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Full of Grace

Full of Grace

Написано Dorothea Benton Frank

Озвучено Susan Bennett


Full of Grace

Написано Dorothea Benton Frank

Озвучено Susan Bennett

оценки:
3.5/5 (29 оценки)
Длина:
10 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jun 14, 2016
ISBN:
9780061135118
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Описание

The rich atmosphere of South Carolina, Hilton Head and Charleston, is brought vividly to life by Dorothea Benton Frank, a South Carolina native who, with her exquisitely evocative prose, makes you smell the sea air, see the palmettos, and savor the sweet tea, but this time it comes with a side of antipasti.

Hilton Head, a South Carolina retirement heaven-at least it's supposed to be, but for Big Al and Connie Russo, the move from New Jersey to this southern paradise has been fraught with just a few complications. Especially for their daughter, Grace.

Well, that's what she likes to be called. Her family insists on Maria Graziella. Seriously, enough with the Neapolitan. That might have been okay in New Jersey, but now it's just plain silly, and Grace at thirty-two is, horror of horrors, still unmarried. No wonder her family drives her crazy. Well, that and the fact that she's living with the man she would marry if they both weren't so commitment phobic. Michael is a doctor and a scientist and Grace is pretty sure he's also an atheist. Over the years, Grace has become a bit ambivalent about her faith, but her family is as old-fashioned Italian as they come. So the stage is set for a major showdown that just might change Grace's outlook on life, family, and the New South.
Издатель:
Издано:
Jun 14, 2016
ISBN:
9780061135118
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Об авторе

New York Times bestseller Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. Until her passing in 2019, Dorothea and her husband split their time between New Jersey and South Carolina. A contemporary voice of the South, Dorothea Benton Frank was beloved by fans and friends alike since her debut novel Sullivans Island. Readers from coast to coast fell for the quick wit and the signature humor that permeated her many bestselling novels.


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3.7
29 оценки / 23 Обзоры
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  • (2/5)
    I liked the way the story was told, and the voice of the main character. Some of the details about the Italian family rang true. But, overall, the storyline was predictable and frustrating.
  • (4/5)
    This is a departure from Frank's earlier stories. Still based in the South Carolina low country, the story is of a transplanted New Jersey Italian family and especially Grace, the daughter. It's more a story of families, and has its particularly melancholy moments as Grace's lover fights with cancer and the grandmother breaks her hip and fights being in rehab. But it's still a super story and I enjoyed it.
  • (1/5)
    I'm a faithful Catholic. Even work for a Catholic parish. So I don't have anything against religion in a book. But this was so ridiculously heavy-handed the spiritual or religious message took all the fun out of it. I found myself rolling my eyes when the unbelievable Fr. John talked. A lot of misunderstandings about what the Church teaches are addressed and, clarified but I don't know who would read this if they weren't already convinced. The romance wasn't strong enough to overcome the heavy handed apologetics.
  • (3/5)
    A departure from Frank's usual fare, but I enjoyed it.
  • (5/5)
    I see a few did not rate the book well, but I have to differ. I rather enjoyed reading about Grace and her crazy family along with her wonderful boyfriend Michael. It makes you see how other families deal with certain issues that come their way and just how open some Catholics are. As a cancer survivor myself I could relate to Michael and Grace and their fears and joys. I am also Lutheran and can relate to some of the Catholic was as well. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good love story, religious, humor and down right crazy folk.
  • (3/5)
    One of my favorite go to authors, so I went into this book with some expectations...well into the first chapter I realized this was much different from any other DBF novel I had read. So I tried to shift my expectations and enjoy the story being told. On the bigger picture, I did enjoy the story and the self reflection I did reading this book. What I didn’t like about the story was Grace and her family....I tried, but they were just a bit too much for me..like fingers on a chalkboard...and maybe that was the intention of DBF.
    I realize this is a book from early in her writing and maybe she tweaked her style to the one I really enjoy, but for the most part...just meh.
  • (2/5)
    Meh. It was a somewhat interesting story, but:

    * The constant trade between the "play" chapters vs. the novel chapters was distracting, and I wasn't nearly as interested in the Dorothy Heyward story as the protagonist's. So...yeah.
    * Nothing drives me more nuts than unrealistic dialogue. Two of the characters would be having a completely normal phone conversation, and then suddenly it'd be like, "Oh! We need explication here!" and then we'd get some random paragraph that was bizarre and overdramatic and not in the least like a real conversation. Some of the mother/child conversations in particular were either stilted or way over the top. I just found myself thinking, "Nope."

