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The Hurricane Sisters

( 47 )

Overview

Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.

Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, ...

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The Hurricane Sisters

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Overview

Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.

Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.

Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can't talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.

Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.

So where is Clayton, Liz's husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father's love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who's an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley's precarious situation. Who's in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.

The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In her latest Lowcountry novel, Dorothea Benton Frank immerses us in the intertwined lives of two young Southern belles. Mary Beth Smythe and Ashley Anne Waters are enjoying a season of rent-free leisure in Ashley's parents' Sullivans Island beach house. In a sunny wine-fueled reverie, the pair hit on a bright (and lucrative) idea: Why not fix up the house and take in a border or two? Their entrepreneurial brainstorm has, of course, intergenerational complications, but for the time being at least, Ashley's parents are entangled in problems of their own. Just the refreshing novel that we've come to expect from the Queen of Summer Reads.

Library Journal
06/01/2014
Take a trip down to the Carolina Low Country in Frank's (Sullivan's Island) latest novel, featuring three generations of women and their experiences with love, trust, and the unbreakable bond of family. Ashley is in her mid-20s, struggling to explore her passion as an artist while remaining afloat financially through an illegal business venture. Her mother, Liz, is so busy helping abused women and children that she cannot face the reality that her marriage is crumbling and her son is gay. Grandma Maisie, a spit-and-vinegar octogenarian, moves in with a younger man and sets the family's world on fire with her hard-earned wisdom and wit. But when Ashley gets involved with an aggressive politician, the family must ditch the drama and rally to keep her safe. VERDICT With a host of subplots and constant foreshadowing, this multigenerational title falls somewhat short. While it would serve as a quick summer read and does include valuable information about domestic violence, the rotating point-of-view narrative style results in a lack of depth and leaves the reader wanting more. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/14.]—Chelsie Harris, San Diego Cty. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062132529
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 8,276
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothea Benton Frank

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
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2014

    Another stellar tome!

    (I received this book from a GoodReads/First Reads giveaway, and I thank the author and publisher for their generosity. This in no way influenced my opinion, which is ,as always, 100% mine)

    I will never regret being hit in the head by a falling copy of Sullivans Island a couple of decades ago. With that, I was catapulted into the low country world of Dorthy Benton Frank. And her latest work lives up to her reputation.

    Another fun look at a multi-generational family full of lies,secrets and innuendo balanced with love, generosity and characters you either want to kick to the curb or promote as saints.

    Ashley and Ivy, the two children of Liz and Clayton, their proverbial loves, losses, wins and paradoxical lives. On the Barrier Islands, it is an adventure living in Hurricane Alley, but those who do, love the tumult and the quiet of being off the beaten path. Their homes may be stable, but their lives, for good or for I'll, may be as roiling as the ocean right outside their doors

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    Hurricane sisters

    Love love loved this book!!"

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    Another great one

    Dorthea Benton Frank delivers another great read!!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    Feel like this one was phoned in. Little or no character develop

    Feel like this one was phoned in. Little or no character development, stilted dialogue, and very little plot. Very disappointing. I have read all of her books, and loved them for many years. Feels like she has lost her passion. I sincerely hope not.  She has given me many hours of reading enjoyment. However, this time I kept looking at the page numbers wondering how much longer it was going to take for me to get through this book. Hoping for better next time.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Always lots of laughs with the sassy southern gals!

    As always, Dorothea Benton Frank keeps you laughing for hours; combined with hilarious narrator, Robin Miles—what a dynamic duo! (I always buy the audiobook, when Robin is reading)!

    The one liners, the sarcasm, and wit ---priceless! These sassy, classy, crazy, smart, and charming Lowcountry Southern ladies, find their way through some tough storms of life, for the ultimate lazy summer day read--- keeping you smiling, engaged, and satisfied.

    Having read twelve of Frank’s novels, The Hurricane Sisters does not disappoint. The girls are back, this time around, featuring two younger Southern belles.

    Faithful fans, do not panic, the mom and grandmother are still in the mix, with their wise cracks, wisdom, gin and tonic, entertaining tidbits, and lots of mischief.

    Ashley Ann Waters (mid-20s) and Mary Beth Smythe are enjoying a season rent-free leisure in Ashley’s parent’s Sullivan beach home with a view to die for. One problem – they need money. 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 they both need income.

    Meanwhile, their parents and grandmother have issues of their own. There is trouble brewing with Ashley’s dad Clayton. Clayton is a very successful and wealthy investment banker. He has a pied-a-terre in Manhattan and up to no good with another woman.

    Liz (Ashley’s mom), is busy raising funds for her non-profit business, helping women from abusive men and domestic violence---protecting them with shelters, counseling, safe houses, and other resources. However, she suspects Clayton is up to something, and begins a plan to reel him back in. Has she been blind to all the clues?

    It would not be a party without Liz’s mom (Ashley’s grandmother), Maisie – the family matriarch, who has just turned eighty and is dating a younger man (her driver and owner of a llama farm)—they announce to the family at dinner, they have just moved in together. Let the fun begin!

    During the summer, Ashley begins dating the local Senator; however, she suspects he has issues. Good-looking and charming; however, he is not as he appears—so controlling. What will Ashley tolerate in order to catch this politician?

    Abuse and domestic violence--ongoing theme throughout the novel—Ashley/Senator, Mary Beth’s dad, Juliet’s former relationship, and the reason Liz is so focused on helping these victims.

    Will this family get back to the way they were before the death of Liz’s dead sister, Juliet, and weather the storm in the charming southern Lowcountry?

    As long as these belles have their cocktails, gourmet meals, pearls, and gloves, and make a good show of it -–they will pull it off!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    This book about Author's cause..

