Folly Beach

Folly Beach

3.5 185
by Dorothea Benton Frank

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Folly Beach, South Carolina, with its glistening beaches, laidback 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.


Folly Beach, South Carolina, with its glistening beaches, laidback 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, the genius behind "Porgy and Bess." 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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 6.62(h) x 1.12(d)

Meet the Author

Bestselling author DOROTHEA BENTON FRANK was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She and her husband divide their time between South Carolina and New Jersey. Please visit her website at and join her on Facebook.

Brief Biography

New Jersey and Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
Place of Birth:
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina

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Folly Beach 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 185 reviews.
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
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 !
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book! It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours. Very ideal for the hot summer days!
PaulineMA More than 1 year ago
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!
Brenda Campbell More than 1 year ago
I purchsed this book before it was released as I truly have loved all her books. This book does not come close to her other books. I cannot recommend it to my friends. I will anxiously await anther book and hope it is more like her previous books. July 2, 2011
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got to about the middle of this book and finally gave up, something that I rarely do. Sorry, I'm really a fan of Dorothea's books, but not this one.
lhutch More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that I've read by this author and I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. It starts off quickly with her husband's suicide and then turns into a total sleeper. I'm all for the build up of a story but at least throw us a bone to keep us turning the pages! My advice is save your money and skip this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thete just wasn't enough spice to keep me interested in this book. I read about halfway through and put it away.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jac2848- did not like nook sample (47 pgs). Starts off w play, then about how selfish & ungrateful her husband was and his suicide.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Folly Beach is highly recommended. The best yet of the Lowcountry books by Dorothea Benton Frank.
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Great story!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good story and held my interest. A quick read for a summer day.
LowcountryGrl More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. BEing from the Lowcountry, I knew exactly where and what she was talking about. I now want to go out and look for all the places that were in the book.
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quaintinns More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Dorathea's work, the characters come to life but this one was not my favorite. I did not care to jump back and forth on the play write chapters. Truthfully I skipped those parts and got all the information I needed from the present day story line.