Theodora is the matriarch of a family that, in her opinion, has grown into a bunch of truculent knuckleheads. They've all come together to South Carolina to celebrate Christmas. But this Christmas looks nothing like the extravagant, homey Christmases Theodora grew up with.
"Never too old to learn or to love"
As they prepare to relocate to Charleston, SC, Olivia, the ultimate New Yorker, has reservations about the promise she made to retire in the Lowcountry, where Nick wants to return home and lead a more peaceful life. They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace, and downsizing. Nick is ecstatic. Olivia is not. She can't let Nick know that their finances are not what he thought. Her client list is evaporating, their monetary reserves are dwindling, and maybe that house she picked out on Sullivan's Island needs too much work.
Few writers capture the complexities, pain, and joy of relationships - between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers - as beloved New York Times best-selling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry, where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman's death.
Hilton Head, a South Carolina retirement heaven - at least it's supposed to be, but for Big Al and Connie Russo, the move from New Jersey to this Southern paradise has been fraught with just a few complications. Especially for their daughter, Grace. Well, that's what she likes to be called. Her family insists on Maria Graziella. Seriously, enough with the Neapolitan. That might have been okay in New Jersey, but now it's just plain silly, and Grace, at 32 is - horror of horrors - still unmarried.
"Not my favorite by Benton Frank"
Meet Miriam Elizabeth Swanson, in a full-blown snit, buoyed by a fabulous cast who run the gamut from insufferable to wonderful. First is the arrival of Liz Harper, Miriam's tenant from Birmingham, who sets a new cycle in motion. Then her other tenant, Kevin, a stalwart companion with more style than Cary Grant, shakes Miriam out of her fog to see which battles are worth the fight. Next, her estranged son announces he's marrying a Jamaican woman. And what about her ex-husband, Charles, and that sordid lingerie model of his?
Dorothea Benton Frank is a treasure of American letters with numerous New York Times best-sellers to her credit and a portfolio full of critical acclaim. “Mixing high drama and high jinks” (Booklist), her third Lowcountry novel follows the fortunes of the dysfunctional Abbot family. Looking to set her life aright, Anna Lutz Abbot returns to her South Carolina lowcountry hometown. And as she attempts to right past wrongs, Anna receives help and support from a quirky cast of lovable locals sure to endear themselves to listeners.
"A feel good story"
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 1000 pages.
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.
Leslie Anne Greene Carter is the Last Original Wife among her husband Wesley's wildly successful Atlanta social set. His cronies have all traded in the mothers of their children they promised to love and cherish - till death did them part - for tanned-and-toned young Barbie brides. If losing the social life and close friends she adored wasn't painful enough, a series of setbacks shake Les's world and push her to the edge. She's had enough of playing the good wife to a husband who thinks he's doing her a favor keeping her around. Now, she's going to take some time forherself - in the familiar comforts and stunning beauty of Charleston, her beloved hometown.
"Full of Sass and Southern Humor - Loved it!"
Folly Beach is 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 on this breathtakingly lovely strip of coast. But circumstances have changed, leaving 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....
"could not finish it.."
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 Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, and Ashley deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves.
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.
"Not my favorite, but still a good listen"
A satisfying tale of honor, chance, and star-crossed love infused with Southern wit, grace, and charm - the story of two old Southern families. The Langleys have more money than the Morgan Stanley Bank. And they think they have more class. The Barrett family made their 19th-century fortune in a less distinguished manner: corner grocery stores and liquor stores.
"Loved Betts McGhee!"
Rebecca has been catapulted from her home, her marriage, and her children. She has escaped to Pawleys Island to hide herself from herself. But after Miss Olivia pries Rebecca's secrets from her, Huey and especially Abigail are challenged to reenter life outside the dream state their idyllic geography evokes. They will see that Rebecca has her day in court, but they never expect to provoke a national forum for discussion.
"Another great Dorothy Benton Frank book!"
Newly graduated from college, aspiring writer Beth Hayes is elected by her family to house-sit the Island Gamble. Buoyed by sentimental memories of growing up on this tiny sandbar seemingly untouched by time, Beth vows to give herself over to the Lowcountry force and discover the wisdom it holds. Just as she vows she will never give into the delusional world of white picket fences, minivans, and eternal love, she meets Max Mitchell.
When Caroline Wimbley Levine learns that her mother, Miss Lavinia, has supposedly gone mad, she leaves the big city bustle of Manhattan and returns to Tall Pines Plantation. Caroline originally left Tall Pines to escape her feisty, eccentric mother and her drunken brother, Trip. When Miss Lavinia dies, Caroline is forced to come to terms with her family's troubled history as well as her failing relationship with her husband.
Born and raised in 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 that she must go back to her past. To the beachfront house where her sister welcomes her with open arms.
"Thought I'd like it?"
Meet Miriam Elizabeth Swanson, in a full-blown snit, buoyed by a fabulous cast who run the gamut from insufferable to wonderful. Miriam spins out from the revolving door of her postured life as a Manhattan quasi-socialite while she thirsts - no, starves - for recognition. How did she become what she hates the most and what does she endure to realize it? And where are the answers? It takes a few spins, dips, and one spectacular fall before Miriam gets her head on straight.
The rich atmosphere of South Carolina, both Hilton Head and Charleston, is brought vividly to life by Dorothea Benton Frank, a South Carolina native who, with her exquisitely evocative prose, makes you smell the sea air, see the palmettos, and savor the sweet tea, but this time it comes with a side of antipasti.
"Great audio book!"