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 soirees 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-a-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.
My thoughts...I haven't read a Dorothea Benton Frank novel before, but I love a great beach read and her books always look appealing. I knew The Hurricane Sisters was going to deal with a tougher topic than maybe some of her other books. Not a big deal to me because I enjoy heavier reading as well.
The novel is told in alternating voices of Ashley, Liz and Maisie. I love generational stories. There is the sweet relationship between grandmother/granddaughter and difficult relationships between mother(s)/daughter. The potential was there. The characters just didn't draw me into the story. They lacked a certain amount of depth.
Overall, I had expected the style of writing to be a bit more polished. The dialog in most of the novel seemed rather immature and choppy. I found the constant use of exclamation points and question marks a bit distracting.
On a more positive note, the story line of the novel ties everything together near the end. I always love learning the missing piece to a puzzle. The ending was an empowering and uplifting end to a sad group of characters. If I'm going to be honest, I was very disappointed in this novel. I had really high hopes. Will I run out and read other novels by Ms. Frank...I will definitely try some of her earlier books. An author should never be ruled out because one book was less than what the audience expected.
New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She is the author of many New York Times bestselling novels, including Lowcountry Summer and Return to Sullivans Island. She resides in the New York area with her husband.
Tuesday, April 7th: The Discerning Reader
Wednesday, April 8th: The man thoughts of a reader
Thursday, April 9th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, April 10th: Books and Bindings
Monday, April 13th: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, April 14th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, April 15th: Bookshelf Fantasies
Thursday, April 16th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, April 20th: Books in the Burbs
Tuesday, April 21st: Bibliotica
Wednesday, April 22nd: Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, April 23rd: A Novel Review
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