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Folly Beach Mass Market Paperback – April 24, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 240 customer reviews
Book 8 of 9 in the Lowcountry Tales Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
Experience the wild beauty and sultry magic of New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's Carolina Lowcountry—where the pull of family is as powerful as the ocean tides and love can strike faster than lightning in summer…

Folly Beach

Home is the place that knows us best…

A woman returns to the past to find her future in this enchanting new tale of loss, acceptance, family, and love.

With its sandy beaches and bohemian charms, surfers and suits alike consider Folly Beach to be one of South Carolina's most historic and romantic spots. It is also the land of Cate Cooper's childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam freely. Cate never thought she'd wind up in this tiny cottage named the Porgy House on this breathtakingly lovely strip of coast. But circumstances have changed, thanks to her newly dead husband whose financial—and emotional—bull and mendacity have left Cate homeless, broke, and unmoored.

Yet Folly Beach holds more than just memories. Once upon a time another woman found unexpected bliss and comfort within its welcoming arms. An artist, writer, and colleague of the revered George Gershwin, Dorothy Heyward enjoyed the greatest moments of her life at Folly with her beloved husband, DuBose. And though the Heywards are long gone, their passion and spirit lingers in every mango sunset and gentle ocean breeze.

And for Cate, Folly, too, holds the promise of unexpected fulfillment when she is forced to look at her life and the zany characters that are her family anew. To her surprise, she will discover that you can go home again. Folly Beach doesn't just hold the girl she once was… it also holds the promise of the woman she's always wanted—and is finally ready—to become.

Folly Beach, filled with the irresistible charm, saucy wit, and lush atmosphere that have won her the devotion of fans and propelled her books to bestsellerdom, is vintage Dorothea Benton Frank.

A Look Inside Folly Beach
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Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, from the Collections of the South Carolina Historical Society. Tourist brochure of Folly Beach, from the Collections of the South Carolina Historical Society. The way to the beach from Porgy House. Photo credit: Kathy Glick. Porgy House on Folly Beach. Photo credit: Kathy Glick.


Dorothea Benton Frank on Writing Folly Beach

Last summer, I went down to the South Carolina Historical Society and read the papers of Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, thinking that it was DuBose who wrote Porgy and Bess with George Gershwin on Folly Beach during the summer of 1934. Not true.

My first discovery was that DuBose was a high school dropout and that Dorothy, a young orphan, was unusually well educated and already an award winning playwright when they married. Then I discovered the huge economic disparities between them. Dorothy was wealthy and although DuBose was comfortable at the time they met, he had grown up in poverty. I ran across a copy of her birth certificate, on which her name is “Dorothea”—my name—and letterhead that stated she lived on Fifth and Twelfth in Manhattan—my old address— on and on. Every time I turned around, it seemed I was bumping into another coincidence. Okay, I thought, there’s a story here and I’m going to try and tell it. Who was Dorothy Heyward? And what happened that summer on Folly Beach?

It is historic fact that Dorothy herself adapted DuBose’s book Porgy for the stage and that she also had a great hand in creating the adaptation of Mamba’s Daughters for the stage, the two most successful works with DuBose Heyward’s name attached to them. But she shied away from taking credit for herself and spent her widowhood making sure that DuBose’s name appeared in the credits of all of Gershwin’s productions of Porgy and Bess so that his estate would receive the royalties that were due.

What is in those boxes at the SCHS is there because it was what Dorothy wanted us to see. Every single letter from her to DuBose is absent. Perhaps he did not save her letters or perhaps she disposed of them. We will never know. But it appears that Dorothy wanted us to have a one-sided conversation with DuBose, not her. Dorothy always wanted DuBose to be the celebrity, the icon, the one who was remembered and revered. She loved him that much.

