Thursday, September 19, 2013

Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank

This is my second review on a Dorothea Benton Frank book. I really enjoyed the first one, Folly Beach. And, just like Folly Beach, I listened to this one on CD on my way back and forth to work. Since I liked Folly Beach so much, I was excited to listen to this one, too. 

The premise is this: Jackie, along with 10 year old son, Charlie, comes back to Sullivan's Island after her husband is tragically killed doing his job as as firefighter in New York City. This is not a spoiler-the flap of the book will tell you this. :) Jackie stays for a big chunk of the summer with her mother, Annie in her beach front house, The Salty Dog. 

Jackie's parents Annie and Buster are estranged and have been for eleven years. So, not only is Jackie back to find some peace after losing her husband, Annie and Buster have a relationship to mend as well. 

Well, enter the next door neighbor who happens to be a handsome doctor, and you can see where this is going. 

This one I didn't like as much. I didn't like the characters as much as I did in Folly Beach and I found a lot of the dialogue, especially with the things the 10 year old son was saying. AND: 


What I found really annoying was this: Jackie is supposed to be devastated over the loss of her husband. Who wouldn't be? Mind you, she refers to him as the love of her life and just by spending a few weeks in the summer, she's already attracted and ends up with the doctor neighbor? Must not be too devastated, if you ask me. PLUS, at first Jackie is not impressed with him at all, and at first, I felt like I missed something, because then all of a sudden, she likes him and they are together. ????? 


So on to the next book. I am actually finishing up Dorothea Benton Frank's book, Plantation, right now,  so that will be my next review. :) Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you are enjoying whatever YOU are reading. 

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 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books by Walter Multnomah. This was one of my choices for review.

Redeeming Love is actually based on a story in the Bible, specifically, the Book of Hosea. Hosea was a man who, when instructed by God, married a prostitute. Hosea followed God's Will instead of acting in response to his own feelings. 

So, on to this book. The man in the book is named Michael Hosea and the prostitute turned wife is Sarah. The story follows the same premise as the story in the Bible: Michael is told by God to marry Sarah (known as Angel, at first). Sarah doesn't trust Michael's love at first and leaves him, going right back to her old ways. 

 Doing God's bidding, Michael goes after her and tries to live a steady, Christian life as a living testament to God to teach Angel that there is a new life waiting for her. 

Through patience, hard work and love, Michael wins Angel over. They acquire new friends and build their home and life together. Angel still hasn't forged her own relationship with God, though. She leaves Michael again, but this time for what she thinks are unselfish reasons (I won't spoil it by telling you the reason she feels she is doing right by him).  

This time, however, Michael doesn't go after her. He feels that she needs to return on her own. Will she return? You have to read to find out.  

I went back and forth in this book from liking it, to thinking it was dragging, to liking it again. I understand Sarah/Angel didn't think she was worthy of love, but a lot of this book was repetitive. It could have been a lot shorter, but it really does teach a lot of lessons. Probably for me, the most important being we are all undeserving of God's is only through grace and mercy that we receive it and should be eternally grateful for that. 

Read the first chapter here: First Chapter