Jan 9, 2012

Book Review: Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank

"... here's the guy who allegedly put Charleston on the map again with Porgy and Bess."

What do you mean allegedly?"

"DuBose published the book Porgy in 1925, not the play."

"Then who did, The Gershwins?"

"Nope, the play Porgy appeared on Broadway in 1927. Gershwin's play didn't run until 1934...." (ch. 14)

Title: Folly Beach: A Low Country Tale by Dorothea Benton Frank
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 27, 2011)
Genre: Southern fiction
Objective rating: 3/5

My comments: Cate Cooper lost her husband to suicide, and finding that she had also lost her home due to her husband's enormous debts, she returns to Folly Beach, South Carolina, the place where she grew up. There she rekindles her love for her old home state, finds new love with John Risley, and finds a hobby delving into local history through the South Carolina Historical Society. Cate's personal story is the background for the more interesting part of the novel.

She researches the history of local writers Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, who wrote the original book, Porgy and then the play in the 1920s. The Heywards collaborated in the 1930s with George Gerswhin, the composer, and produced the famous musical play/opera, Porgy and Bess. Cate also discovers that the talented and more educated Dorothy allowed her husband DuBose to take most of the credit for the book and play, staying in the background while he shone in the limelight as a writer. But through it all, the novel shows the Heywards as a happily married couple and part of the Charleston aristocracy.

Though the author's approach to the story was too nostalgic for someone like me, who has visited Charleston and South Carolina only once, Gerswhin fans and those who like southern fiction will enjoy the setting and the history of some famous people of the state.

Product description: "Folly Beach is considered one of South Carolina's most historic and romantic spots, the land of Cate Cooper's childhood. Cate never thought she'd wind up in this tiny cottage on this lovely strip of coast. But circumstances have changed, thanks to her newly dead husband who has left Cate homeless, broke, and unmoored....

For Cate, Folly holds unexpected fulfillment when she is forced to look again at her life and the zany characters that are her family. She finds that you can go home again. "

List of all TLC reviews: Folly Beach tour stops
A review copy of this book was provided through TLC Book Tours.

© Harvee Lau of Book Dilettante. Please do not reprint without permission


Mystica said...

I've seen this on several blogs. This is going to my TBR

bermudaonion said...

I thought Cate got over her husband's death too quickly, but other than that, I really enjoyed this book!

Darlene said...

I hope to read this one of these days. I've read a few of this author's books and really enjoyed them.

Zibilee said...

There is something about this book that has kept me at arm's length, and I can't put my finger on what it is. Perhaps it's the premise of the subject, but for some reason, this book seems a lot less enticing than I might like, so I have sort of avoided it. I liked your take on it though, and might have to reconsider!

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

I haven't heard about this book before but now I'm intrigued!

Shirley @ My Bookshelf@ said...

This sounds like my kind of book. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Staci said...

I want to visit Folly Beach one day!! I have this book so I hope I do enjoy it as I love Southern fiction!

Jennifer | Mrs Q Book Addict said...

If she gets over her husbands death too quickly, I probably wouldn't like this one. I might have this one, I'll have to check.

Anonymous said...

Ah well, not every book can be a favorite! Glad you found some things you liked in this on though. Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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