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Publisher's Summary

The Lowcountry of South Carolina is where By Invitation Only begins, at a barbecue engagement party thrown by Diane English Stiftel, her brother Floyd, and her parents to celebrate her son’s engagement. On this gorgeous, magical night, the bride’s father, Alejandro Cambria, a wealthy power broker whose unbelievably successful career in private equity made him one of Chicago’s celebrated elite, discovers the limits and possibilities of cell phone range. While the mother of the bride, Susan Kennedy Cambria, who dabbles in the world of public relations and believes herself deserving of every square inch of her multimillion-dollar penthouse and imaginary carrara marble pedestal, learns about moonshine and dangerous liaisons. 

Soon By Invitation Only zooms to Chicago, where the unraveling accelerates. Nearly a thousand miles away from her comfortable, familiar world, Diane is the antithesis of the bright lights and super-sophisticated guests attending her son Fred’s second engagement party. Why a second party? Maybe it had been assumed that the first one wouldn’t be up to snuff? Fred is marrying Shelby Cambria, also an only child. The Cambrias’ dearest wish is for their daughter to be happy. If Shelby wants to marry Frederick, aka Fred, they will not stand in her way - although Susan does hope her friends won’t think her daughter is marrying more than a few degrees beneath her socially. At the same time, Diane worries that her son will be lost to her forever.

By Invitation Only is a tale of two families, one struggling to do well, one well to do, and one young couple - the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hardworking Southern peach farmers.

Dorothea Benton Frank offers a funny, sharp, and deeply empathetic novel of two very different worlds - of limousines and pickup trucks, caviar and pigs, skyscrapers and ocean spray - filled with a delightful cast of characters who all have something to hide and a lot to learn. A difference in legal opinions, a headlong dive from grace, and an abrupt twist will reveal the truth of who they are and demonstrate, when it truly counts, what kind of grit they have. Are they living the lives they want, what regrets do they hold, and how would they remake their lives if they were given the invitation to do so?

By Invitation Only is classic Dorothea Benton Frank - a mesmerizing Lowcountry tale that roars with spirit, humor, and truth and forces us to reconsider our notions of what it means to be a Have or a Have Not.

©2018 Dorothea Benton Frank (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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excellent!

very good read. love the author and the narration was wonderful! you won't be disappointed.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Feel-good story

This was the cheesiest book I've read/heard in a long time. But I really needed a break, so I enjoyed the listen. You can tell the author is from the low country because she seemed very comfortable describing that life. And it really does seem amazing. Describing the Chicago life and its people seemed forced, but that's ok, we could get the point. Nevertheless it was a cute feel-good story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Tampa, FL, USA
  • 08-01-18

Boring

Not for me.... I kept listening past the 1st few chapters hoping it would get better but it didn’t. What little storyline there was took until the last few chapters to develop. Was too long and drawn out.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

What a great summer read. I loved the character development and the story.

Some was predictable, but not in an annoying way.

I would recommend it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Lovely!

My 1st time reading this author and I am hooked! The characters are fabulous and the story is wonderful, so heartwarming!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good Vacation Read!

This is one of those feel good stories that makes a great vacation read!i in the beginning you just knew that the opposites were attracted to each other but is what makes this a good story. Narrator makes the story come to life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!!!

This is one of the best audiobooks I ever listened too (and I have listened to many!). What a great surprise, I will be downloading all of Dorothea’s books. I loved this book!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Low country at It's best!!

I love anything Dorthea Benton Frank writes. This is no exception. Wonderful low country story of family, the northern snobs and the low country farmers. If you have ever gone to a pig pickin' the first couple of chapters are hilarious! You will laugh out loud more than once. please do enjoy!!

Vicky J.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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DBF at Her Best

I love these family driven tales set in the beautiful South. This book is one of my recent favorites from that genre. Did not want it to end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Boring

Listened for 16 chapters so far and nothing happens. Nothing. The whole book is long boring conversations, too many voices saying nothing. I get the southern charm but it can hold for 1-3 chapters top. Not sure if I should stop here or give it one more chance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful