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Full of Grace

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  3,346 ratings  ·  295 reviews
The move from New Jersey to Hilton Head, South Carolina, wasn't easy for the Russo family—difficult enough for Big Al and Connie, but even harder for their daughter Maria Graziella, who insists on being called Grace. At thirty-one and still, shockingly, unmarried, Grace has scandalized her staunchly traditional Italian family by moving in with her boyfriend Michael—who, th ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published May 1st 2006)
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I'm mulling this one over in my interesting mix of Charleston and Catholicism and not sure how I feel about it all. Give me a minute.

Okay, I've got it now. The reason I had such a hard time with writing an entry was because of the range of reactions I had to reading this. In one sense, I found it very much in the style of Dottie Frank, so it was like slipping into a comfortable pair of jeans. It's always interesting to me to see how she pops in local places and faces from Charleston. (
This is a powerful novel that will either shake up your belief system or confirm that your faith is right where it needs to be. As a non-catholic, I will also say that it went a long way toward helping me understand some aspects of that faith. The author bravely deals with conflicts between the modern world and religious beliefs. I read this years ago but picked up the book on CD version recently to help pass the time as I drove back and forth for chemo treatments. I had forgotten that the book ...more
This book started out with a good solid storyline -- of a woman with an interesting job and a crazy family and loving boyfriend. Then the author completely lost me with the religious -- and unrealistic -- tone of the final quarter or so of the book. Couldn't wait for it to end, and, in fact, probably skimmed the final few pages.
Overall, Full of Grace is like My Big Fat Greek Wedding but with a crazy cast of characters from a hard-core Italian Catholic family. Grace (the over-30 and seemingly content to still be unmarried daughter of this family) is and always will be Maria Graciella to her grandmother.
Add to this storyline Michael, Grace's live-in commitment-challenged boyfriend who is Irish, an agnostic and whose calling in life is doing stem cell research. He has never met Grace's family because he's neither Italian
Trish Waters
This is my third book that I have read by this author (after Plantation and Pawley's Island). While I think she's an excellent author and captured the flavor of the area, I found all her female main characters to have a bit of a snobbish mean streak. In each story there is one "white trash" character, who I don't think is necessary to the story. The narrator is constantly putting down and making fun of that person. I'm not sure if I want to continue her books if this formula continues.
I'm with Carly, my least favorite of Dorothea's books... the lowcountry setting is not evident enough to make me love it!!
My favorite by Dorthea Benton Frank! All her books make me feel like I am on vacation in Charleston!
Started out strong.....but really fizzled out in the last 1/4 of the book....became very annoying
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
This book was a page turner for sure. It had a few twists I was not expecting, and I enjoyed seeing how the relationship between a grown daughter and her mother changed from the beginning to the end.
I had to give up on this one. The characters were flat, the story line completely boring, family interactions were unnecessarily nauseatingly drawn out. The theme of miracles, esprcially relating to the Catholic church, was insultingly simplistic and not at all believable or captivating. I rarely give up on books, but this one was BAD!
Kayla Deangeles
The title of the book should be "Being Mean to Marianne." Grace actually is full of herself and, in the end, her smart mouth is tiresome. The story doesn't speak well of Italians or Catholics, as they come off as narrow and clique-ish. Some of the writing is entertaining but forgettable. I would not recommend it.
I picked this book up because it had a picture of the ocean on the cover, and the girl is wearing a beautiful turquoise skirt. The description talks about South Carolina. I was hooked! I suppose that's what they mean by "don't judge a book by its cover". The two main characters are not married but live together. Her family is very judgmental in the beginning because they are Catholic and he is Irish. The book is really about converting people to Catholicism. As a Christian, I found the subject i ...more
Karen Benson
A young woman runs away to South Carolina to escape life, only to make a new one for herself. A typical Dorothea Benton Frank lowcountry novel. What's not to love?
Listened to Full of Grace by Dorothea Benton Frank. The rich atmosphere of South Carolina, both 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, South Carolina. Retirement heaven -- at least it's supposed to be, but for Big Al and Connie, the move from New Jersey to ...more
Mary Cooper
I had just finished "Shem Creek" when I started into "Full of Grace". My initial reaction was, "Another character named Grace?" The outcome was no surprise to me. I have to admit, I did skip over some of the parts of the book because it just wasn't going fast enough for me. Being Catholic, I "got" the references and the origin of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but I wondered if non-Catholics would get it.
As I read Frank's books, I find the conversation to not be very natural and to be rather forced. Pe

