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Porch Lights | [Dorothea Benton Frank]

Porch Lights

When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman, 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 boy has become quiet and reserved. Trusting in the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivan's Island. Awaiting them is Annie Britt, the matriarch who has kept the porch lights on to welcome them. Thrilled to have her family back again, Annie promises to make their visit perfect - even though relations between mother and daughter have never been smooth.
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Publisher's Summary

When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman with the NYFD, is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and 10-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 Sullivan's Island.

Awaiting them is Annie Britt, the family matriarch who has kept the porch lights on to welcome them home. Captivated by the island's alluring natural charms and inspired by colorful Lowcountry lore, mother, daughter, and grandson will share a memorable, illuminating summer. Told in Annie and Jackie's alternating voices, and filled with Dorothea Benton Frank's charming wit, indelible poignancy, and hallmark themes, Porch Lights is a triumph from "the queen of Southern fiction" (Charlotte Observer).

©2012 Dorothea Benton Frank (P)2012 HarperCollins Publisher

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (123 )
5 star
 (51)
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 (42)
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (107 )
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4.2 (109 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    lucy asheville, NC, United States 06-16-12
    lucy asheville, NC, United States 06-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    "Another WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!"
    What did you love best about Porch Lights?

    The descriptions of the Island life, made me miss living there. The story line was done exceptionally well, DBF does not disappoint in any way. I love the inclusion of so much history told in true southern story teller fashion. I couldn’t stop listening. A very moving story with out any sappiness.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Loved Annie and Deb's friendship. The gift of a true friend was warmly presented.


    What aspect of Robin Miles’s performance would you have changed?

    The Narrator would leave character and would speak in an accent that wasn't southern for sure. It was only slightly annoying. I would not seek her out in future books.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MS Tacoma, WA, United States 09-01-12
    MS Tacoma, WA, United States 09-01-12 Member Since 2010

    I like historical, southern books - southern accents, antiques - The Ole' West, Ghost Towns, Victorian Era, Southern Humor!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Liked this book - held my attention - nice story."

    Was sort of predictible, but a nice story. Held my interest. Listened to the entire book. Narrator was good and her voice fit the characters. I love the South, so books based in the South are my types of books.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Williams Hazard, Kentucky, US 08-14-12
    Helen Williams Hazard, Kentucky, US 08-14-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Low Country living on sultry Sullivan's Island"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Porch Lights to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print book, but I did love the audio edition. It was produced very well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The island itself was my favorite character. The flavor, tempo and sense of a slower and gracious beach style of living was captured so well.


    What about Robin Miles’s performance did you like?

    Very well read. Her delivery was animated with each character well defined. There was never any question about which character was speaking nor about the emotion that the character was experiencing.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    How the pain of a family's loss is healed by the magic of a low country beach summer.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Compute Alabama 06-30-12
    Compute Alabama 06-30-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable although predictable"

    I have been a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank for a long time and this book was just as delightful as her other books. Although the plot is predictable, it was an entertaining read, leaving the reader with a good feeling throughout the book. I have to give it a thumbs up. Thanks for another good read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Shavertown, PA, United States 11-16-12
    Jean Shavertown, PA, United States 11-16-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "great family story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    it was recommended to me by a friend and I appreciate it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the way the author flesshes out the characters. and I like the relationship between the family members.


    What three words best describe Robin Miles’s performance?

    it was good


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    always reading Mississippi 09-14-12
    always reading Mississippi 09-14-12 Member Since 2012

    Liz

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "South Carolina or Canada?"
    Any additional comments?

    Loved the story as I always do when it comes to Dorothea Benton Frank. But I was distracted throughout the entire book by the narrator's dialect when she was reading the part of Annie Britt. Any words ending in the sound 'out' such as 'about' came out sounding like 'oot' or 'aboot'. She sounded Canadian, which I can assure you is the last thing a woman born and bred in the Low Country sounds like!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Murphey Landrum, SC, US 03-01-14
    Tina Murphey Landrum, SC, US 03-01-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Great from Dorothea Benton Frank"
    If you could sum up Porch Lights in three words, what would they be?

    Beautiful, irresistible, and comforting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Porch Lights?

    Gus and Annie coming back together.


    Which character – as performed by Robin Miles – was your favorite?

    Annie...Robin performed her so well that I felt like Annie was my best friend!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely!


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book and any book that is authored by Dorothea Benton Frank. She writes some of the best Southern Fiction ever! Also, I love the narration by Robin Miles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Saugus, MA, United States 10-18-13
    Angela Saugus, MA, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't finish it"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm not really sure. I mean the characters were interesting, the setting, beautiful. But no meat to the story. It didn't keep my interest. And alternating between points of view was confusing. Charlie was cute though. Smart kid for his age.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dorothea Benton Frank again?

    Not sure


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Couldn't differentiate between points of view. Sounded like the same person


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Liked the characters and setting. There just seemed to be no story. The food descriptions


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Citron Agoura Hills, CA, United States 10-10-13
    Melinda Citron Agoura Hills, CA, United States 10-10-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Enjoyed it"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Porch Lights to be better than the print version?

    Yes, great narration with a great southern accent


    Which character – as performed by Robin Miles – was your favorite?

    The mother- glam-ma


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    History lesson, importance of family in rough times, learning to trust again


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 02-17-13
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 02-17-13 Member Since 2009

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Who DOESN'T love the South and the Front Porch???"

    This is a delightful, funny, story of the relationship between a mother and daughter that needs some mending . . . it is full of southern charm. The generational differences between the younger woman (who has just lost her husband) and her mother are amusing, confusing and misunderstood by both women. To complicate things, she is raising a young son, now with no father. She really doesn't want to move back home to the south . . . but now with no husband/father for her son, she decides to go, if only for a little while. Let the fireworks begin. :)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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