    I used to really enjoy Frank's novels--they've always been escapist beach-reads, but I think she's trying too hard to pump out a book a year and not focusing nearly enough on the quality of the writing anymore. Solid 2 stars.
  • (3/5)
    Another winner from Frank. This story is delightful -- even if the coincidences were a bit too contrived.
  • (4/5)
    Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton FranksShe returns to the past and it has brought her to the low country of SC.Kate Cooper never thought she'd be back but her husband has died, she is broke and homeless.Told with stage directions but written like a book as we get to hear the rationalization of whyshe made the decisions she did to move back to Folly Beach.She is a playwright and also got in a fender bender with a professor that she strikes up a relationship with.Her son's wife is also expecting and they are there to give her comfort along with her sister of Aunt Daisy who has landed in the hospital.Her sister is a gourmet chef and is considering moving back to Folly Beach also.
  • (4/5)
    Dorothea Benton Frank is kind of hit and miss with me. I'll like one book, get frustrated with the next couple, promise myself never to pick up another one, weaken, and she then hits one out of the park. To be fair, most of my frustrations come when there are inaccuracies about my beloved lowcountry. I know novels are fiction, but there are some things with which I just can't tolerate liberties being taken. So, when a friend gave me a copy of Folly Beach I almost didn't read it, because the last DBF book I'd read had been one I'd enjoyed. By all rights, then, this one should have made me shriek and throw it across the room (in a very lady-like manner, mind you.)This story is told in entwining two parts. That drives some folks crazy, but I like parallel stories. And I particularly liked the thread that was presented as the script of a one-woman play about Dorothy Heyward, wife of Debose Heyward (and author, playwrite in her own right). The other segment was pure Frank: a widow coming home to the lowcountry to heal and grow. That the second tale involved not one, but three cameos by people I know, gave me a bit of a chuckle. I was less tolerant about some errors in location, distance, etc, but hey, I got Gershwin, and Porgy and Bess. (I do have to say that I'd always been told the house Gershwin stayed in was washed away in a hurricane sometime before I first hit Folly in the 1970's, not with Hugo in 1989. And the legend I know is that the bells of St Michael's inspired the first notes of "Summertime". But still, there's a lot of history and legend told in this book that I've heard, too.) I'm always a little surprised at the Yiddish that occasionally slips into these books, too. I can see people furiously googling "ungapatched" (which is not how I would have spelled it, but recognize it as the same as "ungepatchke" which I learned meant too much of anything, in an un-pleasing over-the-top way.) I'm still wondering about"fachalata" and if it's a play on farkakt aka fakakta. (Look it up.)I think that the information I learned about Dorothy and Dubois Heyward is what carried the book for me, and what bumped it to a 4 star in my enjoyment. That, and the mention of my dear friend Harriet MacDougal Rigney in the acknowledgements.
  • (3/5)
    A novel of loss, acceptance, family and love. Another Lowcountry charmer where a woman returns to Folly beach to find her future after losing everything (even her husband’s suicide), where she finds love, romance, and family. Folly Beach holds more than just memories as she finds once upon a time another woman found unexpected bliss and comfort and she writes a play to recapture this time. Full of southern charm, cocktails, and humor. As usual the audio was entertaining; however, did not enjoy the novel as much as Frank’s other books.
  • (2/5)
    Blech!!! I was looking forward to this one, after previously reading another book by the author. Her “Sullivan's Island” was richly evocative of the area – its setting, people, customs, mood. This one left me cold. The title character lives in Charleston, and we are introduced to a lot of local restaurants and streets, but they never 'become' part of the story; it felt more like a laundry list of names. Grace is in the luxury travel industry and the author fills pages with descriptions of her tourists and their destinations – Sardinia, California wine country, Mexico City. But there was no magic. Well, actually there WAS magic, but not in great writing. It was all religiosity, catholic saints and miracles. The story line was mundane and predictable. I expected more of Frank's genius in the setting department as well. The characters of the immediate family, though, were fully fleshed out and believable, but that's the only thing I cared for in this book.
  • (4/5)
