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Review: Folly Beach

June 26, 2011

When Cate’s husband commits suicide, her life literally falls apart.  Cate hadn’t been particularly happy with Addison lately, but she put up with him because of the lifestyle he provided.  After his death, the creditors and the women came swooping in.  The creditors repossessed and foreclosed on everything they’d owned and the women claimed to have had affairs, and even a child, with Addison.

Not knowing where to turn, Cate decides to return to Folly Beach, South Carolina, and the aunt who raised her there.  Her aunt owns several homes there and puts Cate up in Porgy House – the house that DuBose and Dorothy Heyward lived in.  Cate becomes fascinated with the Heywards and decides to research their lives and along the way discovers a new life for herself.

Folly Beach, by Dorothea Benton Frank, is a great read!  Cate sure did have some tough breaks after her husband died, so readers can’t help but root for her.  It’s tough to reinvent yourself after so many years, but Cate managed to admirably, fulfilling a lifelong dream along the way.

Cate’s Aunt Daisy and her friend, Ella, are fantastic characters too and also pretty typical of older Southern women – genteel and mannerly and quick to tell you what’s on their mind at the same time.  They can truly be a force of nature.

Frank did a lot of research on the Heywards and intertwines fascinating tidbits (including a one-woman play, of sorts) about them throughout the book.  I learned a lot about them and am interested in reading more now!  I also have the urge to see Porgy and Bess now.

Folly Beach is a quick and entertaining read and as much as I liked it, I did have a little bit of a problem with how quickly Cate was able to get over the death of her husband and put her past behind her.  That’s just a minor point, though, and it didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book at all.

Review copy provided by the author and Harper Collins. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
40 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2011 7:16 am

    I had the same reaction to another book when I found the woman had bounced back to quickly from her husband’s accidental death. Suicides tend to be an emotional wake-fall for the families; an enormously painful event since we all wonder “how could I have stopped it” guilt. However it seems that Cate survives despite the surprises surrounding her husband’s secret life and spendings.

    Going to add this one to wish list and loved your input on this one. Another great review 🙂

  2. June 26, 2011 7:17 am

    This one sounds like a good summer read.

  3. kaye permalink
    June 26, 2011 7:53 am

    Anything by DBF is wonderful. I’ve loved all her books. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, Kathy.

  4. June 26, 2011 8:35 am

    I first read this author last year — lowcountry summer — and I loved her. I have never been to this part of the country and she really brought it to life for me.
    I look forward to this one. Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. June 26, 2011 8:47 am

    Porgy and Bess is my total favorite opera and even just the libretto. There are some very very wonderful clips on youtube of great artists doing bits from P&B. The best are for “Bess You Is My Woman Now.”

  6. June 26, 2011 8:48 am

    I wonder how many similarities, at least town-wise, there are between this story and Karen White’s! Sort of bizarre that there would be two books about the same small town. It does sound like a great beach read though. I don’t know, I guess if I found out my late husband had mountains of debt and mountains of mistresses, I might put that behind me pretty quick too!

  7. June 26, 2011 9:30 am

    another I have sitting in my TBR pile…sounds like a pretty nice summer read.

  8. June 26, 2011 9:53 am

    I love books set in locations I’ve been to!

  9. June 26, 2011 10:00 am

    I have this book – thanks for the review.

    I will move it up in the queue.


  10. June 26, 2011 10:12 am

    Sounds a good one. Putting it on my list!

  11. June 26, 2011 11:01 am

    This one sounds so much better than I initially thought. Nice premise!

  12. June 26, 2011 11:52 am

    This is next on my reading list since my review is scheduled for early July. I’m happy you enjoyed it. Now I look forward to reading it!

  13. June 26, 2011 12:02 pm

    I think I’ve read the review of this book some where and I enjoyed your review too!

  14. June 26, 2011 12:16 pm

    I had this one totally confused with On Folly Beach by Karen White which I read and adored. It sounds like this one is good too, and I am interested in finding out a bit more about it. The plot sounds intriguing. Glad to hear that you liked this one, Kathy, and great review!

  15. June 26, 2011 1:26 pm

    I got this randomly in the mail and thought about giving it a try as I am laying on the beach this summer.

