Folly Beach

( 193 )

Overview

Folly Beach, South Carolina, with its glistening beaches, laid-back Southern charm, and enticing Gullah tradition, is the land of Cate Cooper’s childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam freely. Now, thanks to a newly deceased husband whose financial and emotional perfidy has left her homeless and broke, she’s returning to this lovely strip of coast.

Once, another woman found comfort here: an artist, writer, and sometime colleague of the revered George Gershwin. ...

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Folly Beach

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Overview

Folly Beach, South Carolina, with its glistening beaches, laid-back Southern charm, and enticing Gullah tradition, is the land of Cate Cooper’s childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam freely. Now, thanks to a newly deceased husband whose financial and emotional perfidy has left her homeless and broke, she’s returning to this lovely strip of coast.

Once, another woman found comfort here: an artist, writer, and sometime colleague of the revered George Gershwin. With her beloved husband, DuBose, Dorothy Heyward enjoyed the greatest moments of her life at Folly. Though the Heywards are long gone, their passion and spirit linger in every ocean breeze.

To her surprise, Cate is about to discover that you can go home again, for Folly holds the possibility of unexpected fulfillment—not just the memories of the girl she was, but the promise of the woman she’s always wanted to become. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Dorothea Benton Frank's latest inviting beach read introduces us to Cate, a mid-life widow whose squandering husband bequeathed her with mountains of debt. Broke and desolate, she returns to the idyllic South Carolina seaside community that gave her many of her happiest childhood memories. Don't forget the sunscreen.

Booklist
Alternating between Cate’s personal journey of renewal and flashbacks into the lives of the Heywards, Frank’s lush and literary paean to her beloved Lowcountry provides a romantic glimpse into an artistic past.
Publishers Weekly
Frank's latest novel displays a rare talent that fans will welcome. Cate's philandering husband has died, leaving her nothing, and the entire contents of her sizable home have been repossessed. She returns to her relatives in Charleston hoping to get a grip on what has happened and on what comes next. Cate's new life with her firecracker of an aunt in the South is told primarily through hilarious and engaging dialogue with family and friends, with a smattering of seriousness along the way. The recently widowed protagonist's journey to rediscovering joy and love will thrill readers, especially with the addition of a suavely integrated story-within-a-story involving a one-woman play about the lovers who wrote Porgy and Bess. There's a certain authenticity to the lives Frank tells that will resonate with many women. Frank's telling of this talewill help readers celebrate love and sexuality after 60. (June)
St. Petersburg Times
Praise for Lowcountry Summer:Lowcountry Summer (Harper Audio) by Dorothea Benton Frank is a sequel to Plantation, with Caroline Wimbley Levine returning to Tall Pines in one of the author’s trademark warmly humorous stories; Robin Miles gives it a rich read.
Library Journal
Cate enjoyed South Carolina's Folly Beach as a child, but when she returns as an adult she's not just widowed but broke—her faithless husband wrecked their finances. Still, she slowly opens herself to the possibilities. The one-day laydown on June 14 and 250,000-copy first printing attest to the ongoing popularity of Frank's Lowcountry titles, and the ten-city tour will help. Buy multiples wherever Frank is popular.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062111739
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/27/2011
  • Series: Lowcountry Tales Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 169,775
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She divides her time between the New York area and the Lowcountry.

Biography

An author who has helped to put the South Carolina Lowcountry on the literary map, Dorothea Benton Frank hasn't always lived near the ocean, but the Sullivan's Island native has a powerful sense of connection to her birthplace. Even after marrying a New Yorker and settling in New Jersey, she returned to South Carolina regularly for visits, until her mother died and she and her siblings had to sell their family home. "It was very upsetting," she told the Raleigh News & Observer. "Suddenly, I couldn't come back and walk into my mother's house. I was grieving."

After her mother's death, writing down her memories of home was a private, therapeutic act for Frank. But as her stack of computer printouts grew, she began to try to shape them into a novel. Eventually a friend introduced her to the novelist Fern Michaels, who helped her polish her manuscript and find an agent for it.

Published in 2000, Frank's first "Lowcountry tale," Sullivan's Island made it to the New York Times bestseller list. Its quirky characters and tangled family relationships drew comparisons to the works of fellow southerners Anne Rivers Siddons and Pat Conroy (both of whom have provided blurbs for Frank's books). But while Conroy's novels are heavily angst-ridden, Frank sweetens her dysfunctional family tea with humor and a gabby, just-between-us-girls tone. To her way of thinking, there's a gap between serious literary fiction and standard beach-blanket fare that needs to be filled.

"I don't always want to read serious fiction," Frank explained to The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "But when I read fiction that's not serious, I don't want to read brain candy. Entertain me, for God's sake." Since her debut, she has faithfully followed her own advice, entertaining thousands of readers with books Pat Conroy calls "hilarious and wise" and characters Booklist describes as "sassy and smart,."

