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Shem Creek (Lowcountry Tales #4)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  5,888 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Meet Linda Breland, single parent of two teenage daughters. The oldest, Lindsey, who always held her younger sister in check, is leaving for college. And Gracie, her Tasmanian devil, is giving her nightmares. Linda's personal life? Well, between the married men, the cold New Jersey winters, her pinched wallet and her ex-husband who marries a beautiful, successful woman ten ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2002)
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Starts off well. Linda Breland, single mom of two teen daughters, is tired of her life in NJ. She heads down to SC to her sister's to see if she can start over. We see her problems with her ex, her job, the men she dates, and her kids. Then we get her to SC where she lives with her supportive sister who is glad to have her around. She finds a job with a good group of people. Then all of a sudden the problems pretty much stop. The teen daughter who was getting trouble at every turn, stops. It's j ...more
I hate to give a fellow South Carolinian one star, but I really didn't like this book. I grew up in Mt. Pleasant, where the story take place and it was really neat to see real places from my hometown in print, but I thought the writing was mediocre, the story was sappy and there wasn't really a good ending. It was like she got close to the end and the publishers said,"Ok, we need your manuscript right now!" and she just ended it.
Sharon Huether
A mother with custody of her daughters leave NJ for her home in SC. She needs a fresh start since her divorce. Her sister is there in Mt Pleasant. Linda gets an interesting job in a popular local restruant. As she works there she is observed by all and is well liked, especially by the owner. To her surprise he asked her to marry him. The story brings out love, friendship, second chances and family. Great story
The first book I read on vacation was Dorothea Benton Frank's Shem Creek. All of her books are based in South Carolina, which is one reason I'm such a fan. What was really cool was that we actually drove over Shem Creek while I was reading this book in the car - COOL. Anyway, like her others, I really enjoyed this book. Most of her stories have a similar premise - a woman (usually divorced) returns home to the South with at least one teenaged daughter. However, the stories above and beyond that ...more
Elizabeth Oporto
This book was pretty mediocre, even taking into account my low expectations/needing an easy read for a long car ride.
I tried to have a good book going in the car most of the time. I just finished an abridged version of Shem Creek. I was disappointed when the set arrived on interlibrary load after waiting a couple weeks and seeing that it was abridged so I just went for it. As usual Frank writes a great story about older adults dating, their children and even their grandchildren. This one was about Linda, her two daughters Lindsey and Gracie and her new employer Brad. The gang that work at the restaurant is a h ...more
Seminole County Public Library
(Submitted in the 2014 Summer Reading Grand Prize Drawing)

Linda Breland, single mom of 2 girls moves from New Jersey to her childhood home, Shem Creek in Mt Pleasant S.C. While staying with her sister Mimi, Linda applies & gets a job as restaurant manager where employees become like family. Brad Jackson, restaurant owner & his son Mex become involved with Linda and her girls. There are many interesting moments with environmental activists, a young female stalker, Linda injured by Brad’s
A wonderful story that made me laugh and cry! But the sad tears were replaced many timrs over with happy tears. Another must read by Ms. Frank.
I give this a book a meh, it was ok, hand wave. The parts I loved: the description of the area, the creek itself, the beach, the lifestyle the characters led, the cute boathouse on the water they lived in. I fell more in love with the idea of this book, I think, than the actual book itself. What I didn't like: The crazy sudden relationship at the end between Linda and Brad- throughout most of the book you maybe got the sense that Linda was starting to develop a crush on Brad, but you didn't get ...more
Kerry Hennigan
I can’t remember whether Shem Creek was the first or second book by Ms Frank that I ever read. It was certainly one or the other. I was enchanted by her recreation of the world of the coastal South, with its creeks and islands and quirky characters. It is the story of Linda Breland who returns to her home state with her two teenage daughters reluctantly in tow, to remake her life close to her sister and the places where she grew up. Needing a job, she talks a local restaurateur, Brad Jackson, in ...more
Writing this review I am reminded of how much I enjoyed this first of my Dorothea Benton Frank Novels. This story of a strong southern woman transplanted by marriage up north who takes her two teenaged daughters home to the Low Country and to her sister's place after a bad divorce really had me hooked after reading only part of chapter one.

