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Folly Beach (Lowcountry Tales #8)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,681 Ratings  ·  647 Reviews
“Dottie Frank’s books are sexy and hilarious. She has staked out the lowcountry of South Carolina as her personal literary property.”
—Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad

The incomparable Dorothea Benton Frank is back with her latest Lowcountry Novel, Folly Beach. As she has with Lowcountry Summer, Return to Sullivans Island, Land of Mango Sunsets, a
ebook, 309 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by William Morrow (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Hall
Slight spoilers ahead (most of which you can get from the jacket cover): I actually thought this book was stupid. It was totally unrealistic, predictable,and painful to read at times. Big disappointment for me from this author. Her books are always light reads, but this was just ridiculous. Unrealistic: the woman's husband commits suicide, she finds out a bunch of horrible stuff about him, she never grieves him at all, ten days later she finds her dream man and they live happily ever after. No i ...more
Aug 29, 2011 Phoebe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fluff
Cate Cooper is newly widowed, after finding her husband dangling over her piano. She discovers that he has left her penniless, all their acquisitions and wealth repossessed by the bank, and even her diamonds turn out to be fake. Fortunately Cate has family in South Carolina, so she packs up what is left of her life and heads to Folly Beach, where she reconnects with her childhood and meets a gorgeous professor. Her relationship with her grown children provides a little friction, but otherwise th ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Tami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a disappointment. The story of Cate - left homeless and "broke" (well, not totally broke by my standards, but destitute compared to what she had before) after her husband's suicide - starts with a bang, followed by 250 pages of fizzle. In the first few chapters the problems stack like cord-wood , but they are all solved easily and without much effort. It gave me visions of the birds and mice helping Cinderella make her ball-gown while they all whistle a cheerful tune.

Mixed within this
Kerry Hennigan
Jan 12, 2013 Kerry Hennigan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't thing Dottie Frank has written a book yet that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed, and Folly Beach is no exception.

This one is a little different from most of hers, being the story set in the present that runs side by side with a one-woman play about a woman from the past, specifically Dorothy Heyward, who, along with husband and author DuBose and George Gerswin, was responsible for "Porgy and Bess".

In the present day, Cate Cooper's aunt owns the Porgy House where the three had worked on the g
Feb 04, 2012 Ellen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My first -- and last -- book by this author. I saw this in the library and took it home after seeing a positive review from Pat Conroy. Although set in SC, this book is nothing like one he would have written. I had no idea this was primarily a romance novel, not a genre I read. This book was highly unrealistic; the protagonist goes from being the wife of a mega-rich and very arrogant man to his widow after he commits suicide. At the cemetery, she learns he had another family and a string of flin ...more
Aug 24, 2011 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the idea of the play within the story and the fact that Dorothy and DuBose Heywood were real people. It was fun & interesting to google them and see how close the book followed their lives. I really enjoyed that part of the book. I did think the setting for the move to Charleston was a little over the top; i know she needed a reason to move the main character, but..........really. (that's why only 3 stars)

"Cate never thought she'd wind up in this tiny cottage named the Porgy H
As far as Southern/low country fiction goes Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my favorites so I was excited to win this from Good Reads. As with her other novels, this is fun and quick and there are some quirky and interesting moments. Some of the people do come across as a little too “quippy” at times (it’s okay to have a real conversation!) and every single character uses some version of the word “humph” at least once per page. But the characters are likeable (Daisy and Ella were my favorites) a ...more
Nov 20, 2011 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kudos to Dorothea Benton Frank for breaking from her usual formula. Girl (read: middle-aged woman) returns to Lowcountry after divorce/widowhood. Wise (and wisecracking) family member gives her sage advice. Enter age-appropriate man with preexisting friendship with wise family member. He becomes new love interest for main character. Much alcohol and chaos ensue. Ok, so all this did happen, but each chapter alternates with one taken from a one-woman show about the life of Dorothy Heyward (wife of ...more
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 ...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I loved this novel! After finishing it late last night, I dreamt of glistening beaches, sand dollar ornaments, mango sunsets, collards and grits. Yes, Dorthea Benton Frank’s descriptions are that good. Not only did she weave a marvelous tale, she brings Folly Beach to life with all its sights, smells, tastes, storms, and traditions so alive. I was there with Cate, Daisy, Ella, Dorothy and DuBose. Perhaps too, is the fact that I really miss THE South? There is some kind of magic in the TRUE South ...more
Jen (Feffer)
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 overdram
Linda Hart
Dec 03, 2014 Linda Hart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cheesy dialogue combined with the "woman-loses-everything, moves back home to a simple-life-on-the-beach" story is totally rescued by an alternate storyline which makes this book worth reading. Said story is about playwrights Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, wrote the play "Porgy," & years later collaborated with George Gershwin on the musical production "Porgy and Bess." Gershwin, who usually gets all the kudos for the musical was merely the composer. DuBose, a poet, wrote the lyrics, while ...more
Aug 08, 2011 Hallie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I bought this book for two reasons, ok 3 - (1) It was called "Folly Beach". (2) The bookflap mentioned learning some history of the authors of Porgy and Bess. (3) It was 40% off. A cursory search through the text with its plainspeak didn't dissuade me - I have been wanting to try a more mundane book lately to see if the appeal would catch me anyway.

