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The Last Original Wife

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  12,870 Ratings  ·  1,666 Reviews
Leslie Anne Greene Carter is The Last Original Wife among her husband Wesley's successful Atlanta social set. His cronies have all traded in the mothers of their children—who they promised to love and cherish 'til death did them part—for tanned and toned young Barbie brides.

If losing the social life and close friends she adored wasn't painful enough, a series of setbacks h
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by William Morrow
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Jul 05, 2013 Knitme23 rated it did not like it
So. Advertised as a perfect beach book, LOW has potential, but then the writing style begins to make itself known: constant, trite, unvarying obviousness. Take this excerpt:

"We would toast each other with champagne and feast on oysters and roasted guinea fowl in the private room at Magnolias and cut a small cake with a bride and groom on its top and make small talk throughout the afternoon while my mind traveled the years. When I thought about the individual births of my children, my chest woul
Jul 13, 2013 Margaret rated it did not like it
I love Frank's books about the South Carolina island country. Her stories move me to tears and to laughter and her words paint beautiful pictures of the island life in the south. I knew that The Last Original Wife was going to be a deviation from her usual Sullivan Island or Folly Beach books, but hey, it was Dorothea Benton Frank, so I was excited to read her newest book. I was so disappointed.

The story begins in a promising and unique way. Leslie and Wesley (I really didn't like the cutesy cou
Wesley and Lesley's marriage is in trouble. He is married to golf. He has his high profile job as a sidekick, and his devoted wife of thirty plus years, with two spoiled grown-up kids, as an afterthought. Basically in that order.

But when Wesley visits Scotland to play golf, with his best friend Harold, and the latter's brand-new trophee wife,Cornelia, and lose Lesley for a moment, to a manhole in the street, more fuel is splashed on a smoldering fire in Lesley's soul.

Lesley had it, when she is
Jun 22, 2013 Meg rated it it was ok
Number 1 - the math in this book is off. If Leslie dropped out of college to get married because she was pregnant, and is almost 60, then her oldest child would be in his late 30's. I kept thinking DO THE MATH! Her two children are in their mid to late 20s, so either Leslie is pushing 50 or the kids are middle-aged losers.

Number 2 - I didn't LIKE Leslie. She says "I'm smart and funny and I deserve happiness". But she has been IMHO just a Lady Who Lunches. Oh poor baby, she drives a car WITH NO G
Witty and full of Southern sass. Several reviews have commented that this is not up to the usual standard of Ms.Benton Frank. Having not read her before I took it for what it entertaining look at marriage, aging and life itself in the dying era of the "old south".

Being a GRIT (girl raised in the south) myself, I laughed out loud at some of the spot on descriptions in this novel. Old, cultured and genteel south meets the new southern style. Two warring generations trying to live toge
Sep 03, 2013 Bettie rated it liked it
Immediately after I finished this book (quick 2 day read) I loved it. It made me think. But now after the better part of a week it left me depressed. It was too cleanly tied with a bow to allow choices most people in the same situation would never have. The writing style is entertaining and witty. I find it interesting that no other reviews have focused on this point about the timing of discovery. If she had never discovered the money, would there have even been a book here? I guess not, because ...more
3 stars - It was good.

I almost DNF'd this one in the very first chapter, thinking it would continue to be melodramatic and ridiculous, but I stuck with it and soon found myself laughing out loud and enjoying the southern snark.

I do however feel the author is VERY out of touch with women in their early 30's. The ladies described in the book seem much more like older teens or very young adults and their shenanigans aren't even close to realistic. Fortunately, that doesn't take away from the enter
Mar 21, 2014 Angie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who want to live in a fantasy world
If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all

Or so the saying goes... but I definitely feel the need to rant about this piece of fantasy. Since the book's protagonist is a woman my age, I hoped for a character of depth and wisdom, even though I knew this would be light chic-lit. Little did I know I would be spending the bulk of this read with someone who gets kicks from shopping therapy and complains that her children are not living up to her standards. Bleck!!!

The thing th
I wanted to love this book but it was just okay. The lead character, Les, was absolutely a Mary Sue who can do no wrong. (spoiler) Even when she's married and sleeping with another man she's still painted as the perfect genteel southern lady. And the fact that her original 'solution' to her marriage problem is to move to Charleston while her husband lives in Atlanta and they will remain married for the rest of their days, with the husband, Wes, boinking the occasional hooker as he has done throu ...more
The Last Original Wife is a standalone novel written by author Dorothea Benton Frank. The main character Leslie "Les" is fed up with her husband and adult children taking her for granted. After watching her husband's friends move on to women half their age, she wonders if this is her fate too. Some events and realizations occur in this story that escalate Les's unhappiness, and she finally does something about it.

