Judith D Collins
The Hurricane Sisters
By Dorothea Benton Frank
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 6/3/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry,
The Hurricane Sisters is New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank’s enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations.Beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank once again takes us deep in the heart of the magical Lowcountry—a sultry land of ancient magic, glorious sunsets, and soothing coastal breezes, where three generations of strong women wrestle with the expectations of family while struggling to understand their complicated relationships with each other.
Best friends since the first day of classes at The College of Charleston, Ashley Anne Waters and Mary Beth Smythe, now 23 years old, live in Ashley’s parents’ beach house rent-free. Ashley is a gallery assistant who aspires to become an artist. Mary Beth, a gifted cook from Tennessee, works for a caterer while searching for a good teaching job. Though they both know what they want out of life, their parents barely support their dreams and worry for their precarious finances.While they don’t make much money, the girls do have a million-dollar view that comes with living in that fabulous house on Sullivans Island.
For these Lowcountry women, an emotional hurricane is about to blow through their lives, wreaking havoc that will test them in unexpected ways, ultimately transforming the bonds they share.
As always, Dorothea Benton Frank keeps you laughing for hours; combined with hilarious narrator, Robin Miles—what a dynamic duo! (I always buy the audiobook, when Robin is reading)! The one liners, the sarcasm, and wit ---priceless! These sassy, classy, crazy, smart, and charming Lowcountry Southern ladies, find their way through some tough storms of life, for the ultimate lazy summer day read--- keeping you smiling, engaged, and satisfied.
Having read twelve of Frank’s novels, The Hurricane Sistersdoes not disappoint. The girls are back, this time around, featuring two younger Southern belles. Faithful fans, do not panic, the mom and grandmother are still in the mix, with their wise cracks, wisdom, gin and tonic, entertaining tidbits, and lots of mischief.
Ashley Ann Waters (mid-20s) and Mary Beth Smythe are enjoying a season rent-free leisure in Ashley’s parent’s Sullivan beach home with a view to die for. One problem – they need money. Ashley is a gallery assistant who aspires to become an artist. Mary Beth, a gifted cook from Tennessee, works for a caterer while searching for a good teaching job. Though they both know what they want out of life, their parents barely support their dreams, and they both need income.
The long time girlfriends decide to host ongoing soirees, with booze, food, and music and of course, they will charge $50 a head, assured they can get it with the killer view. At the same time, they need to keep their parents from finding out about this little illegal business venture. Meanwhile, their parents and grandmother have issues of their own.
There is trouble brewing with Ashley’s dad Clayton. Clayton is a very successful and wealthy investment banker. He has a pied-a-terre in Manhattan and up to no good with another woman. Liz (Ashley’s mom), is busy raising funds for her non-profit business, helping women from abusive men and domestic violence---protecting them with shelters, counseling, safe houses, and other resources. However, she suspects Clayton is up to something, and begins a plan to reel him back in. Has she been blind to all the clues? It would not be a party without Liz’s mom (Ashley’s grandmother), Maisie – the family matriarch, who has just turned eighty and is dating a younger man (her driver and owner of a llama farm)—they announce to the family at dinner, they have just moved in together.
Let the fun begin! Of course, it would not be complete without Ashley’s gay brother, Ivy (which I adore from previous books), and his partner, James.During the summer, Ashley begins dating the local Senator; however, she suspects he has issues. Good-looking and charming; however, he is not as he appears—so controlling. What will Ashley tolerate in order to catch this politician? Abuse and domestic violence--ongoing theme throughout the novel—Ashley/Senator, Mary Beth’s dad,
Juliet’s former relationship, and the reason Liz is so focused on helping these victims.Will this family get back to the way they were before the death of Liz’s dead sister, Juliet, and weather the storm in the charming southern Lowcountry? As long as these belles have their cocktails, gourmet meals, pearls, and gloves, and make a good show of it -–they will pull it off!