    This book was surprising in many ways. Having read several books by this author, I was sure I would like this one as well. I did, but not the way that I expected.The book starts with a rather mundane accounting of Grace's day-to-day life. She's living with her boyfriend, Michael, who is a research physician. On holidays, she visits her family—but without Michael who isn't welcome at her parent's home. Part of the reason is because he's using stem cells in his research and their Catholic doctrine condemns it. But the primary reason is that he's not Italian; he's Irish, of all things.I was lulled along, getting to know the Russos through Grace's visits with them—the conflicts being played out over a dinner table loaded with holiday goodies. Then, the family has to face two crises. First, Nonna falls and breaks her hip. In considerable pain, she refuses to cooperate with her therapists and demands to go home, expecting Grace's mother to care for her around the clock. Then, Michael is diagnosed with a virulent form of cancer and Grace needs her family's support as never before.My favorite character in this book is Father John. I'd like to meet him in real life. In one scene, discussing en vitro fertilization, he says, "I think that the Church's major area of concern has always been that children are begotten not made. Is it right to make children in a laboratory setting just because we can?" And also, "The trick is not to rationalize your decisions knowing that they displease God."I was only looking for a good story, but along with that, I got some wise spiritual guidance. A good deal in my book.
  • (5/5)
    Just as good as every other book DBF has ever written. Funny that she delved into the writings of poets and playwrights as I just finished a couple books about Ernest Hemingway also. Enjoy!
  • (4/5)
    This is the story where the past meets the present. The past involves Dorothy and Dubose Heyward, George Gershwin, and the writing of Porgy & Bess. The present involves newly widowed Cate Cooper whose husband left her almost broke. She moves back to Folly Beach to visit the aunt who reared her and finds true love. There are some parallels in the two stories which are presented in alternating chapters. I enjoyed the present story's presentation more than the manner in which the past was showcased. Although I understand why the author chose that format for the past, it simply didn't work for me.
  • (4/5)
    Kate, followed by John, presented a delightful story to listen to, almost in two parts ---a play within a story. It's probably good that I had a project to do while a listened to the story because it was a little slow in parts but I liked Kate immediately and finding out what happened next was very appealing as a story line.
  • (2/5)
    One of my least favorite of her books - did not enjoy the back and forth between the playscript and the storyline.Was haard for me to even finish.
  • (4/5)
    One of Dorothea Benton Frank's better books. Not quite as silly as some of her other books. Another in a string of books I've read lately about women returning home to the beach after some sort of life trauma. Makes me want to go live at the beach.
  • (5/5)
    I love the way she builds this story of two eras: the Charleston Literary Renaissance in the 20s and 30s, and the story of the modern-day woman who lost everything and then found it in a whole new form.
  • (4/5)
    This is an enjoyable romance, all the more satisfying because of the dreadful circumstances that introduce the main characters. The back stories of Porgy & Bess and Dorothy & Debose Hayward make for an interesting plot line
  • (4/5)
    I have been hit and miss with Dorothea Benton Frank lately- this one however hit all the right notes! Ever since reading Vixen, it seems so many books I have picked up or want to read are set in the 1920s, or have backstory from the 20s. Which is fine by me - I have always loved the excitement and drama of the roaring 20s. Folly Beach has a storyline in the present day, but every other chapter is part of a play about the Heywards, who worked with Gershwin to turn Heyward's Porgy and Bess into a musical. I have to admit, at first these chapters bothered me - I would just get into what was going on in the main story line and would be interrupted within the book, like a commercial. But as I read on, the more I enjoyed the Heyward's story line just as much. I liked all the characters in this book, especially Cate's love interest John, who reminded me a tiny bit of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. And wow Cate has a terrible start in this book - I was riveted, what else could have gone wrong for her? Apparently everything! The tragedy of it all forced her to become her own person though, and find actual happiness in the end.
  • (5/5)
    One of the things I enjoy most about being on book tours is discovering authors I might not have been exposed to otherwise. I've seen Dorothea Benton Frank's name before, but never considered that these books might be something I'm interested in. A series of steps led up to me asking to be on this tour - most of those steps involving an introduction of some sort to southern literature, and the final culmination being that I am, hands down, a fan of it. Beth Hoffman, Rebecca Rasmussen, Sarah Addison Allen, Kathryn Magendie - all names of authors who have thrilled me, taught me to love this easy-going, sweet, magical style and now I'll be adding Dorothea Benton Frank to the list.Folly Beach is book number #8 in the Lowcountry Tales series. I haven't read books 1-7 (and have already started to request them from Paperback Swap) but it didn't make a lick of difference, because this book had me hook, line and sinker with the opening act of the play involving the Heywards, Gershwin, and The Porgy House. Frank did a beautiful job of weaving the story around each act of the play, and kept me completely mesmerized and in love with both sets of characters - that of Dorothy Heyward and Cate Cooper.Now, in the interest of full honesty, there were a few parts that were so obvious, and worked out so conveniently well that I did roll my eyes a little bit - but just a little bit, because I was too happy at the progression of the story and loved the characters so much that I wanted the best for them, even if it was predictable.This is the perfect beach-time, summer read. The only thing that was missing while I read Folly Beach was the sound of the ocean, the warmth of the sun on my legs and a drink at my side, complete with little umbrella.