The deep southern aspect of this novel adds humor and charm, and that was my favor
Jun 23, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
I love a story with a sassy southern female character. This story takes place in both Charleston and Atlanta. This made me want to take a drive further down south. I loved Les and her ability to realize she deserved happiness as much as her family.
Favorite Quote:
"It was like an episode of the Young and the Restless combined with the Old and the Determined."
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Ok all you wonderful ladies who stayed home and took care of a husband and your will love this book. It is simply delightful, just like the author whom I had the pleasure of meeting.

Leslie Carter was a stay-at-home wife/mother who pinched pennies all her life and was starting to wonder why she did. She was tired of being unappreciated and taken for granted especially when she accidentally found a bank statement her husband, Wesley, never allowed her to see that had a balance of 22 mi
Jun 15, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
Disappointing. The protagonist is an almost-sixty year old woman who has been married thirty years, having dropped out of college to marry in a pregnant rush. Which would make her fifty, not sixty. Mathematical errors aside, the characters behaved in completely unbelievable ways and spoke unconvincingly too. The husband was too much of a shit without any redeeming qualities which would have made her stay married. The kids were awful, the plot ridiculous. Plus the author threw in a few random gho ...more
Jun 13, 2013 Annette rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, and gave it my highest rating because it entertained me, made me laugh out loud and gave me quotable passages that rang perfectly true!

This is her best novel since her first. I've liked them all, but this one has a terrific storyline and it rings true that many of a certain age can embrace.

Terrific read for the beach. I'm traveling to Charleston in two weeks, and I will be looking for these restaurants and Josephine Pickney!
Učitaj se!
May 07, 2015 Učitaj se! rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Ovaj roman govori o braku i bračnim problemima, ali dodajući toj ozbiljnoj temi i malu dozu humora. Trend odbacivanja 'starih i dotrajalih' supruga za mlađe i novije modele koji prakticiraju Wesleyevi prijatelji ovdje je okidač koji usmjeri Leslienu pažnju na probleme u njenom braku koji su zapravo oduvijek bili ondje, samo sve do sada nije o njima razmišljala niti im dopuštala da joj dođu u fokus, nego ih je ostavljala da plutaju negdje sa strane, kao da bi, ako na njih ne obraća pažnju dovoljn ...more
Jul 21, 2013 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
After thirty years of marriage to Wesley, Leslie Carter has reached an epiphany. Is she the only original wife in their social set? When she looks around, she sees the changing landscape of marriage for those she knows...and must take another look at her life. The Last Original Wife: A Novel is the story of her journey.

Does she want to keep waiting on a husband who doesn't appreciate or love her in the way she needs? What does her life mean when it's all about Wes and his needs? What about hers?
Maggie Tidwell
Feb 21, 2014 Maggie Tidwell rated it did not like it
This is, without a doubt, the worst book I have ever read in a very long life of reading books. Allow me to save you the trouble: Characters: Long suffering Southern wife who has never had a job, deplorable yet wildly successful homophobic borderline alcoholic husband, lazy manipulative borderline alcoholic daughter, son who is described only by his dreadlocks and odor, slutty new young wives of deplorable husband's deplorable friends, Martha the non-English-speaking housekeeper, Jose' the psych ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Patty rated it it was amazing
The Last Original Wife
Dorothea Benton Frank

My"in a nutshell" summary...

Wes and Les are married but not too happily. After putting up with his outrageous ways for 30 years...Les leaves! Yeah, Les!

My thoughts after reading...

I have not read one of Dottie's books in a while but I truly think she outdid herself with this's filled with quick wit and tons of fun snarky sarcasm. I loved Les...she was the good wife for long enough. Her revolt against her husband was divine!

I loved the way sh
May 04, 2013 ☮Karen rated it did not like it

Right from the start of the audio book I was annoyed by two things: the narrator's voice and affected Southern drawl, and the married couple named Wes and Les. I really hate the matchy matchiness of names in books when there's just no reason for it. It was almost as nauseating as the time I read an otherwise pleasant debut novel with a couple named Jack and Jill. That marriage was doomed too.
The characters are what is really wrong with this book. They are boring, shallow and unlikeable. Don't e
Jun 26, 2013 Martha rated it liked it
Chick-lit for the mature reader is the best way I can think of to describe this book. If you are late 40s (and beyond), married for 15+ years, and enjoy stories of romance set in the south (Atlanta and Charleston) this book would probably be worth your time in reading.

