Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In Frank's latest Lowcountry novel, Cate Cooper is left homeless after the death of her financially reckless husband and finds herself returning to the place of her childhood: South Carolina's Folly Beach. Cate takes up residence in a small coastal cottage called Porgy House where she must examine her past to move her life forward. Unfortunately, this gentle, literary tale does not translate well to audio. The problem certainly doesn't lie with narrator Robin Miles, whose rendition of Cate is likable and believable, and who expertly voices the book's other characters, including Cate's crotchety but loving aunt, her well-meaning children, and her sassy best friend. The issue is one of pacing. Despite Miles's best efforts, the book's momentum slows to a crawl. The story progresses so gradually that listening becomes tedious and hours pass with only minor plot movement. A William Morrow hardcover. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A widow returns to her childhood haven, Folly Beach, S.C., where she is captivated by new love and a literary mystery.In this latest of Frank's Lowcountry series set on South Carolina's picturesque barrier islands, the heroine, Cate, is another victim of the economic crash of 2008.When she discovers her equity-trader husband, Addison, hanging over her piano in their New Jersey mansion, she only has an inkling of the financial shenanigans that led to his suicide.Within 24 hours, mistresses, paternity claims and collection liens are popping up like dandelions, and Catewatches in horror as all her worldly goods are repossessed. Flat broke (even her engagement bling is a zircon!), she has no alternative but to flee to the South Carolina home of her Aunt Daisy, who raised Cate and sister Patti after they were orphaned as children.Almost immediately, in a clichd fender-bender "meet cute," she finds Prince Charming:professor John Risley, who specializes in the Charleston Renaissance of the 1920s.Soon Cate is installed in the Porgy House (part of Aunt Daisy's beach-rental empire), so named because Charleston Renaissance poet DuBose Heyward and his wife Dorothy lived there while George Gershwin was adapting the Heywards' playPorgyintoPorgy and Bess.Around mid-novel, we realize that the sections that have been alternating with Cate's chapters, narrated by Dorothy, are from a one-woman play that John encouraged Cate to writeor, more accurately, a verbiage-choked rough draft of a play.Cate copes with John's impossible goodness, Aunt Daisy's illness, the pregnancy of her son's narcissistic wife and her actress daughter's rants, but her chief preoccupation is proving that Dorothy, not DuBose, was the real librettist and lyricist ofPorgy and Bess.The narrative is already bogged down by Dorothy's monologues, but the scenes of Cate's post-opulent life are equally interminableFrank is seemingly loath to leave anything out, however mundane.This novel about dramatists, although lightened by some witty down-home repartee, displays little aptitude for scene-craft.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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