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Lowcountry Summer: A Plantation Novel Hardcover – June 15, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Here's one for the Southern gals as well as Yankees who appreciate Frank's signature mix of sass, sex, and gargantuan personalities. In this long-time-coming sequel to Plantation, opinionated and family-centric Caroline Wimbly Levine has just turned 47, but she's less concerned with advancing middle age than she is with son Eric shacking up with an older single mom. She's also dealing with a drunk and disorderly sister-in-law, Frances Mae; four nieces from hell; grieving brother Tripp; a pig-farmer boyfriend with a weak heart; and a serious crush on the local sheriff. Then there's Caroline's dead-but-not-forgotten mother, Miss Lavinia, whose presence both guides and troubles Caroline as she tries to keep her unruly family intact and out of jail. With a sizable cast of minor characters with major attitude, Frank lovingly mixes a brew of personalities who deliver nonstop clashes, mysteries, meltdowns, and commentaries; below the always funny theatrics, however, is a compelling saga of loss and acceptance. When Frank nails it, she really nails it, and she does so here. (June)
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From Booklist

Firmly ensconced back in the family home in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, Caroline Wimbley Levine’ s life would be perfect were it not for the drunken escapades of her hopefully soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law, Frances Mae. In love with another woman and exasperated by his wife’s drinking, Caroline’s brother, Trip, has repeatedly asked Frances Mae for a divorce, which only fuels her alcohol-induced antics. When an under-the-influence accident endangers the life of their youngest child, Frances Mae is sent off to rehab rather than face jail time. Her absence gives Caroline and Trip’s girlfriend, Rusty, the opportunity to turn Trip’s pack of she-wolf daughters into young ladies—a Herculean task, considering the girls think Rusty a potential stepmother worthy of the Brothers Grimm. Unfortunately, it will take a tragedy to fully bring the lessons of grace, honor, and tradition home to this next generation of Wimbley women. Reprising the characters introduced in Plantation (2001), Frank creates a richly atmospheric tale of a loving, if dysfunctional, southern family. --Carol Haggas

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Product Details

  • Series: Plantation
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061961175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061961175
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am the author of fourteen novels placed in and around the Lowcountry of South Carolina and thanking God for my chance to speak. When I'm not writing, I'm reading or gardening or cooking. Love to travel, shoot the breeze with people and most of all, be with my husband, children and dog - not always necessarily in that order. THE LAST ORIGINAL WIFE (William Morrow) goes on sale June 11, 2013. Love to have company so come visit at www.dotfrank.com or on Facebook. And by the way, serious huge gushing thanks for everything - your kind words, posts and emails. Writing saves me, but without your support it wouldn't mean as much. (So I'm a little sentimental - big deal.) xxoo Dot

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on June 26, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dorothea Benton Frank rates as one of my favorite authors. I have every book of hers in hard copy and buy the new release the day it comes out. Her last 2 books are huge disappointments and Lowcountry Summer was the absolute worst. The characters are shallow and unbelievable. The characters I enjoyed in Plantation were unrecognizable in Lowcountry Summer. The entire book was page after page of whining and personalities changing from rotten to rainbows within a few chapters.

I rarely write reviews but had to share with this one. If you are a true fan of Dorothea Benton Frank, you'll buy the book regardless of this review. But it's sad to say it will be a waste of your money. Hopefully she will get back on track with the next book because I miss her wonderful imagination and style of writing.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn F. Champine on July 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read all of her previous books, I looked forward to this one. It wasn't any better than the last one which was also a huge disappointment. I read it through because of the price and hopes that it would get better. The preoccupation with self and sex was overwhelming. And she wondered why her nieces were perverted? To top things off, the only decent character in the book gets killed off. I found no rhyme or reason to anything in this book. To me, this was writing just for the sake of publication and I don't advise anyone to waste their money or time on it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Holly TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A bit of background: I absolutely have loved early DBF books ("Sullivan's Island", "Plantation", and "The Land of Mango Sunsets"). When I read the most recent book, "Return to Sullivan's Island", I really thought it was one of the worst books I had read in a long time. I rated it 2-stars and only didn't go down to one since I had previously loved her work and pretty much hated to totally slam it. When this book came out, I picked it up, put it down, picked it up again, etc. since I was so hesitant to begin reading it. I was apprehensive about what I would find and dreading the thought I had lost one of my favorite authors. I made the decision if this one was as bad as the last one, I wouldn't waste my time and finish it.

I'm really all over the place with this particular review since there is so much history and I am really trying to form my opinion without bring too much of that forward. "Lowcountry Summer" is narrated by Caroline Wimbley Levine, woman running the Tall Pines plantation in South Carolina. She had been divorced for ten years and returned, with her son Eric, to the southern home where she grew up. Other characters populating the story are her brother, Trip, Trip's estranged wife and his four, out-of-control daughters. Millie, the plantation cook/housekeeper/confidante also has a huge role throughout. While this billed as a sequel to "Plantation", it really stands alone so there is no need to read that one first unless you would like to. Lots of family drama is front and center with some mysticism and intrigue mixed in to stir the pot.

Overall, this book is vastly better than the previous one. Fans of DBF will find that more of her snappy dialogue, humor and drama are included.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Davis on April 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have really enjoyed almost all of Dorthea Benton Frank's novels, and enjoy reading books that are set in the South. This one however, was really, really bad. It's like she checked in at the beginning and maybe a sentence or two in the middle, and the last couple of paragraphs in the end, but the rest is like it was written by a 16 year old ghost writer. There are also some shockingly bigoted (is that the right word?) content in here that really soured me to her as an author, and to the main character (who is vapid, bigoted, classist to the extreme, and has not one redeeming quality as far as I can tell). Here are some examples:

This paragraph about how her nieces are dating....gasp....landscapers!!! -- "It wasn't my place to make a judgment. Indeed, most Mexican families I had ever met had better family values, stronger loyalties to each other, better work ethics, and a greater sense of dignity and respect for others than most of the rednecks in the Southeast. It was the landscapers who were at risk. They could do so much better."

This is a paragraph where she is describing her own niece, her flesh and blood. -- "Arching my eyebrow I thought, With your little rubber face, you could go join a carnival, bless your heart." and "I looked down at Chloe and thought, You know what? She's not a BAD little girl, she's just really ugly." WHAT????!!!!

She calls her sister--n-law an "ungrateful stupid hillbilly from hell" and there are so many example of classism, with a 1920s/30s/40s mentality, that it's laughable.

I think it's time DBF takes a good look around at the lifestyle she has and how she created it, and be grateful to the South and the characters that got her there. THESE are not some of them. I don't know that I'll pick up another of her books again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By New to Indian Cooking on May 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Sigh...Like many other reviewers, I have read every book DBF has written and looked forward to new releases. I was delighted to find this book in a Miami airport bookstore, thinking what a great way to spend a long layover. Wrong. What a disappointment!
I truly hate it when favorite authors seem to go on autopilot to fulfill contracts. Don't waste your time or money.
Ms. Frank---either actually put some effort into your next book or just STOP.
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