These days, Frank has a house of her own on Sullivan's Island, where she spends part of each year. "The first thing I do when I get there is take a walk on the beach," she admits. Evidently, this transplanted Lowcountry gal is staying in touch with her soul.

Good To Know

Before she started writing, Frank worked as a fashion buyer in New York City. She is also a nationally recognized volunteer fundraiser for the arts and education, and an advocate of literacy programs and women's issues.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 193 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(67)

4 Star

(45)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(29)

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Summer Read!

    Dorothea Benton Frank does it again! Her latest book tells the story of Cate Cooper, a widow whose husband left her broke, humiliated, and with a soiled piano ( you'll understand once you read it). She heads down South to Folly Beach to stay with her crotchety Aunt Daisy and Daisy's partner Ella. These two ladies were wonderfully portrayed in this book. Cate goes to live in a cottage once owned by a couple who worked with George Gershwin on one of his musicals. Each chapter starts with a vignette about Dorothy Heywood and her husband Dubose, all of which tell a sub story in itself. Cate finds the inspiration to start a new life, career, and romance on Folly Beach. I especially enjoyed her interaction with her son Russ and his obnoxious wife, Alice. As usually happens when I finish one of Ms. Benton Frank's books, I want to head for the beaches of South Carolina and soak up the south and all of its ways !

    21 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    Her newest book, Folly Beach: A Lowcountry Tale is added to my favorites. I tend to pull back from authors who write with a "cookie cutter" mentality, in an effort to pump out novels for a publishing schedule. This book is NOT one of those. Dot takes a different route with this story. It starts in New Jersey and then moves to Folly's Beach where Cate Cooper discovers the history behind a quaint little cottage. It's not time travel but the story is told with some retrospective, in the form of play. The scenes from the play start each chapter.
    I have to say, I loved this. It's so different it made me think and really absorb the story and the characters, rather than a typical beach read that I can finish in 1-2 days. There were some pieces that were written a little "light", I thought. Some areas that could have been more detailed but really didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book.

    And, as a nurse, I'm usually disappointed when there are medical references. That's an area that's usually lacking when it's not the main focus of the story, maybe lack of research. Not so in this case. Just another reason why Dot continues to win me over.

    It wasn't until after I finished Folly Beach that I actually read some reviews by other readers. I was surprised that many were disappointed by the change in how the story is told. I couldn't disagree more, it brings a freshness and helps to connect past with the present.

    If you haven't read Dorothea Benton Frank, you should. If you have, you'll love this!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2011

    Same old, same old Dorothea Benton Frank story and a guarantee to dumb yourself down within the first few pages...

    If you've read any of her other books, basically you've read this one already. I usually find her books entertaining (especially for a Summer read) even though the theme is always the same, but this time I just am bored. The dual story line is annoying, and the characters in the modern-day plot line are shallow simpletons. Also, Dorothea's prose has always been very low-level, but this time it breaks records for that. Be prepared to lose a few brain cells over this book.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not one of my favorites

    When I read the synopsis of Folly Beach, I through it sounded like a feel-good, lighthearted book. I felt like it dragged on a bit and it was difficult to get into. I'm not sure if it's the tone or the story that lacks imagination, but I was disappointed by Dorothea's latest book.

    Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    A good read

    Folly Beach is highly recommended. The best yet of the Lowcountry books by Dorothea Benton Frank.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Two summer books rolled into one!

    Cate Cooper had the life most would envy. She had a beautiful mansion, great staff to wait upon her every need, family and friends who adored her and a husband who worked hard to get everything in life he believe he deserved. Yet Addison would stop at nothing to get what he wanted, no matter who he had to climb over to get it.

    So besides the grief Cate feels when she finds Addison has committed suicide leaving behind the remnants of a sorry note, she is not ready for just how upside down her world is about to become. When women at the funeral announce they have not only been sleeping with her husband, some wonder who will provide for the children they had with Addison. She also learns that everything in her life will be taken from her leaving her with only her children and friends she can rely on.

    Losing her home and everything in it, she agrees to move to Folly Beach to help her Aunt Daisy take care of some rental properties. She begins to restore her life as she stays in a home called Porgy which her aunt has named after the Heywards, who apparently stayed in the home during their lifetime while writing Porgy and Bess. It's through her time here that Cate begins to learn more about herself and the life she has left behind.

    In the book, Folly Beach by Dorothy Benton Frank, the reader is delighted to a play woven into a fiction story. Part of the book involved a play involving Dorothy and DuBose living in their home in Folly Beach from their time as playwrites and actors from the 1920's and 30's. This play will eventually be something that Cate will write after spending time in the home and researching the characters of the Heywards while trying to get her own life right again. So what the reader is getting is a foreshadowing of Cate's future life as she uncovers more about the life of the Heywards.

