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Plantation (Lowcountry Tales #2)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,725 Ratings  ·  356 Reviews

When Caroline Wimbley Levine learns that her mother, Miss Lavinia, has supposedly gone mad, she leaves the big city bustle of Manhattan and returns to Tall Pines Plantation. Caroline originally left Tall Pines to escape her feisty, eccentric mother and her drunken brother, Trip, but when Miss Lavinia dies, Caroline is forced to come to terms with her family's troubled hist

ebook, 608 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published July 1st 2001)
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Jean Perry It's a southern colloquialism/contraction that takes the place of "hear" or "here" as used by non-southerners, usually as a question or command, as in…moreIt's a southern colloquialism/contraction that takes the place of "hear" or "here" as used by non-southerners, usually as a question or command, as in "You be back by ten, y'ear?" I was surprised by the spelling Frank used. I would have spelled it "y'ear" or " ye'r". (less)
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Jun 25, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010, own, loaned-out
The characters in Plantation are fantastic! Love them (Miss Lavinia) or not (Frances Mae), they are all vividly portrayed and intriguing. Certain characters reminded me so much of members of my own family, especially Trip's brood (I probably shouldn't say that, haha!). Frank's descriptions of the ACE Basin are so colorful and graphic you can feel the mugginess in the air, taste Miss Sweetie's strawberry jam, and smell Miss Lavinia's roses. This is one of the few books I've read that emotes both ...more
Nov 18, 2011 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read several excellent novels set in the Low Country of the U.S. Southeast (roughly, along the tidal coast between Charleston and Savannah) by three authors: Pat Conroy, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Dorothea Benton Frank. Though a long way from being a native, I'm familiar with the territory because my husband grew up in Savannah and one of my brothers has lived in the Charleston area for 45 years or so.

As with the others, this book's characters are so richly drawn I felt as if I knew them as
May 07, 2008 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This may have even been better than Sullivan's Island, which was the first Frank book for me. It was so clever and funny, but yet so poignant. The characters were so well developed--it was a really fun read, for sure. Hmmm, which Dorothea Benton Frank book I will tackle next?????
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I love Dorothea Benton Frank. She always writes wonderful stories with very strong women characters and Plantation is no exception. Millie is wonderful with her fiery personality and her Gullah dialect and her potions. She is a great sidekick to Miss Lavinia, the Queen of Tall Pines. Miss Lavinia is eccentric as they come. She rules her little world with a strict discipline - Miss Manners must be proud. She is irreverent. She is funny. She is warm when she wants to be. And she loves to have fun ...more
Judi/Judith Riddle
I picked this novel up at a local library book sale for 25 cents and I got a big surprise when I opened the book and started reading. I couldn't stop turning the pages of this mesmerizing story of a family in distress in the Low Country, which are the islands surrounding Charleston, SC. As I was reading this wonderful novel I couldn't help thinking the the writing style seemed similar to a cross between Pat Conroy and Fannie Flag, two popular southern authors. This novel will be a revisit for an ...more
Feb 01, 2011 Clare rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One star is too many for this book. In the spirit of full disclosure, I need to say that I could not get past the first 100 pages before I put it down in disgust. The author relies on stereotypes (a pregnant woman thinks she is going to have a girl because she craves pink food), improbablities (a woman says nothing to her husband after calling his hotel room and his jealous ex-wife answers the phone), and misinformation (the information shared regarding learning disabilites is misleading and jus ...more
Jul 29, 2010 Stacy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
moves right to the top of my list.......can't wait for "Lowcontry Summer"......God Bless Dottie Frank!
Nice easy read. I liked it a lot...was it a five star read? heavens, no, but it was an entertaining easy read where I didn't need to think at all so it was just the book to get me out of my reading slump.
It dragged a wee bit for the last third, but then don't all things drag a bit in the South ? :)

2 and a half star read...I gave it the extra half here on good reads, because it helped me get out of my reading slump.
Apr 19, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere around page 478 of 583 (mass paperpack edition), I slammed the book shut. Done. I read it. If it were my own book and not the library copy it would have hit the wall flying at 40 miles an hour. This book is snarky and syrupy so I am giving it right back.
Dear Dorethea, I recently read your new book, The Hurricane Sisters. It was okay. I gave it 3 stars. But I am so done with women's Southern Fiction and anything else you write. Done I tell you.
P.S. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, w
Jun 28, 2010 Marcia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle, x2010
Plantation by Dorothea Benton Frank has been on the "gotta get to this book" list for some time. Now that a follow-up book, Lowcountry Summer, has just come out, I figured it was time to get to Plantation which I had downloaded to my Kindle last year.

