Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book Review: Lowcountry Summer

Lowcountry Summer (Plantation)Lowcountry Summer by Dorothea Benton Frank
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition
Publish Date: March 29, 2011
Paperback, 384 pages 
Fiction, Southern

My Review:
Why I read this:  As a born and bred southerner I have been wanting to read Dorothea Benton Frank's books for awhile now and seeing this available on tour made me jump at the chance.

My thoughts: Lowcountry Summer is part of Dorothea Benton Frank's Lowcountry Tales series.  It's the seventh in the series, but easily reads as a standalone.  From what I understand, Lowcountry Summer is more of a sequel to Plantation which is the second in the series since both involve Caroline and Trip and the Tall Pines house/estate.  Lowcountry Summer is the first book I have read and while slightly confused at the beginning, the story began to take it's own shape and can easily be read as a standalone novel.

I found this to be an enjoyable story.  I love the setting of lowcountry South Carolina, but found the mention of Carolina (as a university) confusing. Here in North Carolina, Carolina is UNC, in South Carolina, it is USC.  I did spend a year at Clemson so I do understand that,  it's just funny when I think about it.  I also enjoyed the characters.  Caroline made a great divorced 40-something, lady of the southern manor.  She's still steeped in the ability to ooze southern charm and say just the right things to your face, but still talk bad about someone behind their back and sometimes right to them as well.  She's raised in the genteel ways and it her disdain for the less genteel ways of the current generation come out several times in the book.

Trip, is Caroline's brother, he's very conscious of money and is trying to finally divorce his wife, deal with his children while said wife is in rehab and keep up with his girlfriend Rusty.  Thankfully Caroline and her friend's are there to help Rusty and Trip.

The story is entertaining and kept me involved with the book.  I think my favorite thing is the atmosphere - I love the south in the spring and though I don't live in lowcountry South Carolina, I do live on the coast of North Carolina and both states share a lot of the same characteristics along the coast.  Ms. Frank does a marvelous job of making the atmosphere front and center and always there in the book.  I also like the doses of southern charm along with the various characters that make this novel.

A perfect beach read and it's getting this time of year.  Sheer enjoyment in this one, not too much thinking, just fun watching a family trying to work it's troubles and secrets out.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:

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.

About the Author: 
Dorothea Benton Frank is the New York Times bestselling author of Bulls Island (William Morrow, 2008), The Christmas Pearl (William Morrow 2007), The Land of Mango Sunsets (William Morrow 2007), Full of Grace (William Morrow 2006), Pawleys Island (Berkley 2005), Shem Creek (Berkley 2004), Isle of Palms (Berkley 2003), Plantation (Jove 2001), Sullivan’s Island (Jove 2000), and Return to Sullivan’s Island (William Morrow 2009).

Ms. Frank has appeared on NBC’s Today show, Parker Ladd’s Book Talk, and many local network-affiliated television stations. She is a frequent speaker on creative writing and the creative process for students of all ages and in private venues, such as the National Arts Club, the Junior League of New York, Friends of the Library, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She has also been a guest speaker at the South Carolina Book Festival; Novello, North Carolina’s Festival of Books; and the Book and Author annual event in Charleston, South Carolina, sponsored by the Post & Courier.

Before she began her writing career, Ms. Frank was involved extensively in the arts and education, and in raising awareness and funding for various nonprofits in New Jersey and New York. At the present time she serves on the boards of The South Carolina Historical Society and The South Carolina Coastal Conservation League.

The author, who was born and raised on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina, currently divides her time between New Jersey and South Carolina.
FTC Information: I received this book through TLC Tours for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


Anonymous said...

I love finding books set in my area so I know how you feel with this one. It's so fun to recognize local culture and landmarks in a book, isn't it?!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Thanks for the review - I think I would like this too.

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