  16. June 26, 2011 3:34 pm

    There is nothing like a southern summery beachy book…this one sounds as thou it is a great one…

  17. June 26, 2011 6:20 pm

    I have not read this one of Frank’s. You wrote a very moving review.

  18. June 26, 2011 7:07 pm

    I’m looking forward to thi sone – great review!

  19. June 26, 2011 9:07 pm

    It does sound like what happened to her would require quite a bit of time to get over!!!

  20. June 26, 2011 9:20 pm

    I’ve never read any of her books, but your review does make me curious. Maybe someday, I have enough books to keep me busy for a bit!!

  21. stacybuckeye permalink
    June 26, 2011 11:08 pm

    I’m reading a book about a new widow right now and loving it. Seems weird to say it that way, doesn’t it?

  22. June 27, 2011 12:08 am

    i thought this was a book i recently read an reviewed but realized mine was called ‘ON folly beach’. it also dealt with a woman in the aftermath of her husband’s death… such light reading, we do! reading the book did inspire me to google folly beach and add it to places i’d like to see sometime. maybe i’ll pop over on one of my trips down to florida!

  23. June 27, 2011 3:42 am

    Hey, I’m just stopping by to catch up with you after some weeks. So good to see you’re clipping along and reading lots of good stuff! I really loved this review, as others did. I, too, thought you meant On Folly’s Beach…so was interested to know about this particular book. Come visit me sometime. I need your input about my blog. Gonna email you.

    Hugs, Deborah/TheBookishDame

  24. June 27, 2011 4:01 am

    This sort of reminds me of Good Grief by Lolly Winston. It sounds like an enjoyable read . I have heard a lot about Dorothea Benton Frank’s books – I may start with this one.

  25. June 27, 2011 8:22 am

    sounds like a good summer read!

  26. June 27, 2011 9:37 am

    I have read a couple of DBF’s books and have enjoyed them. Knowing people who have experienced suicide in their families, I know it is something you never really get over. Odd that this character could get over it so quickly. Great review. I’ll keep an eye out for this at the library.

  27. June 27, 2011 10:45 am

    Great review! sounds like a good read.

  28. June 27, 2011 10:59 am

    It sounds like a wonderful summer read, I’ll have to add this one to my wish list.

  29. June 27, 2011 11:11 am

    “Porgy and Bess” – The music from that wonderful show is going through my head. I particularly like the song with the sound effects when the people of Catfish Row begin stirring the morning after the hurricane. Such great characters.

  30. June 27, 2011 1:22 pm

    I have this on my summer reading list — It sounds great.

  31. June 27, 2011 6:18 pm

    This sounds like a good book. I don’t know where they got the cover art but I have seen it sold as prints in a furniture store. Haha

  32. June 27, 2011 8:52 pm

    This one showed up unexpectedly for me so I’m glad to read that you really enjoyed it!

  33. June 28, 2011 7:28 am

    I think I might be able to go with Cate getting over her husband’s death so quickly if it keeps the plot moving. I read another book recently where the woman was getting over her husband’s infidelity and her mother’s death, but it took forever to go anywhere.

  34. June 28, 2011 4:25 pm

    This really does sound like a great read. I don’t know anything about the Haywards but always love books that provide a little bit of history in them. I’ll keep my eye out for this one, it sounds like a real treat.

  35. June 29, 2011 11:49 am

    It sounds like a great read. Something I could enjoy, but also my mom, who recently asked me for reading suggestions. Thanks! 🙂

  36. June 30, 2011 7:50 pm

    Sounds like a perfect read for summer!

  37. July 6, 2011 12:22 am

    This sounds good. I recently visited Folly Beach and loved it.

  38. July 6, 2011 9:22 pm

    Had the book been written by another author, I might have thought it was okay. This was not typical Dorthea Benton Frank and typical is what I love about her books. They are normally laugh out loud. I found this book boring and rushed to finish it.

  39. September 28, 2011 4:55 pm

    Have been waiting for this review since I saw it in your mailbox and you didn’t disappoint. It is now on my tbr hopefully in my lifetime list. Just filled out giveaway form. Great review.

  40. Lisa Garrett permalink
    September 28, 2011 5:53 pm

    This one has been on my wishlist. I need a good beach read.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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