The story started off okay, with a quirky chain of events stemming from the protagonist's husband's suicide. When the protagonist then had a fender b
Jun 25, 2011 Tequila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I don't mind when Dorothea Benton Frank's characters jump into bed too fast, as they do every summer. They deserve it. Most of Benton Frank's lead characters are women in their 40s and 50s going through transition - usually from the north to the south, but more broadly from away to home, from lack of connection to connection, from unself to self, from selfish morons to sexy southern Gentlemen who know how to pick restaurants and open the car door. Her books are like beautiful watercolor paint ...more
The Readers Cafe
Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank is the story of Cate, who once had it all and through a hailstorm of tragedies, finds herself single, homeless and broke. She makes the trip from New Jersey to South Carolina and is taken in by her aunts who raised her. It is here that she starts over, builds and new life, and is deeply inspired by the playwrights Dorothy and DuBose Heyward (of Porgy and Bess fame).

Let me break this all down for you. First of all, the story starts off with Cate living in the
Sara Strand
Jul 14, 2012 Sara Strand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me tell you right off that I loved this book. Dorothea Benton Frank has such a great wit and sense of humor and it completely comes across through her writing. I love how this book reads as if you were having a phone conversation with your best friend. The also interesting thing is that it's two stories in one, specifically, it's a play within a story. Which I didn't think I would care for but actually enjoyed it a lot.

The *best* part of this book is seriously, the aftermath of Cate's husba
Sheila DeChantal
Cate Cooper has had quite the year. She had built up quite a life with her husband of twenty-six years, Addison Cooper. And what a whirlwind it had been, an insane love for each other in the beginning... and then it all began to unravel.

As Cate stood over Addison's casket, she had to wonder where it all went wrong...

Life can be funny that way, as Cate soon finds out that Addison's death is only the beginning of surprises for her. Quickly (really minutes) after the funeral Cate discovers that Add
Lydia Presley
Jul 03, 2011 Lydia Presley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, southern, 2011
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 Addi ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Bobbi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-writers
Dottie has done it again! Her books are always interesting, enjoyable good reads, and her latest does not disappoint. Different, though, because this one weaves a one-woman play throughout the story. Cate Cooper returns to Folly Beach, SC, (where she grew up) to regroup after the death of her husband. She stays in the Porgy house, once home to Dorothy and DuBose Heyward. She notices many similarities between herself and Dorothy, leading her to research the lives of the former occupants. What she ...more
Jane C.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2012 Sandie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Dottie's sassy, whitty, strong woman characters but frankly, if you read one book, you've read them all. They all seem to be the story of a middle aged woman living in (NY, NJ) who finds her self (divoriced, widowed) and (moves, visits) the low country of South Carolina and falls in love with the (mango sunsets, beaches, islands). She almost always has family (usually a fiesty, sassy aunt, mother, friend) who has a health crisis and either dies or survives. Also, her main character finds ...more
Julia Tomiak
What conjures up a coastal breeze better than a novel set in South Carolina? The story: Cate Cooper returns to her childhood home after her husband's suicide leaves her homeless, broke and emotionally shattered. Besides including lovely description of Folly Beach, Ms. Frank weaves in historical information about Dubose and Dorothy Heyward and their collaboration with the famous composer George Gershwin.

