Monday, June 1, 2015

BOOK CLUB GIRL: Pick- The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank

Our Pick:


Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, The Hurricane Sisters is New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations.

Beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank once again takes us deep in the heart of the magical Lowcountry--a sultry land of ancient magic, glorious sunsets, and soothing coastal breezes, where three generations of strong women wrestle with the expectations of family while struggling to understand their complicated relationships with each other.

Best friends since the first day of classes at The College of Charleston, Ashley Anne Waters and Mary Beth Smythe, now 23 years old, live in Ashley's parents' beach house rent-free. 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 worry for their precarious finances.

While they don't make much money, the girls do have a million-dollar view that comes with living in that fabulous house on Sullivans Island. Sipping wine on the porch and watching a blood-red sunset, Ashley and Mary Beth hit on a brilliant and lucrative idea. With a new coat of paint, the first floor would be a perfect place for soirees for paying guests. Knowing her parents would be horrified at the idea of common strangers trampling through their home, Ashley won't tell them. Besides, Clayton and Liz Waters have enough problems of their own.

A successful investment banker, Clayton is too often found in his pied-a-terre in Manhattan--which Liz is sure he uses to have an affair. And when will Ashley and her brother, Ivy, a gay man with a very wealthy and very Asian life partner--ever grow up? Then there is Maisie, Liz's mother, the family matriarch who has just turned eighty, who never lets Liz forget that she's not her perfect dead sister, Juliet.

For these Lowcountry women, an emotional hurricane is about to blow through their lives, wreaking havoc that will test them in unexpected ways, ultimately transforming the bonds they share.


I read and listened to this book and I have to say that the dual experience enhanced the book. When I had quiet time to read, I did and when I was driving or doing chores around the house I listened. I have to say that this deepened the story for me. It gave a voice to the characters and added the southern drawl that is so fun to listen to...but the images of the people and places was all left to my imagination. What fun this book reading/listening experience was.

Who doesn't have a crazy family??? But family is family and you stick together through thick and thin. I felt like The Hurricane Sister was a book filled with life. It was a hot bed of emotions....young love and ambition mixed with naivete. As well as, old love lost and found again, and one nearly lost forever. It is about how despite the hard times, we all find away to recover. It may be accomplished by having a new understanding of a person or situation or a being forced to face a harsh reality brought to light. But with the love of family and friends, we collectively can make it through just about anything. With heart and defined characters Benton Frank creates a story that brings together a family that was once traveling in a million different directions and finds a way to put them on common ground. A delight. 4 stars

PS:  Ladies in the book club also loved it.  They loved the setting and the very different characters.

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