Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TLC BLOG TOUR: The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank

I was afraid I wasn't going to have time to finish this before today since I'd promised the publisher I'd do a Blog Tour Post.  I had several travel trips planned, including my son's wedding in Virginia last week, and I didn't foresee too much free time for reading.  I don't usually pack real books anymore when I travel, relying instead on my new tablet which allows me to read both my NOOK and my Kindle books, and all my Net galley ARCs etc., but I took this hardback along and crossed my fingers that I'd somehow be able to finish it.

Anyway, I realized I had several hours of free time each morning of the trip since all the activities were in the evening, and I settled down to read at least enough to be able to write some kind of review.  Let me tell you.....once I got started, I did not want to put this down.  If it hadn't been my own son's wedding, I'd have probably skipped all the activity and snuggled down into the comfortable hotel room bed to read.  I finished it in one day!

Dorothea Benton Frank has always been a favorite author who is showing an increasing maturity in character development and story line, and who continues to give us a wonderful sense of place as she brings her sense of humor, propriety, and world view to a marvelous cast of southern women dealing with very modern day problems.  Here's what the publisher tells us:
 Beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank once again takes us deep in the heart of the magical Lowcountry—a sultry land of ancient magic, glorious sunsets, and soothing coastal breezes, where three generations of strong women wrestle with the expectations of family while struggling to understand their complicated relationships with each other.

Best friends since the first day of classes at The College of Charleston, Ashley Anne Waters and Mary Beth Smythe, now 23 years old, live in Ashley’s parents’ beach house rent-free. Ashley is a gallery assistant who aspires to become an artist. Mary Beth, a gifted cook from Tennessee, works for a caterer while searching for a good teaching job. Though they both know what they want out of life, their parents barely support their dreams and worry for their precarious finances.

While they don’t make much money, the girls do have a million-dollar view that comes with living in that fabulous house on Sullivans Island. Sipping wine on the porch and watching a blood-red sunset, Ashley and Mary Beth hit on a brilliant and lucrative idea. With a new coat of paint, the first floor would be a perfect place for soireés for paying guests. Knowing her parents would be horrified at the idea of common strangers trampling through their home, Ashley won’t tell them. Besides, Clayton and Liz Waters have enough problems of their own.

A successful investment banker, Clayton is too often found in his pied-à-terre in Manhattan—which Liz is sure he uses to have an affair. And when will Ashley and her brother, Ivy, a gay man with a very wealthy and very Asian life partner—ever grow up? Then there is Maisie, Liz’s mother, the family matriarch who has just turned eighty, who never lets Liz forget that she’s not her perfect dead sister, Juliet.

For these Lowcountry women, an emotional hurricane is about to blow through their lives, wreaking havoc that will test them in unexpected ways, ultimately transforming the bonds they share.
It took me a while to connect the title to the story, but Benton Frank does a good job of tying up that loose end for the reader.  She also gives us a totally obnoxious politician to provide lots of angst for several of the woman.  He's a villain we love to hate.  Trust me, this dude's BAD.  Hurricane Sisters is not only a great summer read, but the subject matter, which develops slowly as it marches to an inexorable ending makes it a must read for women hoping to find relavance in today's world, not just the South.

Read the opening pages of this southern classic on Dottie's web page.

About the author:  From her webpage:
Her first novel, SULLIVANS ISLAND (Berkley Publishing 2000) debuted on the NY Times list at number nine and went back to press over twenty five times, has well over one million copies in print and can be found in ten foreign languages. Her subsequent novels PLANTATION (Berkley 2002), ISLE OF PALMS (Berkley 2003), SHEM CREEK (Berkley 2004), PAWLEYS ISLAND (Berkley 2005), FULL OF GRACE (Wm. Morrow 2006), BULLS ISLAND (Wm. Morrow 2007), THE CHRISTMAS PEARL and LAND OF MANGO SUNSETS (Wm. Morrow 2008), LOWCOUNTRY SUMMER (Wm. Morrow 2009), RETURN TO SULLIVANS ISLAND (Wm. Morrow 2010), FOLLY BEACH (Wm. Morrow 2011), PORCH LIGHTS (Wm. Morrow 2012), THE LAST ORIGINAL WIFE (Wm. Morrow 2013) were all NY Times bestsellers and may also be found in various foreign languages.

Dorothea tells us about the book here
She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The College of Charleston and a Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bloomfield College.
Ms. Frank is an avid cook, enjoys fly fishing, reading and travel and is a frequent speaker on the creative process for students of all ages. She divides her time between the Lowcountry of South Carolina and New Jersey.

Title: The Hurricane Sisters
Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Publisher:William Morrow (2014), Hardcover, 336 pages
Genre: Fiction
Subject: Generational relationships
Setting: Low Country South Carolina
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Why did I read this book now? I was asked to provide a review.

My thanks to Trish Collins of TLC Blog Tours for the review copy and the chance to participate.


  1. I'm so glad you found time to read and that you ended up really enjoying this one! Thanks for being on the tour.

  2. I'd love to get hold of this one. Sounds very good

  3. nice book as told by my uncle... if i get time then will read it for sure....


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