laugh and cry. Return with her to Tall Pines Plantation in this long-awaited sequel to her beloved bestseller Plantation. . . . When Caroline Wimbley Levine returned to Tall Pines Plantation, she never expected to make peace with long-buried truths about herself and her family. The Queen of Tall Pines, her late mother, was a force of nature, but now she is gone, leaving Caroline and the rest of the family uncertain of who will take her place. In the lush South Carolina countryside, old hurts, betrayals, and dark secrets will surface, and a new generation will rise along the banks of the mighty Edisto River. Wonderfully evocative, infused with humor and poignancy, and rich with the lyrical cadences of the South, Lowcountry Summer is vintage Dorothea Benton Frank, a deeply moving novel you'll want to savor and share.
Catapulted from her home, her marriage and her children, artist Rebecca Simms has come to Pawleys Island to hide herself from herself. Little does she know that on this "arrogantly shabby" family playground, she'll encounter three people who will change her life: a wise and irresistible octogenarian who will pry her secrets from her, a gallery owner who caters to interior decorators and heaven save us, tourists, and a retired attorney from Columbia who's complacent in her fat and sassy life until Rebecca's stormy advent. With characteristic humor and a full cast of eccentric and wonderfully lovable characters, Dorothea Benton Frank brings us a refreshingly honest and funny novel about friendship, family, and finding happiness by becoming who you are meant to be...
When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman with the NYFD, is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and ten-year-old son, Charlie, are devastated. Charlie idolized his dad, and now the outgoing, curious boy has become quiet and reserved. Trusting in the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivans Island. Crossing the bridge from the mainland, Jackie and Charlie enter a world full of wonder and magic--lush green and chocolate grasslands and dazzling red, orange, and magenta evening skies; the heady pungency of Lowcountry Pluff mud and fresh seafood on the grill; bare toes snuggled in warm sand and palmetto fronds swaying in gentle ocean winds. Awaiting them is Annie Britt, the family matriarch who has kept the porch lights on to welcome them home. Thrilled to have her family back again, Annie promises to make their visit perfect--even though relations between mother and daughter have never been what you'd call smooth. Over the years, Jackie and Annie, like all mothers and daughters, have been known to have frequent and notorious differences of opinion. But her estranged and wise husband, Buster, and her flamboyant and funny best friend Deb are sure to keep Annie in line. She's also got Steven Plofker, the flirtatious and devilishly tasty widowed physician next door, to keep her distracted as well. Captivated by the island's alluring natural charms and inspired by colorful Lowcountry lore--lively stories of Blackbeard and his pirates who once sailed the waters surrounding the Carolinas and of former resident Edgar Allan Poe--mother, daughter, and grandson will share a memorable, illuminating summer. Told in Annie's and Jackie's alternating voices, and filled with Dorothea Benton Frank's charming wit, indelible poignancy, and hallmark themes-the bonds of family, the heart's resilience, and the strength of love--Porch Lights is a triumph from "the queen of Southern fiction" (Charlotte Observer).
A stirring, emotionally rich, multi-generational story, as a nurse returning to Sullivans Island from the Afghanistan War finds her life has been irrevocably altered by tragedy. She now must rediscover love and purpose with the help of her son and aging mother. Porch Lights is an evocative visit to the enchanting Sullivans Island with its unique landscape and colourful local folklore - a novel filled with unforgettable characters and enlivened by tales of the past.
The Hamilton and Hayes families have been part of Sullivans Island for as long as anyone can remember. But now change is coming, and the next generation has its own way of doing thing. Conflict and passion, heartbreak and family bonds are all tested in Dorothea Benton Frank's wonderfully evocative new novel.