And, finally, while Dorothy Heyward may have wanted to disappear into history as “just a girl from Ohio who wanted a career on the other side of the footlights,” the facts appear differently to me. True, she was diminutive in the extreme, and the fact that she was from Ohio may have left her more easily dismissed by DuBose’s crowd of aristocratic old Charlestonians. But Dorothy Kuhns Heyward was a powerhouse, who married into one of Charleston’s most prestigious families and spent her life doing everything she could for the man she fiercely loved who was, for his time, a civil rights pioneer. My new novel explores their lifelong collaboration, their devotion to each other and what magic happened on Folly Beach in 1934 and in 2010, both periods of fascinating self-discovery.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Alternating between Cate’s personal journey of renewal and flashbacks into the lives of the Heywards, Frank’s lush and literary paean to her beloved Lowcountry provides a romantic glimpse into an artistic past. (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061961280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061961281
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Annie B VINE VOICE on July 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many other reviewers I was very disappointed in this book. I am a huge Frank fan and have read all her previous books. For me, this book isn't anywhere near as good as her early books. The book does have some funny parts, but the book is hard to get into, which wouldn't be a problem if there had been a pay-off for the effort in the end. There wasn't. The book is ambitious, weaving history and present-day, but just doesn't reach its full potential. I just have to wonder what on earth she and her editor were thinking when they let this book go to publication. It's not the Frank I know. Again, that would be fine if the book was actually good. This one just wasn't.

Unfortunately, this is another author who will no longer be an automatic buy for me. I will check reviews first, then head for the library. Overall, the book falls short in too many areas to be a three-star book and just has too many obvious contrivances to make it a good read.

For those interested in reading it, I'd suggest getting it from the library or waiting for the paperback version. There are so many other books well worth purchasing. Sadly, this one was not one of them for me.
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Format: Hardcover
I was so excited to have this new book in time for summer reading!! I am a big Frank fan and this was to be a perfect companion on those long hot days.....("was" is the operative word!)The story line was so mundane and the characters were silly and childlike ...no balance, no interest no nothing~! The looooooong and totally silly flashbacks of waiting for Gershwin--please STOP! Really! Over and over and over...there was never anything said in the chapter after chapter of rambling on about nothing...sheesh! And the main character Cate and how she becomes poor and her husband's death and the piano...really? REALLY? So, just to recap on Cate-- you are a mess after being thrown from your home and have nothing..you are on your way to moving into a darling beach house owned by your eccentric Aunt and you back your car into a super-handsome and delightful stranger who falls in love with you.....REALLY? REALLY??? Pitiful and trite. This kind of story line makes you grit your teeth with the cloying sweet..ick.
Unremarkable, unbelievable and totally forgettable. My sister and my best friend had the same reaction..except they did not even finish it..I stuck with it till the ridiculous ending and now THAT was a total waste of time. But I think I am most upset about being let down my one of my favorite authors--hard to forgive this one! Where were her editors? Why didn't they catch this one before release to the public? I have read the other glowing reviews and wonder if we got the same book..or are my standards for Frank set high after enjoying her previous books so much? hmmm...not sure, but now I have to get back to the hunt for something to read this summer to clear the mind-numbing Folly Beach from my memory. Gave it away with warning..so sad about this one!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read with excitement all of her books but this one was like it was written by someone else.

Slow to get into, slow to get through the flashbacks and difficult to stay focused on the writing.

I bought my book and will donate it to a cause and hope someone likes it more than I have.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sure wish I had checked the reviews before I bought the book. I just assumed I would love it as much as I loved her other books. Total disappointment and wasre of money.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
My daughter bought this book, not realizing that it was a reprint. It does say in small print on the site that it is and this is what devotees of these books have to be so careful to look for. It is a shame that the publishing companies seem to go so far out of their way to dodge around titles when they do reprints. This book was first offered and is sold and listed on this site as `Folly Beach: A Low country Tale' and then listed as just `Folly Beach' with another cover. It is the same book.

It is a story about Cate Cooper whose husband commits suicide and leaves her penniless. Cate is able to return to where she was brought up on one of the islands near Charleston to be taken in by her aunt who raised her and her sister. The story wraps around how she will rebuild her life.

There are several things in this book that seem contrived in some scenarios and you find your credibility strained at coincidences that occur. Many of them concern the other part of the book of included play scenes with the love story of Dorothy Heyward who was married to the man who was said to have helped to write Porgy and Bess with Gershwin. Much of what is related about this whole relationship seems farfetched until you start looking up facts for yourself.

This is a pleasant "beach" book with the caution that you might have read this before - it's still sort of a nice read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I, too was so disappointed. Dorothea is one of my most favorite writers. I am having difficulty getting into this book as I don't know where it is going. Miss the DFrank southern, slow, great stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read everything this author writes. I was excited about the release of this book. Sadly, I'm disappointed. The book is slow and hard to get into from the beginning. The flashbacks to the past are uninteresting and unnecessary.
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