Right about now, in the frigid frost of a typical Midwestern mid-winter, a nice hot beach read can come to the rescue. Fortunately, Dorothea Benton Frank’s Lowcountry Summer fills the bill. Previous fans will find familiar ground in this sequel to her bestselling novel, Plantation. Though Frank resides in New York, she was born and raised on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, and her knowledge of the area and it’s cultural customs certainly seem to authenticate the already colorful characters.
For some reason, I don’t know why, maybe it was all the references to the mouth-watering food they were eating , but the narrator kept reminding me of Paula Deen. But then she’d reinvent herself when describing her laugh-out-loud love-life, and yet again when trying to deal with a drunken sister-in-law or comfort her grief-stricken brother. So there’s more than just sass and sex — there’s all the dynamics of complicated family relationships with some unexpected and poignant outcomes thrown in along the way.
I think the thing I enjoyed most was how she used dialog for the narrator, Caroline. For example, Caroline might respond verbally one way (to her 19 year old son in college who’s shacking up with an older single mom) but she also lets the reader know her real thoughts, as shown here:
“But it’s nothing really. I just go over to her place for dinner, that’s all”
Oh. My. God. He was having sex. My son was having sex!
“Oh, Is she a good cook?” She had better not be a good cook.
See what I mean? So, come to the library, pick up a copy and than pretend you’re on vacation on a beach near Charleston.