Folly Beach got me in the mood for summer and gave me a few laughs. Ms. Frank has a reputation
Mar 12, 2012 Linnet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cate's husband dies, leaving her with no money. . . even her diamond ring turns out to be fake. She returns to the Lowcountry where she grew up, to Aunt Daisy who raised her. Of course, she meets a wonderful man, creates a new life in an old place and lives happily every after. The interesting side not is the story of Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, who wrote Porgy and helped stage Porgy and Bess. Unfortunately, the story line is that Cate becomes a playwright, and writes a play about their life. Oh ...more
Jennifer Harrell Scott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Candace Rollins
While Ms. Franks genre is not one I gravitate towards, I discovered her when she was a new writer and I was living on an island near Charleston. Her plots are predictable, girl leaves low country, man hurts, leaves or dies on girl and girl comes homes for healing. What I enjoyed was the visualizations of that very special county the sunsets, food, ambiance, marshes and yes even the pluff mud. This book was void of most of that, except for a couple quick walks on Folly Beach and the story reached ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Gina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
By the end of this book I was ready to throw it at the wall.
So Gershwin's wife is rich, right? But she knows her husband is very proud and wants to support both of them. Due to this, both of them are often on the brink of starvation and illness. I didn't find that one bit romantic or even sane!

In addition, the present-day story felt pretty contrived.

Maybe this author is just not for me.
Richard Becker
Apr 08, 2016 Richard Becker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dorothy-heywood
This is such a smooth, heart-touching and awe-inspiring story about life in South Carolina's ocean-front area. it encompasses both history and present-day life in a tale about a woman who leaes New Jersey and returns to South Carolina after her husband kills himself after bankrupting them. She picks herself up in Folly Beach, S.C. and falls in love while writing a play about the depression era including George Gershwin and the writer of "Porgy and Bess". She reaquaints herself with the aunts who ...more
Lynn G.
Entertaining; light; informative about the Charleston Renaissance, Dorothy and Dubose Heyward, George Gershwin, and the development of Porgy and Bess. Features 2 intertwined narratives that shed light on the past and the present. Slightly formulaic but that doesn't detract from the story and the characters. A good choice when you are looking for a less demanding read.
Kris Patrick
The cover and title are misleading. At no point in this story is anyone hanging out on a beach. These publishing companies really should be keeping me on a retainer.

I did, however, enjoy learning about the Charleston Literary Renaissance. What a great city that I hope to visit one day!

Learning that one of the victims in the recent Charleston shooting was a Librarian had me in tears. Here is information about donating to the Charleston Public Library in Cynthia Hurd's name.

"Funds donated to Cha
Jul 06, 2016 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first read in the Lowcountry series and also my first read by Ms. Frank. Admittedly, it did take some time (several chapters) for me to warm up to the technique of past to present to past chapters and the parallel presentation of Cate and Dorothy's stories, but eventually I began to enjoy it.

Cate Cooper suffers the unexpected loss of her husband Addison, only to find the day of his funeral that the entire union was a facade. With no money, no job, and no sense of being, she return to the pla
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  • Beach House Memories
  • On Folly Beach
  • The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story
  • Islands
  • The Silver Boat
  • Spring Fever
  • Heat Wave
Dorothea Benton Frank is the New York Times best selling author of ten novels.

Dottie has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Parker Ladd's Book Talk and many local network affiliated television stations. She is a frequent speaker on creative writing and the creative process for students of all ages and in private venues as the National Arts Club, the Junior League of New York, Friends of the Library org
More about Dorothea Benton Frank...

Other Books in the Series

Lowcountry Tales (8 books)
  • Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1)
  • Plantation (Lowcountry Tales, #2)
  • Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales, #3)
  • Shem Creek (Lowcountry Tales, #4)
  • Pawleys Island (Lowcountry Tales, #5)
  • Return to Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales, #6)
  • Lowcountry Summer (Lowcountry Tales, #7)

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