Plantation was a story of a family finding its true self again after years of misinterpretations and misunderstandings. I enjoyed seeing Caroline Wimbley Levine find her true heart and home, although it seemed at times that she certainly was taking
Jul 30, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book, until the end; not that the ending was bad...I just don't care for sad endings. The whole book tended to be on the humorous side but the ending took a turn for the serious that didn't really mesh with the tone of the rest of the book.

The main character, Caroline, deals with major life changes with a quick wit and sassy southern charm. She grows up idolizing her father who was taken away from the family far too early. Caroline is left with her brother while he
Feb 09, 2016 Joanieg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so much. The setting was beautiful, the characters were awesome (you either love them or love to hate them), loads of good family drama and a touch of romance. Miss Lavinia will make you laugh out loud. My favorite DB Frank book so far, but I've got a lot of her books to go yet. One of my very favorite authors.
Alyce Joines
Sep 02, 2012 Alyce Joines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An "eyes wide open" look at mother-daughter relationships, Plantation introduces us to Caroline Wimbley Levine who left her southern home for the big city, married and had a son. She also left behind her mother, Miss Lavinia, and her brother, Trip. Caroline comes back to the plantation after both call her with wildly varying stories of an incident in which Miss Lavinia fired a gun at Trip. Finding the truth behind this story and many others which Caroline had believed since she was a child gives ...more
Apr 26, 2012 Jacqui rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the molasses-y southerness of this book - the music of the speech, the visceral presence of the setting, the irreverent reverence of “Mother,” the slow waltz of character interplay.
And it was the perfect book for this moment in my life.
warning: sort of spoiler alert for next paragraph...
Having just been blind-sided by the sudden death of my mother, I, like Caroline in the novel, find myself stopped short by brief glimpses of her presence. I’ll see it out of the corner of my eye. There
Dec 14, 2008 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ivy and Jen
Recommended to Natalie by: Aunt Cay
A masterpiece in what I would call "character-driven fiction." Much like my own writing, it's not the plot-points that sell this as much as the characters, think Fanny Flagg but faster moving fiction. The mother in this novel is one of the best female characters I've seen in a long time and quite original, warm, funny, inviting. It's told from the daughter's point of view in first person. You will bawl your eyes out towards the end when the mother holds her last great "Hurrah!" in her pontoon bo ...more
Aug 14, 2016 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book that is both touching and funny. I loved it. I will certainly be reading more of Dorthea Benton Frank's work!
Barbara Hale
Thoroughly enjoyable modern day family saga set in the ACE Basin near Charleston. Caroline Levine was born and raised at the family plantation, but left it all behind when she headed northeast to college. There she falls in love with one of her teaching assistants (Richard Levine), gets married and settles down in New York City. A dozen years later, she returns to the plantation to find out what is going on with her mother and her younger brother. This is a story about family, and the strong fam ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Meg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shit on this book. It's my own fault that I kept going, but I felt it was pretty good until 350 pages or so. I couldn't stop when I was that far invested and then it just got so much worse. Layers and layers of BS cliche southern woman rediscovering her love of home and freedom from a shit marriage and reacquaintance with her faith. Vomit on a stick! Just serve me up a 12 pack of American cheese instead; I'd feel just as disgusted upon finishing. I kept thinking if I died while I was reading thi ...more
Dec 12, 2009 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read several books by Dorothea Benton Frank that I have enjoyed very much. However, I did not like Plantation as much as the others. The story is good, a grown daughter returning to South Carolina to care for her mother, however I never really connected with the daughter. She seemed to behave in ways that didn't seem in character. The descriptions of the Low Country of South Carolina are very well done. The loving and devoted housekeeper was funny and delightful, my favorite character in ...more
Jul 25, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-fiction
What a delightful book! It's been sitting on my bookshelf forever but I only picked it up to read this week, and then I couldn't put it down. The characters are so well-written and fully fleshed out, you'll feel as if you know each one intimately. And if you're from the South, or if you have an especially quirky family, you'll swear these characters are kin to you. Author Frank draws such a real picture of South Carolina, you'll feel the humidity and smell the river and even swat at the gnats an ...more
Jan 04, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: swapped
I guess I'd rate this one at 3.5. I liked it better than Sullivan's Island because I felt the story progressed a bit better. I am finding an unlikely amount of love interests in her stories. It seems that every man these women meet just about fall in love with them and no one ever really seems angry when the romance fizzles. And they are always so friendly with each other. No hurt feelings or jealousy. Seems a bit unrealistic to me, but it was a cute, feel good story none-the-less.
Judy Collins
Apr 11, 2014 Judy Collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank, SC Lowcountry and queen of the south, I have read a few of her newer releases and missed some of the oldies but goodies, so playing catch up. I love the reprints and new e-books, with the new high resolution attractive front covers, which are nice to display on your reading list instead of the old outdated covers. (Nice job with Sullivan’s Island-Lowcountry Tales #1 and Plantation – Lowcountry Tales #2), as read them back to back.

