Friday, September 6, 2013

Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank

This was the first book I read by Dorothea Benton Frank. Okay, I didn't READ it, I listened to it. But, when I get audio books, I make sure they say "unabridged" so I don't miss anything. And, funny story, this wasn't the first book I was supposed to read by this author. :) 

When I was on vacation in July in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, I was going to my favorite bookstore, Browseabout Books on Rehoboth Avenue and it just so happened that Mrs. Frank was in the store as I was going in. I didn't plan on staying for the talk and book signing, because I had never read anything by her (sorry, Mrs. Frank!). 

But, I found myself saying internally,"Why not stay?" I found myself looking at the book display of Mrs. Frank's books when I felt a tap on my shoulder. A woman plucked a book named Plantation off the display and said to me, "This one is good." I smiled and said I had never read any of them so I would like to know which one I should start with. The woman said, "This one. Well, I wrote all of them!" I cracked up, not realizing I was talking with the author herself. I bought that book and still haven't read it yet due to other things on my list, but it is the one I am going to read after the one I am reading now.

Dorothea Benton Frank & me at the signing!
Anyway, I got Folly Beach from the library on audio because I needed something to listen to in the car. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and their stories. I also love any book that makes me want to look into things further. I have since Googled Folly Beach, Sullivan's Island and other things that I learned about in the book. 

The book centers on Cate and the tragedy of her husband's suicide. She must rebuild a life and moves back to Folly Beach to assist her elderly Aunt Daisy who raised her and Cate's sister, Patti, after being orphaned. Cate struggles to come to terms with her new life and problems that her husband has left her in death. 

The characters in this book are so REAL! Cate, Patti, Aunt Daisy, Ella, John, Cate's kids--I can't say enough! They are all focused on evenly and you really get a sense of each of their individual stories. PLUS, the chapters alternate between Cate's story and the story of Dorothy and DuBose Heyward who were authors and playwrights who worked with Geroge Gershwin in making the play Porgy and Bess. At first, I wondered how the two stories were going to tie together--but they do. 

I highly recommend this book. I can't wait to read the rest of Dorothea Frank's books. I am so happy I stayed at that signing that night. Thank you, Mrs. Frank! Visit her website at 

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