- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; 1St Edition edition (June 3, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062132520
- ISBN-13: 978-0062132529
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,328 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hurricane Sisters: A Novel Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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In Frank’s fourteenth South Carolina novel (Porch Lights, 2012), prominent, conservative Charlestonians Liz and Clayton Waters are none too happy with their family. Never mind the constant antics of Liz’s octogenarian mother, Maisie, and her boy-toy, live-in companion, Skipper. Their exuberant daughter, Ashley, refuses to pursue either a meaningful career or a potential husband, harboring instead dreams of being a celebrated artist. Meanwhile, their son, Ivy (for Clayton Waters IV), is a hip, San Francisco men’s clothier, along with James, his Asian business- and life-partner. ’Nuff said. Each hypercritical parent manages to cope in his or her own way: Liz, by running a battered-women’s shelter; Clayton, by running off to Manhattan and having an illicit affair. But when Skipper suffers a stroke and Ashley is brutally attacked by a seemingly merely smarmy state senator, Liz and Clayton rally to their sides and rediscover the strength and solace only a strong family can provide. Hidden beneath Frank’s trademark buoyant and breezy Low Country patois is a passionate exposé of South Carolina’s alarming problem with domestic abuse. --Carol Haggas
From the Back Cover
Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.
Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.
Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can't talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.
Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.
So where is Clayton, Liz's husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father's love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who's an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley's precarious situation. Who's in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.
The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?
Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.
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Top customer reviews
It makes me sad to review Ms. Frank this way, but it is honest I find this to be a a slick, commercial book designed to appeal to all that is hip and modern (requisite gay character check, denigration of religion check, references to every "designer brand" and tv "celebrity" known to God and man check).
Sad day for me, I won't be buying anymore DBF books (at least not new lol) I'd been hoping Bull Island and the stuff that came after it, up to and including this book, were just a temporary. meet the deadline books and Ms. Frank would eventually go back to the original,witty,loving and lovable books from before, it's pretty clear that won't be happening, so I won't be buying.
Let's get the bad out of the way first, shall we? The main problem for me in this book is what I thought were over the top references to pop culture that, at times, made Dottie Frank seem like the John Daly of the literary world. In the same manner that Daly tattoos his clothing with dozens of paid advertising logo's, Ms. Frank has peppered this book with a litany of references to various products, vendors, t.v. shows and celebrities. The characters in this book don't just go for coffee - they go to Starbuck's for coffee. They don't just go for donuts - they go for Dunkin' Donuts. They don't just drive a car - they drive a Subaru. Some of the products/companies/celebs mentioned include:
Chanel, Google Glass, Ipad, Siri, Stoli, Campari, Pelligrino, Camry, Subaru, BMW, the Food Network, Game of Thrones, Dairy Queen, Data/Star Trek (TNG), The Love Boat, Starbucks, Venti Skinny Latte, The View, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldbeg, Cher, Joni Mitchell, the Weather Channel, jpegs, Vera Bradley totes, Anthony Weiner (by reference), John Edwards (by reference), Home Depot, AARP, Downton Abbey, Dunkin' Donuts, Folgers Coffee, Animal Planet, Whole Foods...........I could go on, but you get the idea. People of future generations won't understand much of this book unless they have on hand a guide to the pop culture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Now, for the good - and it overwhelms the sometimes annoying references to pop culture. "The Hurricane Sisters" represents some of Dottie Frank's best story telling abilities. All of the characters are well developed and interesting. The good guys are sympathetic, though humanly flawed, and the bad guy and gal are easily identified. The story line never fails to hold the reader's interest, and it is filled with good humor and more than one hilarious situation. I smiled through most of the book and laughed out loud a number of times.
I don't like spoiler reviews and won't give away the story line, but if you're a fan of Ms. Frank's lowcountry based tales, you're in for a treat with this one.
I kept waiting for the plot to gain some kind of momentum but it never did. Ms. Frank must have received a financial incentive from Google because she managed to get a plug in for Google Glass in several chapters.
Save your money on this one. The only character I cared for was the brother.