Dorothea Benton Frank returns to the enchanted landscape of South Carolina's Lowcountry made famous in her beloved New York Times bestseller Sullivans Island to tell the story of the next generation of Hamiltons and Hayes. Return to Sullivans Island Whether you were away from the Lowcountry for a week or for years, it was impossible to remember how gorgeous it was. It never changed and everyone depended on that. Newly graduated from college and an aspiring writer, Beth Hayes craves independence and has a world to conquer. But her notions of travel, graduate study, and writing the great American novel will have to be postponed. With her mother, Susan, leaving to fulfill her own dreams in Paris and her Aunt Maggie, Uncle Grant, and stepfather, Simon, moving to California, Beth is elected by her elders to house-sit the Island Gamble. Surrounded by the shimmering blue waters of the Atlantic, the white clapboards, silver tin roof, and confessional porch have seen and heard the stories of generations of Hamiltons. But will the ghosts of the Island Gamble be watching over Beth? Buoyed by sentimental memories of growing up on this tiny sandbar that seems to be untouched by time, Beth vows to give herself over to the Lowcountry force and discover the wisdom it holds. She will rest, rejuvenate, and then reenter the outside world. Just as she vows she will never give into the delusional world of white picket fences, minivans, and eternal love, she meets Max Mitchell. And all her convictions and plans begin to unravel with lightning speed. There is so much about life and her family's past that she does not know. Her ignorance and naivetÉ nearly cost her both her inheritance and her family's respect. But Beth finds unexpected friends to help her through the disaster she faces: her wise and charming Aunt Sophie; Cecily Singleton, the granddaughter of Livvie Singleton; and Woody Morrison, the solid young investment banker. This wonderful ensemble of characters could be your own family, but watch what unfolds as they succumb to the island's spell. If everything happens for a reason, then Beth's return to Sullivans Island teaches her that betrayal and tragedy are most easily handled when you surround yourself with loyal family and friends in a magical place that loves you so much that it wants to claim you as its own.
Meet Linda Breland, single parent of two teenage daughters. The oldest child, Lindsey, who always held her younger sister in check, is leaving for college soon. And Gracie is giving her nightmares. It's time for one last family holiday. Between the married men, the cold New Jersey winters, her pinched wallet and her ex-husband who has married a beautiful, successful woman ten years younger than she is-Linda has given up thinking of her own needs. But on this holiday, welcomed by her generous and advice-dispensing sister Mimi, Linda slowly begins to discover a sweeter rhythm of life. And then there's Brad Jackson, a former investment banker with a restaurant on Shem Creek. Like everyone else, Brad's got a story of his own, but could it now involve Linda too?
Pat Conroy has called her books "hilarious and wise", noting that they are "funny, sexy and usually damp with sea water." Anne Rivers Siddons said of Sullivans Island that it "roared with life." Now Dorothea Benton Frank takes us back to the Lowcountry to introduce a whole new cast of characters whose lives will surely move your heart. Linda Breland has no experience managing a restaurant, but then neither did Brad Jackson, and he owns the place. Meet Linda Breland, single parent of two teenage daughters. The oldest, Lindsey, who always held her younger sister in check, is leaving for college. And Gracie, her Tasmanian devil, is giving her nightmares. Linda's personal life? Well, between the married men, the cold New Jersey winters, her pinched wallet and her ex-husband who marries a beautiful, successful woman ten years younger than she is--let's just say, Linda has seen enough to fill a thousand pages. As the story opens, she is barreling down Interstate 95, bound for Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the land of her ancestors. Welcomed by the generous heart of her advice dispensing sister, Mimi, Linda and her daughters slowly begin to find their way and discover a sweeter rhythm of life. And then there's Brad Jackson, a former investment banker of Atlanta, Georgia who hires her to run his restaurant on Shem Creek. Like everyone else, Brad's got a story of his own--namely an almost ex-wife, Loretta who is the kind of gal who gives women a bad name. The real protagonist of this story is the Lowcountry itself. The magical waters of Shem Creek, the abundant wildlife and the astounding power of nature give this tiny corner of the planet its infallible reputation as a place for introspection, contemplation and healing. As in all her previous work, you'll find Shem Creek to be compulsively readable, irreverent but warm and blazingly authentic--and you'll dread reaching the last page. It is her vivid writing, colorful characters and rich narrative that have made Dorothea Benton Frank one of our nation's greatest storytellers. Shem Creek is a triumphant novel that proves we are all entitled to a second chance. The challenge is to learn how to recognize it when it comes and to know which chance to take.
Set in the steamy, stormy landscape of South Carolina, Sullivan's Island marks the debut of an exquisitely talented writer--and tells the unforgettable story of one woman's courageous journey toward truth. Born and raised on idyllic Sullivan's Island, Susan Hayes navigated through her turbulent childhood with humor, spunk, and characteristic Southern sass. But years later, she is a conflicted woman with an unfaithful husband, a sometimes resentful teenage daughter, and a heart that aches with painful, poignant memories. And as Susan faces her uncertain future, she realizes she must go back to her past. To the beachfront house where her sister welcomes her with open arms. To a place haunted by long-held secrets and devastating betrayals. To the only place she can truly call home. . . .
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