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Porch Lights: A Novel by Dorothea Benton…

Porch Lights: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Dorothea Benton Frank

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3232034,306 (3.4)9
Title:Porch Lights: A Novel
Authors:Dorothea Benton Frank
Info:William Morrow (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Review Books To Read
Tags:2012 Review Copy, Review Copy(Harper Collins), Women's Fiction

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Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank



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I needed a light hearted read and I did not know Dorothea Benton Frank. The name alone drew enough interest then add it takes place mainly in a beach house called The Salty Dog. With a spunky 58 year old Southern Lady and her tangled family dynamics revolving around her 10 year grandson and a husband who has been "fishin" for 11 years well......you just gotta know what takes place under those Porch Lights! I'll be reading more DBF when I need more light reads. ( )
  BONS | Feb 15, 2017 |
My husband and I listened to this audio book on a trip and both enjoyed the gentle, sometimes sassy humor and the story. The reader was very good, which adds life to a story. A fractured, charming family comes together at a beach house that's been in the family a long time. A set of older parents, a newly bereaved daughter, her son, and various friends and other characters reveal what is going on in their lives. It's complicated, just like real life. You'll recognize people you know here. Charming is the word that comes to mind most often. Stuff happens. Precious details dot the book. This isn't my husband's type of book at all, so it's worth noting that he liked it, too.

( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
This was my first Dorothea Benton Frank novel. I didn't have very high expectations and thought it would be extremely saccharine, but it was a pleasant surprise. The relationship between Jackie and her mother, Annie, was written well. The grief of young Charlie for his recently killed father was poignant. Charlie could have been written a bit more precocious. I liked the friendship between Annie and Deb, and between Annie and Buster, their easy humor together was fun. Annie's reflections on getting older were humorous and interesting. I also liked the colloquialisms used by the family, although I have read reviews on here that dispute their accuracy. I enjoyed the atmosphere of Sullivan's Island as another character fleshed out in this book. The neighborly and slow-paced seaside way of life I found very appealing. I didn't really buy into the connection made between Jackie and the eligible neighbor, Steve. I found Jackie to be emotionally unavailable. I do not know whether this was intentional or not. This became a believability problem later on in tying up the story into a neat bow. The side story of Jackie's reflections on her tour of Afghanistan were too superficial and brief to be useful to the plot. It seemed like an afterthought that did not jive with the rest of the story. As others have said, the ending after the climax was not well thought out and too swift and tidy to be believable.
Would I recommend this novel? Well, if someone asked for an easy, gentle read of family life in an oceanside community. Yes! This author does not intend to soar to great literary heights here. I find it annoying when reviewers criticize a book of this genre for lack of content. The same as walking into a hometown diner and expecting a gourmet meal. You're the one being silly. Sometimes I just want a positive book for escape where I don't have to think too hard. This book doesn't pretend to be anything else.
Would I read this author again? Yes, with reservations. I gave it four stars compared with others of its genre. From viewing the covers, and reading some synopses from other works of DBF, they all seem to have the same setting and formula, so I would not read them back to back. I would probably read another, late this summer or next summer. A beach read that is easy to put down and pick up again.
( )
  Likeitorlumpit | Dec 3, 2016 |
Enjoyable audiobook. Well written and kept the reader's attention. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
This was a thoroughly enjoyable story of a family and how they resolve some life issues. I enjoyed the setting of Sullivan's Island, getting to know a little about Edgar Allen Poe, and most of all the wonderful way the author had of making her characters real. I relate well to many elements of the family. ( )
  rwilliams2911 | Jun 21, 2016 |
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When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman with the NYFD, is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and ten-year-old son, Charlie, are devastated. Charlie idolized his dad, and now the outgoing, curious boy has become quiet and reserved. Trusting in the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivans Island. Crossing the bridge from the mainland, Jackie and Charlie enter a world full of wonder and magic--lush green and chocolate grasslands and dazzling red, orange, and magenta evening skies; the heady pungency of Lowcountry Pluff mud and fresh seafood on the grill; bare toes snuggled in warm sand and palmetto fronds swaying in gentle ocean winds.… (more)

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