"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, st
Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my favorite writers!!! I was visiting a bookstore in Charleston, SC and came upon one of her novels. There was a nice blurb by Pat Conroy (one of my other faves) so I decided to pick it up. That book was, luckily for me, Sullivan's Island which started the journey for all of her readers, and I was in love. It was particularly appealing because I was right there where I was. I pace myself on her books so that I always have some waiting for me when I want to read so ...more
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I bought this one on a whim, and it turned out to be a pretty good summer read. The main character has to reconcile her love for her staunchly Catholic family with the love of her life who is Irish, agnostic, and a stem-cell reasearch doctor. I enjoyed it mainly because I identified with the Italian family aspects. Catholics would especially enjoy it, in fact, I started to wonder if Dorthea Benton Frank was the Anita Stansfield of Catholicism. I guess that statement alone will make all my book g ...more
Delicious Strawberry
I really enjoyed this book because Grace was a fun and defiant character. There's tension between her and her parents, which is entirely reasonable (and realistic) over her boyfriend. This makes for a fun story, and then you have her dealing with her family and their traditional Catholic values.

Overall I had a good read, I was drawn in quickly and enjoyed the plot. I had high hopes for this book, but the ending dumped on all of that. Scientific thinking is thrown out of the window for miracles,
I loved this book but Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my favorite authors so I may be a little prejudiced. Grace and Michael are a couple who seem made for each other, but have a few areas in their relationship that might create stumbling blocks. Grace is from a tight-knit, nutty and loud, Italian Catholic family while Michael is Irish, a scientist doing stem-cell research and has a mother dying of Alzheimer's. Grace is a travel agent who travels all over the world for a high clientele agency.

This author never disappoints me. I really liked the main character, defiant, sassy and a heart of gold! The story line is set around the Italian family and their faith in the Catholic Church. Of course Grace, the daughter, is shacked up with Michael, the stem cell scientist, need I say more? The story has you questioning beliefs, faith and the possibility of miracles. Let's not forget as with any Frank novel, the existence of a love story and strong family characters.

What began as a typical Dorothea Benton Frank book with a good storyline and character development, the ending resulted as an endorsement for the Catholic Church. I skimmed the last pages and almost tossed the book. As I look at the title while writing this review, I now see the clue that this book is about one's having faith . . . Catholic style. Had I read all the reviews, I probably would have skipped this book in the series.
Another book by Dorothea Benton Frank, and another enjoyable read. This one seemed different from her others to me, but it could have been the subject. It was just a tad slow in spots, but in the end, I really did like it.

This book follows Grace Russo, the only daughter in a big New Jersey Italian family, who moves to Charleston when her parents decide to relocate to Hilton Head. She's - gasp - in her 30's, unmarried, living with an man who is not Italian, and pursuing her career as a travel age
This book is fantastic. Enjoyed the story line especially the debate within the family of how to live out one's faith. When one is feeling that the faith of our mothers, grandparents and fathers don't work. What do we do? This story takes that apart in a description for a couple who sees how the journey of faith is different for all of us
Some books you read, others you listen to on CD - Full of Grace is one of those books that is great no matter how you get the story. I just finished the Audio Book version - it's the funny, touching novel about Grace Russo, a transplanted Jersey girl now living in South Carolina, at odds with the traditional Catholic faith her deeply Italianparents and grandmother (Nona) are so devoted to.... this is the story of Grace, her boyfriend Michael (with whom she is "living in mortal sin," much to her ...more
It's not easy to get resolution with such divergent views of spirituality in the same family, but the author does it with humor and a light touch. Performed by an accomplished voice artist who is skilled at imbuing each character with their unique voice tone and accent. A good audio book for the car.
Now that's Italian; thatsa Catholic! This is a review of the audio version of the book, and this is the first of Dorothea Frank's novels that I have read (or listened to). From what I have learned about the author, the story is a departure from Frank's previous Lowcountry novels, even though it is set in Hilton Head Island. The plot has more to do with a young woman of Italian heritage, tradition, religion, faith, Catholicism, and how Grace and her boyfriend deal with these issues. As someone wh ...more
I love vacationing near Charleston and while on vacation I usually like to read something that takes place around Charleston or the South. Therefore Dorothea Benton Frank books as well as Anne River Siddons although I prefer Siddons' books. I find the characters richer.
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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...
Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales #1) The Last Original Wife Plantation (Lowcountry Tales #2) Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales #3) Shem Creek (Lowcountry Tales #4)

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