    I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and LOVED it once I got the hang of how the story was woven together. I truly felt for the character of Cate who was dealt an unfortunate hand in losing her husband and in learning what a dual life he lived. This book is a great summer read and rates a 5 out of 5 stars. I love the duality that you get in a sense of having two books in one.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Historic LowCountry

    A novel of loss, acceptance, family and love. Another Lowcountry charmer where a woman returns to Folly beach to find her future after losing everything (even her husband’s suicide), where she finds love, romance, and family. Folly Beach holds more than just memories as she finds once upon a time another woman found unexpected bliss and comfort and she writes a play to recapture this time. Full of southern charm, cocktails, and humor. As usual the audio was entertaining; however, did not enjoy the novel as much as Frank’s other books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    I have read just almost all of Ms. Franks books and this was my

    I have read just almost all of Ms. Franks books and this was my least favorite. I love the setting for the books, the Low Country, because we had a home on Hilton Head Island for years and have been to Sullivan's Island, etc. However, the story line was much weaker than her other books.
    The other thing that bothered me was that after all these years she has decided to make political comments regarding politicians, which had no connection at all to the story. I don't really care what your political affiliations are. This seems to be a new phenomenon among authors and I don't appreciate it. We're bombarded all day with politics and I read as an escape. I think I'm done with this author's books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    Not her best book

    I've read most of her books -- some I've liked better than others. Folly Beach isn't one of her best. I enjoyed the story about the Heywards -- plan to do more reading about them and the Renaissance -- that saved the book for me. Figured out what the second story was as soon as Porgy House was mentioned -- not sure why other readers were confused or bored by this story. Didn't like Cate's story as much as I would have liked to as, to quote anoter reviewer, the characters were shallow simpletons. They weren't entirely that way but were more than they should have been. Some things just didn't ring true and one place near the end seemed to be missing something -- like a sentence to lead into it. I may be through with her books. Always considered them enjoyable higher-class beach reading/chick lit but this one and last few have not lived up to the first couple of books. I'm surprised so many people have given it great reviews.

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    The fiercest thing in the world is a woman’s strength. F


    The fiercest thing in the world is a woman’s strength.

    Fate brought Cate back to Folly Beach because of a vicious betrayal, a betrayal that left her with absolutely nothing, by the weakest and callous husband that she loved maybe once a long time ago. She could have just curled up fetal and died of depression. But her family helped her through and gave her even more strength to move forward through her life, to find love again, and finally find what she really loved to do, to write.

    Frank writes a character that is precious in Aunt Daisy, a true spitfire that raised Cate and made her the woman that she is finally allowing herself to be.

    Women all know that there’s a little bit of Cate’s strength in all of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    Excellent!!! Read

    I really love this author and each one of her books make me feel like I am on vacation at the beach. This one in particular was different and kept my interest. I actually would love to see these characters in future books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

    Good story. I highly recommend this author. She always writes a good story. Makes me want to go live in the low country.

    Dorothea Benton Frank again writes a wonderful story full of life and love in the low country. I love to read her books. Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    She's Back!!

    Though she's one of my favorite authors,I've been disappointed in a few of her books recently. Well, she's back.... I loved this book - perfect summer read - a 'feel good' kinda read. This, for me, was a fun story with just the right amount of southern charm. Couldn't wait to pick it up and didn't want to put it down. Life is serious enough - sometimes you just need a happy ending:)

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Enjoyable read

    I am a big DBF fan and while this was probably not my favorite one of her books- I still enjoyed it. I found the dual storylines with the chapters to be a little clunky and did not flow together or make sense at the beginning but one I got into the story then I figured it out. I loved the Cate character- and must admit that the 1 few chapters about what her late husband did to her made me gasp! (in a good way!) Overall a very enjoyable story and good way to spend a couple of hours.. It made me want to go visit Folly Beach again.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Not my favorite :(

    I preordered this book and was looking forward to reading it because she is one of my favorite authors and I love reading anything that takes place in our beautiful Lowcountry in SC almost as much as I love going there. But just like some of the other reviewers, I didn't like how it switched back and forth between Cate and her present life and with the past and the Heywards. It didn't hold my interest in the beginning...I supposed because I was somewhat confused as to why it was written this way and made for slow reading. After I figured out where she was going with this, I still just didn't get that "Ah ha!", but I was able to find it a little more interesting. I did, however, like the whole story about Cate from beginning to end. I just wish there had been more written about some of the things in Cate's life. It seemed that as the last several chapters about Cate were written, it was hurriedly wrapped up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2011

    A disappointment

    Not the caliber of her other works, could not wait to finish reading this.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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