I love the way the characters just sort of happen upon each other and meet up by happenstance and suddenly become the best of friends. (except for family of c
Barbara Loggia
High score for one of my favorite writer's pool from So Carolina Lowcountry. Fun story, great setting, always lighthearted. A NJ mom of 2 teens returns to her roots after a divorce and realization that there's more to life than what she had. A great sister, new job and home, new job and some romance. It's a great book at any time but great to get away from a NY winter to escape to warmth, sunshine, southern charm. And, of course, food! Will look for another of her books.
I've been motivated to read Dorothea's low country tales for two reasons. 1) because I have visited many of the places and wanted to revisit them in prose. And 2) because I'm going to meet her when I attend a book signing for her new book out today, All The Single Ladies. In addition, some of the ladies in my book club have enjoyed her work. So I said what the hay! Well, first I read Return to Sullivan's Island, rated it 4 stars, then I read Sullivan's island (I know out of order!) and said hmmm ...more
This is the start of another DBF marathon. Linda is headed back to the land of her ancestors with her two daughters in tow, leaving behind NJ winters, an ex-husband and new wife, to a warm welcome from her sister, Mimi. The older daughter is headed to college, and the younger one is a handful. Brad hires her to run his restaurant on Shem Creek eventho she has no restaurant experience. Life slows down, and they sway to the rhythm of the South.
I think I'll give Ms Frank a rest for awhile. The last couple books I've read seem to be pretty similar in plotting and a little formulaic. I like the low country venue, but "woman somehow gets to big city, gets married, has kids, husband cheats (epically), woman flees back to low country where she deals with rotten history, makes new and reacquaints with old friends, finds the man of her dreams and lives happily ever after has been done, ad nauseam.
Ms. Frank has a unique writing style that I have come to love. This was a nice story. It wasn’t exceptional. A bit boring I might add, but the language and the phrasing and the conversations were witty and humorous. The story is about Linda and her 2 girls who come down to Shem creek after Linda decides she needs a new start especially for her wild teenager Gracie. Linda applies for a job at this restaurant owned by Brad. She gets the job because Brad takes an instant liking to her, even if she ...more
Alyce Joines
This is one of my favorite Dorothea Benton Frank books. I climb right inside the characters and live the rebellion of Gracie, the fear of Linda, in fact, the emotions of all the variety of people who inhabit this book. Linda is the mother of two, a daughter who is leaving for college in the fall, and a second daughter, Gracie, who has the knack for doing, saying or looking just the way to send her mother over the edge. The three have left New Jersey and are living with Linda's sister until they ...more
Karen Dunaway
Read it, looked forward to getting back to it whenever I paused. But her books are always slightly disappointing, as though the nice depiction of the area gave way to something about the level of a beach read. Her southern people are a bit overstated for my taste, nearly cliche. Don't know why I think I should expect more from her, but I always do.
Enjoyed this book. Linda did the right thing getting her daughters out of New Jersey after her divorce. It took her awhile to realize what everyone else knew, that she and Brad had fallen in love. It took a confrontation with Amy and a fire at the restaurant and Gracie in the hospital to hit the nail on the head. Love DBF books...
Kelly Dale
As a new mom I dont get to sit and read a lot but I do listen to a lot of audio books. This was my 4th book in a few months that I have listened to by Ms. Benton. The book was great but the end felt very rushed. The one thing I will say about the audio book is that if you listened to book #3 in this series then you have the previous characters voices in your head. There is a different reader for this book and when the previous characters show up in this book they sound nothing like they did beca ...more
Ho hum tale of Linda Breland relocating from New Jersey to South Carolina with her two teenage daughters. As much as I love the Charleston area, all the beautiful descriptions of the landscape and people couldn't make this "love story" come to life for me. I have a hard time rooting for people to fall in love when they barely spend any time together and most of the story discusses mother/daughter dynamics instead of creating the foundation for a life-altering love. I wanted Linda and Brad to be ...more
Jennifer Hodges Young
I read this and enjoyed it for the most part but there were many things that just weren't good. Linda is leaving New Jersey and moving back to South Carolina with her two teenage daughters. The oldest is almost invisible she is so bland and the youngest it just a brat. After having read the book I still don't know any more about them than that. There are other chacerters with the same problem the two charecters Duane and O'Malley who work at the resturant with Linda that just all of a sudden tur ...more
Aug 22, 2011 Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
This is my second of Frank's novels, and also the second audio format of her books that I have experienced. I would rate this book 2.5 stars. What I especially liked were the author's descriptions of the low country of South Carolina. She really excels in this area. The characters are colorful as well, and the voice actors in the audio book did a good portrayal of the local accents. In this respect, I enjoyed this audio book more than Full of Grace. I plan to read the print edition of Frank's Pa ...more
Woman takes charge of her life by leaving the fast paced life in NJ and returning to her hometown in SC. Maybe I've taught too many students how to predict and infer, but I could see every major event in this story...before it was revealed.
Claire B. Brock
I liked the book. If you like this book read the rest. No they are not intellectually challenging just good, easy, entertaining reading. I am a Southeastern girl born and breed so the southernisms a familiar to me. I read a review of one of her books that commented on the 'War of Northern Aggression' and the author of the review said we should 'get over it' and 'quit romanticizing' the south. Well move out of South Carolina lady and don't come any further south to Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi o ...more
I like Dotty Frank...Her books are not grand literature, but they are a nice "escape". She writes about the Lowcountry with affection, understanding and humor. With each book, ehr writing gets a little better, her characters a little truer. This book, the story of new beginnings for a mother, her two daughters and the new family they create with the folks they meet on the shores of Shem Creek, is probably my favorite of hers, thus far. I wish I'd marked some passages to record here- things like ...more
I was looking for some comfort reading after the Newtown, Ct tragedy and this was available at the library. The thing about Ms. Frank's stories is that they're much the same - she finds the goodness and hospitality of the south and puts it into a story. And in this case, she offers recipes at the end!

The plot is almost secondary; generally there's a wife/mother who's been dumped or left widowed as the center of the piece. Her family rallies to her side and she and her family find their happily
Enjoyable but not of my favorites.I found the story not as compelling as the others, and the dialogue drove me batty. Way too many exclamation points etc. Still a great author but this one lacked something the others had. Story about a mom rasing two daughters and the choice to change all of their lives with a big move to the country. Loved the gang at the restaraunt and her sister Mimi who enriched her life so much.I love Dorethea Benton Frank, and look so forward to her new books. I rush out a ...more
Sarah Shaw Schmitz
Can't get enough

I am devouring these like dessert. Frank writes about South Carolina with love and accuracy. I am reading this series as quick as I can. Simply can't get enough.
Caitlin Yaeger
This book was okay, but I really didn't like the way DBF threw around the words slut, ho, twat, etc. It felt crass and just wasn't the way women should treat or talk about each other.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Lowcountry Tales (9 books)
  • Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales #1)
  • Plantation (Lowcountry Tales #2)
  • Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales #3)
  • Pawleys Island (Lowcountry Tales #5)
  • Return to Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales #6)
  • Lowcountry Summer (Lowcountry Tales #7)
  • Folly Beach (Lowcountry Tales, #8)
  • Bulls Island
Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales #1) The Last Original Wife Plantation (Lowcountry Tales #2) Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales #3) The Hurricane Sisters

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