Dorothea definitely speaks the
Wanda Gibbons
Apr 23, 2015 Wanda Gibbons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the Goodreads summary. Caroline Wimbley Levine always swore she’d never go home again. But now, at her brother’s behest, she has returned to South Carolina to see about Mother—only to find that the years have not changed the Queen of Tall Pines Plantation. Miss Lavinia is as maddeningly eccentric as ever—and absolutely will not suffer the questionable advice of her children. This does not surprise Caroline. Nor does the fact that Tall Pines is still brimming with scandals and secrets, betra ...more
Jul 02, 2011 Lorna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Frank's Sullivan Island so I thought I would love this one too. I picked up and put it down, picked it up and put it down. Then last week I picked it up again and finished it in two days. I love the southern humor and the voodoo herbs. This is a fun read once you get past the first couple of chapters it swings into gear and you'll be laughing all the way to the end.
Susan Willingham
I should have read this one first, but I accidently read Lowcountry Summer first (which is the continuing story of the Wimbley family.) I love Miss Lavinia, owner of the plantation. She is an exact copy of my mother-in-law! Perfect manners, everything served in just the right way, with the perfect linens, dishes, and goblets. Lots of humor and sarcasm galore.
Nov 29, 2014 Gwenette rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a big disappointment. I had previously read A Lowcountry Summer by the same author, and this is the backstory for the characters, but SO much ridiculousness ensued that I barely made it through the book. I ended up disliking most of the main characters.
Jun 06, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a "ten star" book. I just could not stop reading this book and I really laughed and cried. DBF is one of the best story tellers .. hands down. I just wanted this book to go on and on. If you are looking for a great summer read HERE IT IS!
Jan 24, 2014 Teri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting was lovely, and the author's descriptive talents are great, but I found her characters confusing and very judgemental. For example, the main character, Caroline, is constantly insulting and degrading her sister-in-law, who is from a poorer class. Yes, the sister-in-law is a bit of a pill, but when Caroline is constantly whining about being treated poorly by her mother and husband, it seems unlikely that she would be so incredibly harsh on another visible outsider. Also, just in terms ...more
This was a good book...I love the Southern culture and the story. It seemed to go on and on though...maybe because I had too many books that I was excited to read sitting on my bedside table!
Jul 02, 2014 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was nervous starting this book because it's rather long (over 500 pages). But I need not have been nervous at all. It didn't feel like 500 pages. It's not the absolute best story I've ever read, but the characters were genuine and the situations they encountered were believable and real. You easily connected to them and felt for them as they went about trying to solve their problems and set their lives right. It's beautifully written (although, at moments, hard to follow because the narrator c ...more
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Caroline finally grew up 5 30 Apr 30, 2013 09:43AM  
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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 (8 books)
  • Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1)
  • 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)
  • Folly Beach (Lowcountry Tales, #8)

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