Dorothea Benton Frank tells the story of Leslie and Weston (Les and Wes) and their struggles after 30 years of marriage. In their circle of friends, Les remains the "last original wife" as their closest two "couple friends" have s
Jul 29, 2013 Lauriann rated it liked it
Well, look at the cover. Does this scream "beach read???" Yes, to the point that I wanted to make a plain brown cover out of a grocery bag and cover it when other people were around. I was hoping it would sustain its position on the New York Times Best-Seller List so that I would be vindicated, but at last check it was gone, gone, gone from the list. And now I have gone and outed myself as a book snob. While many books on the subject of the dissolution of a marriage are tossing and turning with ...more
Apr 27, 2014 Camie rated it really liked it
Soon to be 60 year old Leslie Anne looks around one evening at the Country Club and notes that she is the last original wife at the table, her husband's (Wes) affluent friends having moved on to new "trophy" wives. She misses her old friends, most of whom, like her, have spent their lives putting everyone else first while raising their families, and after a few events involving her husband and her ungrateful adult children , decides to make some big changes in her life. Sometimes a book should j ...more
Jun 25, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing
One look at the cover of Dorothea Benton Frank's The Last Original Wife, with a woman lounging on the sand near the ocean, wearing a stylish red sun hat, and you know right away this is a book that will be accompanying you to the beach.

Les is the title character, a middle-aged wife and mother of two adult children, doting grandmother to sweet little Holly. Married to Wes, a driven businessman, they dine at the exclusive country club each Saturday with their group of friends.

But that group is cha
Feb 01, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: chick lit, southern book charm, southern fiction
The latest book from Dot Frank is pretty darn good. Love all her stories from the Lowcountry, South Carolina. I always want to take a road trip when I wrap one of her little gems up. Frank's books always take place in the Lowcountry, from Sullivan's Island to Pawleys Island. Last Original Wife starts out in Atlanta but quickly moves to Charleston. The book also contains some literary tidbits on Josephine Pinckney. (The main character flees to Charleston to stay with her brother, who happens to o ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok
I'll preface this review by saying that I am a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank. I've read almost everything she's written and enjoyed much of it. As a result, I was very much looking forward to this book.

Unfortunately, The Last Original Wife just did not live up to my expectations. It was fine, it was ok, it was decently written. But, at the end of the day, I just did not enjoy it and it took effort from me to finish it. The Last Original Wife is the story of Les, middle aged mother of two adult ch
Jun 18, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved how Lesley reassessed her life and realised she was being taken for granted. I love that she chose to be happy and to make the choice for a life enjoyed. I loved her little bit of revenge but mostly her common sense and forgiveness. Both powerful and funny. Must read more of DBF.
Linda Hart
Sep 19, 2014 Linda Hart rated it really liked it
I've been reading/listening Dorothea Benton Frank's LowCountry tales and thinking I could love living in the South. Her writing style is friendly and engaging. Although being older and not a Southerner I could relate to the protagonist and her generation. I recommend it to anyone as a light fluffy read with some hilarious events and memorable characters.
Susan Crowe
This was my first book by DBF and I really enjoyed it. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator is marvelous!
Jun 08, 2013 TAMMY CUEVAS rated it it was amazing
Les and Wes: sounds like a cute couple. But among their friends, Leslie is the last original wife. All the other husbands have traded up(?) to Barbies (new, young wives). But Wesley is the least likely to do the trade-in; he needs his wife. He needs her to cook, clean, do his laundry......Leslie is beginning to think Wesley may be taking her for granted, and it can't be more obvious when she falls into a manhole and it takes him 45 minutes to notice she's not with him.

Alternating between Leslie
Apr 26, 2015 Lesley rated it did not like it
(view spoiler) ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Summer Girls (Lowcountry Summer #1)
  • Ladies' Night
  • Island Girls
  • The Time Between
  • Return to the Beach House
  • Ocean Beach (Ten Beach Road, #2)
  • Southern as a Second Language (Dixie, #3)
  • Time Flies
  • Sweet Salt Air
  • The Lemon Orchard
  • And Then I Found You
  • Moonrise
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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...

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“As we did every New Year's Eve we made ridiculous resolutions that no one would keep, and quietly we all wondered what the coming year would hold, each of us praying for our own private miracles. Good health. Better health. A marriage for this child, a good job for another. This hopefulness was something hardwired into our psyches, that a new year might mean some monumental something wonderful could happen to bring us happiness at a level we had never known. A new year was a chance to start over. Maybe even, just maybe, there would be peace on earth for one entire day.” 12 likes
“That's what I wanted for myself for even just a little while-to be unaware of the rest of the world. I needed some time.” 5 likes
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