    I, as a rule really like this authors work.
    I was anticipating her latest book.
    But, she was writing about a cause that meant a lot to her,
    Not to me.. I didn't find it a good read.
    Very disappointed..

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2014

    Not up to this author's standard. Seemrd thrown together. Charac

    Not up to this author's standard. Seemrd thrown together. Character development poor. Story line muddled. Ending somewhat  too "happily ever after", and rushed. When I read one of Dot's books I start slowing down for last 50 pages not wanting it to end. I couldn't wait for this to be over. Loved her other books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    I had never read any books by this offer and, based on some of t

    I had never read any books by this offer and, based on some of these reviews, will probably try one of her others. I didn't like this book. It had promise, but it almost seemed like the domestic violence theme was an afterthought - coming in late in the story and then becoming the story. The bit about the dead sister Juliet was really out of left field - almost like the author decided at the last minute that would be the fate of the dead sister. It just seemed very contrived. Liked the llamas, though!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Anonymous

    Horrible book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Not worth the price

    So disappointed in this book. The book's premise and characters had potential but she couldn't make it come alive. Flat, uninteresting characters. Predictable storyline. Dialogue unrealistic. I just got aggravated reading it because it was so poorly crafted. How did this get published!?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2014

    The Problems are Hidden Dorothy Benton Frank writes novels

    The Problems are Hidden Dorothy Benton Frank writes novels primarily set in the Low Country of South Carolina, usually around Charleston. Typically, they are interesting and enjoyable stories. This novel, The Hurricane Sisters A Novel, touches on many social problems through several different characters. The writer has ingeniously infused the characters with problems, all of which lead to the surprising conclusion. The book begins slowly, but when the “family secrets” begin to be revealed, the story picks up and begins to move along. I do not recommend this book to young people. In my opinion, it touches on problems about which young people need not be reading. Unfortunately, many young people have seen these problems all too often. Frank, through this book, seeks to help with these issues and try to put an end to them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    hurricane sisters

    Excellent lowcountry story. it does include some real life information that does make a difference.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    You can always count on Dorothea Benton Frank to deliver a terri

    You can always count on Dorothea Benton Frank to deliver a terrific summer read to hunker down with on the beach. Her contribution this year is The Hurricane Sisters, which once again features a gorgeous cover.
    We meet eighty-year-old Maisie Pringle, celebrating her birthday with her driver-turned-boyfriend Skipper, who is a much younger (65!) man. He and Maisie are very happy together, much to the chagrin of Maisie's daughter Liz, who at first glance is kind of a stick-in-the-mud.
    Liz's twenty-something daughter Ashley lives in the family's somewhat rundown beach house on an island off of Charleston, South Carolina. Ashley works in an art gallery for ten dollars an hour and aspires to be an artist and visit Rome, Paris and New York. Her college friend Mary Beth can't find a teaching job, so she works for a caterer and lives with Ashley.
    Liz is married to Clayton, who works in finance and spends most of his week in New York City. They also have a son, Clayton, called Ivy because he is Clayton IV in the family. Ivy lives in San Francisco with his business and life partner James, and though his parents had a difficult time with the fact that he is gay (they sent him to a conversion camp when he was a teen), they all seem to have made their way back to each other.
    Ashley has a crush on a state senator, Porter, who is a bit John Edwards/John Kennedy-ish. She dreams of being his Jackie Kennedy, and when she meets him at an event and they start dating, it seems that her dreams may come true.
    But Porter proves to be very controlling. He tells Ashley how to speak, how to act, and is generally very critical of her. Mary Beth and Maisie warn Ashley about Porter, but Ashley makes excuses for his behavior. When one of Porter's ex-girlfriend's tries to warn Ashley, she chalks it up to jealousy until the situation worsens.
    Frank tackles the issue of domestic violence here, in a manner that may surprise people. South Carolina has the highest rate of women murdered by their husband/boyfriend, and Frank shows us how insidious domestic violence can be.
    It doesn't just happen to women who are trapped, have children to support and nowhere to turn. It can happen to an intelligent, educated woman from a good family who should know better because her mother works for a domestic violence program. Frank definitely gives the reader something to think deeply about, and even offers the reader a way to help at the end of the book.
    Of course, she still has her fabulous sense of Southern humor. I cackle at her one-liners, like this one from Liz, who says "Let me tell you, my friend, the gene pool is a mighty big place and like they say, there's literally no lifeguard."
    Frank also again has an interesting take on marriage, and how difficult it can be and how much care you must take to stay connected, like she did in her last book, The Last Original Wife.  And again, I got lots of great restaurant suggestion for my Charleston Pinterest board.
    There is so much in this fantastic book, told from the alternating perspectives of Maisie, Liz, Ashley and Clayton, that I would love to read a prequel, telling us more about Maisie, Liz and Liz's sister Juliet who died young. I feel there is an amazing story there as well.
    The only problem with my Dorothea Benton Frank novels is that they all have sunscreen on the pages from turning them so quickly.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2014

    A great read!

    I have read all of Dorothea Benton Frank's books and have never been disappointed. Once again, the setting is the Outer Banks, an area I love as a setting. The Hurricane Sisters is a great addition!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2014

    Great book. My mother and I read it together and neither of us could put it down

    I have loved Dorothea Benton Frank's writing style and choice location for years, thanks for not disappointing, this was a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Good Sumer read

    Frank at her best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2014

    Good book

    Easy read. Well written. Good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    Hooked on my nook

    Great book cant say enough about it It touches on a subject that needs more support and funding Bravo Ms Frank for shedding light on a topic still hiden in the shadows Could put this book down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    great book

    i have enjoyed all her books would recommed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    Good book, nice read.

    Although I enjoyed the book, I did not think it was up to Ms. Frank's usual high standards and that was a disappointment.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews

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