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Pawleys Island : a Lowcountry tale (edition 2005)

by Dorothea Benton Frank

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Member:aerobama
Title:Pawleys Island : a Lowcountry tale
Authors:Dorothea Benton Frank
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Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:rbcl, Charleston, South Carolina, Pawley's Island, Lowcountry, southern author, romance, friendship, relationships, Lowcountry Tales, kdr

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Pawleys Island by Dorothea Benton Frank

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I think of Dorothea Benton Frank as the little sister of Anne Rivers Siddons and Pat Conroy, my two favorite SC low country writers. Frank's books are more chick lit and less emotional baggage, more beach read and less "serious literature." Still, her stories usually keep me entertained. She has a feel for the dialogue and dialect of the South, and spins comfortable tales with happy endings.

In Pawleys Island we meet "matrimonial lawyer" Abigail Thurmond, who has given up her law practice and moved back to her childhood home on Pawleys Island to deal with the grief of losing her son and husband in a short period of time. Her best friend is Huey Valentine, a gay man who runs the local art gallery. Both Huey and Abigail come from money, inherited money, and earn plenty of money, and between them they don't even have a goldfish to demand that they spend their money on anything but themselves.

Along comes Rebecca Simms, who has escaped to Pawleys Island after losing her home and children to her cad of a husband. Abigail and Huey fly to the rescue. Huey gives Rebecca a job and Abigail swings back into attorney mode to represent Rebecca pro bono and give the scallywag of a husband the licking he deserves.

There is little drama in the story. No surprise skeletons in Rebecca's closet. No heinously unjust court ruling. Just the story of how the friends rally around Rebecca and set her world right.

I don't think I was in the mood to read about people who never have to worry about money. Even Rebecca, who had been tossed out of her own home, ends up with a fat bank account. I know wealthy people can have heartache and troubles too, but if you took Rebecca's plight and added the likely more realistic plot point of having no money and no fairy godmother of a lawyer, it would be a very different story.

This one was readable and the characters were likeable, but there was no depth to character or plot. Nice weekend beach read but not Frank's best and certainly not on par with even Siddons's worst. ( )
  glade1 | Apr 26, 2014 |
Wonderful! Dorothea is a terrific story teller. I just recently relocated to the "Lowcountry" from Northern Virginia and was introduced to her books. No matter where you live, her stories are a must read. I am on a quest to read them all. ( )
  ava-st-claire | Feb 21, 2014 |
Another wonderful lowcountry read by Frank. I love her characters, and especially revel in her descriptions of the oceanside life. ( )
  wareagle78 | Jan 26, 2014 |
My blog post about this book is at this link . ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
(16 Aug 2011)

Sprung upon in a charity shop because I have read another of her South Carolina novels, but a “meh” read. Two old friends on an island have their quiet lives interrupted by the new girl in town, fleeing from an unpleasant husband and her uncaring children. Will Abigail dust off her law qualifications and come to the rescue? We are meant to identify with the characters early on and root for them, but I couldn’t really involve myself with them. Frank seems to love her characters a bit too much and the divorce story just wasn’t that hugely interesting to me. Good atmospheric scenery though. ( )
  LyzzyBee | Feb 26, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
TANGLED

We return to hear the waves
rolling onto the beach
one after the other
connecting us like blood.

We were listening long
before we came here,
remembering wind
spinning salt
through interrupted sunlight.

This is a place
where dreams return
as fish bones
tangled in seaweed.

Whatever sorrows come
are folded into the sea,
rinsed clean and kept--
unbearable secrets.

--Marjory Heath Wentworth
South Carolina Poet Laureate
Dedication
First words
People have secrets.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425212386, Paperback)

With characteristic humor and a full cast of eccentric and wonderfully lovable characters, Dorothea Benton Frank delivers a refreshingly honest and funny novel about an artist who suddenly enters the complacent lives of several Lowcountry locals - and turns them upside down. It's a twist-filled tale of friendship, family, and finding happiness by becoming who you are meant to be.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:43 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Hoping to sell some of her watercolors, Becca Sims wanders into the seaside Gallery Valentine, never expecting that her life will be transformed by the gallery owner and his best friend, in a novel set in small-town South Carolina.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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