24 June 2014

Today's Read: The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank

What if you were sandwiched between your 80-year-old headstrong mother and your misdirected twenty-something daughter? This is Liz Waters's situation; she's not only juggling her own marriage and career but is worried about her mother's crazy ideas, her son's unconventional (read: gay) lifestyle, and her daughter's impractical dreams (to be an artist). The books opens near the end; here are Liz's words:

My husband, Clayton, and I were at the police station getting my mother, Massie, out of jail for brushing up against the wrong side of the law. Her actual charges were still unclear. She claims it is not against any law in the state of South Carolina to take a llama for a walk on the open road. He was, after all, on a leash. . . . So I sat and waited while Clayton made things right between the Town of Mount Pleasant and Maisie by writing a check
The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank (HarperCollins / William Morrow, 2014, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: the South Carolina Lowcountry; modern times
  • Circumstances: Three generations of stubborn, independent women face different problems but must somehow come together to find a way to forgive and move forward
  • Characters: Liz; her husband, Clayton; her mother, Massie; her daughter, Ashley; and her son, Ivy; townspeople; politicians; friends
  • Genre: contemporary adult fiction; smart beach reading
  • What I think about Frank's work: I've said it here before, I love Frank's perspective on women of a certain age and the problems they (we) face; her novels are funny, sharp, and light but also deal with real-life situations
  • Thoughts on this novel so far: I love that the story is told from alternating viewpoints; Liz, Massie, Clayton, and Ashley all get their say; I'm only a quarter of the way through but I think Frank is on the top of her game with this one
  • Themes (so far): family, marriage, parenthood, sandwich generation; love, dreams, following your passions
  • Extra: I guess I should disclose that I've met Dottie a couple of times and I just love her.
  • Audiobook: I'm listening to the unabridged audiobook (Harper Audio; 10 hr, 26 min). I'm a Yankee so I have no clue about the various southern accents, but I love Robin Miles's reading: I like her accent and she gets the humor, the sarcasm, and the sass and keeps her characterizations (male and female) consistent and believable.
If you're interested in the audiobook, or just want to hear a bit from chapter 1 (the teaser is from the prologue), click on the play button:


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 6/24/14, 6:48 AM  

I like that intro a lot. It sounds like a good summer choice overall.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide 6/24/14, 7:20 AM  

Great teaser.

rhapsodyinbooks 6/24/14, 7:22 AM  

I have to admit I have yet to read a book by this author, but maybe I should change that (you had me at "women of a certain age....")

Anonymous,  6/24/14, 7:43 AM  

Quite like the opening and the sound of this one. Read on!

JoAnn 6/24/14, 7:44 AM  

I like that intro... sounds like a good summer read!

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 6/24/14, 7:59 AM  

Haha! Great intro and I have such a soft spot for eccentric Southerners, especially Charlestonians...that city produces some good eccentrics! Frank writes some great beach reads!

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 6/24/14, 8:40 AM  

Nice choice. This one is on my summer reading list. I met the author and got a signed copy of the book at BEA.

My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2014/06/first-chapter-first-paragraph-66-and.html

Kim@Time2Read 6/24/14, 8:43 AM  

I just reviewed this one earlier this month! Great summer read!
Today I'm featuring 'Elizabeth is Missing' by Emma Healey.

Daryl 6/24/14, 9:41 AM  

you have my interest tweaked

Laurel-Rain Snow 6/24/14, 10:30 AM  

I discovered Frank's books this past year, and I'm now a fan. This one is on my list. Thanks for sharing...looking forward to it!

Here's mine: “SHE CAN HIDE”

Anonymous,  6/24/14, 11:31 AM  

It's on my wishlist so I hope to pick it up soon. I love the idea of a multi-generational tale. Sounds great, thanks!

Stacy at The Novel Life 6/24/14, 11:45 AM  

I was so interested to read your review - I just posted mine today & while I didn't love it I do very much adore the author! Hope you enjoy it!

Tea 6/24/14, 11:47 AM  

You can't go wrong with Dorothea Benton Frank.

Yvonne 6/24/14, 12:35 PM  

I have this one on my list to read. It sounds good.

Heather 6/24/14, 1:14 PM  

Sounds like a good summer read! Mine: Clobbered by Camembert

Carol 6/24/14, 1:38 PM  

I definitely need to pick this up and audio sounds like the perfect option.

Udita Banerjee 6/24/14, 1:52 PM  

Haha, hilarious!

Sandra Nachlinger 6/24/14, 3:14 PM  

This sounds like the book for me! I'm already loving the 80-year-old grandmother who's walking a llama on a leash.
My Teaser is from NOT THE MARRYING KIND.

Anonymous,  6/24/14, 3:29 PM  

Good intro!

Unknown 6/24/14, 3:30 PM  

Your teaser cracked me up! This book is getting added to my TBR pile! This week I'm teasing ACID by Emma Pass.

Nise' 6/24/14, 5:31 PM  

I love how she write women of my age too! Looking forward to this book.

Shelley Munro 6/24/14, 5:50 PM  

This sounds like fun, and I loved the teaser. Isn't a llama just another dog under these circumstances? Thanks for stopping by.

Margot 6/24/14, 7:54 PM  

I like the way you set this up. Your "what if" question hit close to hom. I do remember being sandwiched between my children's needs and my mother's. This book sounds like they didn't give it a quick snappy look. At least I hope it ends on a quality note.

Literary Feline 6/24/14, 8:15 PM  

I really need to give this author a try. This one sounds good.

Paulita 6/24/14, 9:48 PM  

This sounds like fun. I love zany southern characters like the mother. Throw in the South Carolina low country and it's bound to be a hit. I'd keep reading. Here's Mine

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/25/14, 10:23 AM  

I love Dottie's books too! I like how you get a real feel for the Charleston area, and I always come away with a list of new places to visit in Charleston after I read one of her books.

Unknown 6/25/14, 4:40 PM  

I've heard about this book, and this great opener reminds me again that I wanted to get it, thanks for featuring it today.
Peggy @ The Pegster Reads

kayerj 6/25/14, 7:07 PM  

Sounds like it might be a fun read, kind of quirky. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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