  • (3/5)
    I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I really like Anne Rivers Siddons and Sue Miller, and this story seemed to me reminiscent of those kinds of books, so I figured I'd give it a try. Plus, the parallel structure of the play inside the novel was intriguing.The premise of the story is good - a woman, Cate, who is widowed when her self-important ultra-wealthy scoundrel of a husband chooses death by suicide rather than face the horrendous consequences of his unethical business practices and multiple extra-marital affairs which have lost him and his partners loads of the money he so prized as well as all their friends, buries her husband, and is later that day served with papers from the sheriff informing her that her luxury home is being foreclosed on, all it's contents removed and sold, her cars, etc. are being repossessed, and so, in two days time she goes from living a life of material luxury to basically being left with $25k she hid away in a wall safe. She had no idea about the finances, the debts or the ex-lovers - she is totally blindsided.Faced with having no home and no particular attachments to the area (except her sister who lives in town and is HER BEST FRIEND) since her adult children who don't live with her anyway, she decides to leave frigid Alpine, NJ for the shores of Folly Beach, South Caroloina. Folly Beach is home to her aging aunt Daisy and Dolly's longtime lover Ella. Daisy is a spitfire who manages multiple rental properties at the beach and could use Cate's help, as she's getting on in years. Cate and her sister Patti were raise by Daisy at Folly Beach after their parents died while they were young, and she offers Cate a refuge from her troubles in one of her cottages called The Porgy House.The parallel play is about Dorothea and DuBose Heyward, who lived at Folly Beach in the late 30's in the Porgy House, where they wrote the play Porgy and Bess with George Gershwin. That story line explores the nature of the love-affair between Dorothea and DuBose and the culture of the Charleston Renaissance, which resulted in the writing of Porgy and Bess, even in a state which would not allow negroes to perform on stage until the 70s. (In the end, it turns out that this is the play that Cate is writing at the end of the novel.)On her way to South Carolina, Cate is involved in a fender bender with a local professor named John Risley who is devastatingly handsome, and who conveniently is obsessed with Dorothea and DuBose Heyword, the Porgy House, knows Cate's Aunty Daisy, and teaches of all things, PLAYWRITING. He is an amazing lover, a southern gentlemen, and primary instigator/encourager for Cate, who with her relatively unused theater degree, he feels is in the perfect position to write a play about the Heywards for a local competition. Without ever having seen a word of her writing, he's absolutely certain to she will an astounding playwrite. He's perfect - a hero even - he'll pick up her poor wet naked lesbian 80+ year old aunt from a tub when she is so very ill. I mean, care-taking her aunt's properties can't use up that much of her time, and after being financially ruined, the unstable career choice of writer makes PERFECT sense. (/sarcasm off.)To be honest, this is where I start to loose it with this novel. Way too many plot conveniences/contrivances for my liking. While I understand the tone of this novel is light-hearted, and that the poor rich girl who is down on her luck needs to know there is life beyond her crappy marriage and financial ruin, it just happens way to fast and way to conveniently for my liking. Cate is so willing to move on from the horror of her ruin without really experiencing it, in a way, and the universe clears all messes right up for this newly ruined Cate. I mean, for crying out loud, even the inconvenient criminally deranged mentally ill wife of her new lover, John, develops pancreatic cancer and dies right on cue.As far as these kinds of books go, I think the writing was solid in terms of tone and style, and I liked the light-hearted humor displayed by the characters (although, I could see the potential for some seriously deep black humor that wasn't really as delved as it could have been). It was very readable, and the pacing was good - the sections that were the play were short and sweet, but effective. The characters were engaging and likeable - especially Aunt Daisy! Loved her! and loved how Ella called fiesty Daisy her "Old Cabbage"!I would recommend this book to people who like to read stories where everyone gets their just desserts, the girl gets her man, and everyone lives more than happily ever after. This just isn't my kind of thing anymore, I guess. I would not recommend this book for those who are irked by convoluted feminism (woman hear me roar after devilish husband screws me, but um, only after I am swept off my feet by new gorgeous handsome man...HUH?), or too many literary contrivances.