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Pawleys Island

(Lowcountry Tales #5)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  8,958 ratings  ·  395 reviews
Dorothea Benton Frank presents a refreshingly honest and funny novel about friendship, family, and finding happiness by becoming who you're meant to be.

Catapulted from her home, her marriage and her children, artist Rebecca Simms has come to Pawleys Island, South Carolina, to hide herself from herself. Little does she know that on this "arrogantly shabby" family playground
Paperback, 361 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Berkley Books (first published May 3rd 2005)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,958 ratings  ·  395 reviews

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Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
As a person of color, I do not enjoy reading books whose only diverse characters are the manservant and maid to privileged white people. The fact that this story has a modern day setting makes it even less enjoyable - reading about 21st century servitude. The worst part was reading that the protagonist believed the manservant, who was cooking and serving everyone else dinner, enjoyed being included in an out of town travel event when the group stayed in a historic hotel. I'm sure he lived enthus ...more
Linda Hart
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like what Jennifer, a goodreads reviewer, said,"one of my guilty pleasures. When I should be reading something 'literary' or something for work, I curl up with one of her books and take a little vacation. She does a great job of making the low country of the Carolinas sing a siren song." Her stories are formulaic, filled with great Southern humor, her characters are memorably quirky and real, and everything always ends well. The audio book is charmingly read by the author.
Oct 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Rebecca suddenly found herself dumped by her husband Nat, and her two kids taken away from her by the courts. She leaves Charleston and heads off to a friends to try and get on with her life. While there, she stops in at a local art gallery in the neighboring Pawleys Island to try and sell some of her watercolor prints and its there that she meets Huey, a man that is about to change her life for the better. He hires Rebecca to work at the gallery, shows her work at an opening, and most important ...more
Always looking for writers that capture that unique southern feel, I stumbled upon Dorothea Benton Frank.
As it turned out this was a surprisingly enjoyable read. Not only did it render that incomparable southern atmosphere with Pawleys Island and Charleston as backdrop, but it also provided us with delightful characters, well-established in the area, with ancestors going back centuries. I just loved the eccentric Huey and his entourage of family and friends.
There were many captivating elements
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness this was just a joy to read. It is filled with great southern humor. You laugh, you cry, and you just plain enjoy the book. After all of the dark books I have been reading this light airly book has been wonderful. She is writing about dark subjects, but using southern strenght in humor to make you see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you was a short uplifitng book go pick this one up. IF you are from this area you will understand perpared for a good chuckle ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another wonderful vacation in the Low Country! Abigail, a retired attorney who has come to Pawleys Island to write her memoirs and work through some deep personal issues, becomes involved in yet another divorce case, and it's a DOOZY! In finding justice for her client, she also rediscovers herself, both as a friend, an attorney and a woman.

Wow! This book had decent characters. The plot was o.k. There was just a bit too much language and innuendo. It also dragged on. I would suggest starting with the first book for someone hwo is new to the series.
Aug 24, 2007 rated it liked it
I've loved Dorothea Benton Frank's books since her first one, "Sullivan's Island," came out, and I've always awaited the arrival of her next book. Her books are easy, happy reads that are enjoyable. However, by this book (what, her 5th book?) my interest is starting to wane. They all seem to follow the same formula - woman (sometimes has a child, sometimes not) is unhappy with her life in either NYC or NJ; woman goes back to the Carolina's island on which she grew up (often begrudgingly); woman ...more
Feb 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my guilty pleasures. When I should be reading something "literary" or something for work, I curl up with one of her books and take a little vacation. She does a great job of making the low country of the Carolinas sing a siren song. The smell of the sea and the mud, the sound of waves against the shore and ceiling fans in the night, the taste of shrimp 'n' grits or fried everything...all are vivid and tantalizing in Frank's books.

This story is about the healing po
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
A bit of a romantic book and unrealistic. I think this is for housewives in unhappy marriages who want to be rescued by homos and power lawyers. As a homo, I found the lack of self-reflection, the pat villian, and the dismissal of all protagonist flaws offensive.

Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Almost done with this book in audio format. It was read by the author, which sometimes is a big mistake. In Ms. Benton Frank's case, her voice has charm, but I wish she had done a better job of differentiating between characters, all of which are either, likable, quirky & fun, or outragious. ...more
Jen Reardon
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Loved Hughey..Frank's books are always a good, easy read with a happy ending..helps to clear the mind between too many intense stories..
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this story over the past several weeks while driving. Enjoyed the character development as Rebecca and Abigail first struggled then triumphed over their respective pasts and looked forward to a better tomorrow. Brought back lovely memories of the Lowcountry. Although listed as "Lowcountry Tales #5", this book is a standalone novel.
Judy Churchill
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was my least favorite of the low country series. I had a difficult time connecting with the characters and the story seemed contrived. I’m sure it’s difficult to please everyone.
May 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I had a hard cover given to me as a gift by a friend since I am blessed to live in the paradise of Pawleys Island, at least until a hurricane blows me away. I might have enjoyed it more as a paperback since this kind of light, fluffy chicklit just isn't a book to keep but rather the kind you zip through on a dreary evening and then take to My Sister's Books to trade in for another quick read. Mrs. Frank doesn't seem at home in this part of the Lowcountry and doesn't capture the ambiance and char ...more
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
A great read about a woman, Rebecca who has been left out in the cold by her husband. She goes to Paulsey Island and begins working in an art studio where she actually sells some of her own work. she then meets a woman, Abigail who was on a leave from lawyering but decides to help Rebecca out and represents her in her divorce case. Her X was quite the scum, having a mistress who he tried to repair with many plastic surgeries. The divorce was quite a case! Her husband had tried to take the house, ...more
May 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
I grabbed this book off the shelf at the library, for no particular reason. When I started reading it, I thought it would be about the trials of life, and what we go thru to recover. It also had a good (although admittedly simplified) story of the damage an emotionally abusive spouse can inflict on the self-esteem and self-worth of their partner. It was a good story of friendship, and the ability to persevere.
Mar 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really like this author, keeps me very entertained and always enjoy the story. This one was fun for me because the entire time I was reading I kept thinking that I knew this story, I had read this book but didn't remember a thing about it. When all finished reading it I knew that I had read it before and still loved it. Very much worth the read, I recommend it to anyone.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Charming characters and story. I will continue enjoy DBF's low country novels. This was another audiobook for me, read by the author. I think I would have enjoyed it more as a DTB. Ms. Frank did not change her speech for the various characters and at first I had trouble knowing who was who. That, and pauses, like a comma, in odd times of the sentences drove me crazy!
Feb 23, 2009 rated it liked it
I figured this was a fictional island, but now find it is real. between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. I imagine the folks in NC really like it. It was real chicklit, sometimes trying to be more but not succeeding. I finished it (a tribute) and enjoyed it, mostly for its sense of place.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
Shelves: own, 4-stars
If all books were this good I wouldn't get anything done. Filled with characters you will love and hate with laughter, anger and everything in between. Add a nasty divorce with a hurricane or two done with page turning southern charm.
Oct 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I listened to the audio book instead of reading it myself. The author narrated the book and I think that was a mistake. She really did just "read" it out loud to us. I think I would have enjoyed the audio book more if a "pro" had narrated it.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Light beach read and fun to visit the coast of the Carolinas!
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
hello! my name is Madison and today i am bringing you a book review on “Pawley’s Island : a Lowcountry Tale” by Dorothea Benton Frank, author of the famous “Shem Creek.” i picked up this book on a whim. i originally had this book in my sale pile because i wasn’t really drawn to it by the synopsis, but something told me to just go for it. later in this book review, you’ll find out why i decided to pick it up! so stay tuned! without further ado, onto the book review!

as a whole, this book follows
Tasha Thibodeau
Nov 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
LOL this book. Where to even begin the saga that has been reading this book. I read about halfway through and by that time I felt like all of the characters were one dimensional and so, so snobby. After spending half of the book with these snobby old coots, I thought I would give it up and begin another book; however, giving up on a book is something I save specially for real trash, so I found myself going back to finish it. Hurricane Gaston was probably my favorite character, yes the weather in ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having spent a good part of my childhood in the low country I enjoy books set in those locales. The author captures some of the magic of the Pawley's Island area in the pages which is not an easy thing to do. I also enjoyed the addition of the ghost legends of Alice and the Gray Man which I grew up hearing.

I liked that through the main characters we see some of the odd ways that grief can manifest itself. It's not always what you expect. One thing that annoyed me was the way the African America
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was a fun vacation read. I was with my daughter's family in Upper Michigan where we came upon a used book sale. I spotted Pawleys Island and picked it up as I know folks who visit there often. I've never been to the Lowcountry, but from the author's descriptions I'm guessing that I'd love the setting, if not the humidity! Anyway, this story was not complex ... just a good vacation read with the characters becoming temporary friends. At times I thought the characters were a bit shallow, ...more
Ginny Thurston
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
In have always enjoyed Frank’s books....particularly Plantation, but there were certain comments made about Byron and Daphne that really made me cringe. This was 15 years ago, but it just seemed wrong....yes, they were likable and admirable in every possible way, but Abigail definitely had a condescending attitude toward them, and, maybe, Frank was trying to illustrate her backwardness...I will give her the benefit of the doubt. I wish she would have written more about the beach, but what she wr ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was in desperate need of a good story - with good characters that I could care about - and this one filled the bill. The subject matter is not fun, divorce, and all the fall out that brings, but the story and characters are really good and you are rooting for them to overcome. Even the bad guy, the dad, is so bad that there is never a doubt as to his 'badness' and you just have to feel sorry for this girlfriend for being so gullible. I like books where the characters grow and become better peo ...more
Eileen Mandell
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rediscovering life.....

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of visiting Pawleys Island so often. I smiled as the story traveled over roads that I travel & even experienced weather that I had experienced. I enjoyed how this book demonstrated the growing of women of all ages. New carreers, new relationships & new homes were discovered & molded into life changing experiences. It is the story of a brutal divorce and how it effected so many. Even the worst of times allows us to grow, meet wonderful
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Dorothea Benton Frank was a New York Times best-selling American novelist of Southern fiction. She worked in the apparel industry from 1972 until 1985 and then organized fundraisers as a volunteer, before becoming a novelist.

She is best known as the author of twenty novels placed in and around the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Other books in the series

Lowcountry Tales (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1)
  • Plantation (Lowcountry Tales, #2)
  • Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales, #3)
  • Shem Creek (Lowcountry Tales, #4)
  • Return to Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales, #6)
  • Lowcountry Summer (Lowcountry Tales, #7)
  • Folly Beach (Lowcountry Tales, #8)
  • The Hurricane Sisters (Lowcountry Tales, #9)
  • All the Single Ladies (Lowcountry Tales, #10)
  • Same Beach, Next Year (Lowcountry Tales, #11)

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