Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lowcountry Summer-Dorothea Benton Frank

Lowcountry Summer
Dorothea Benton Frank
Morrow, Jun 15 2010, $25.99
ISBN 9780061961175

In 2007 at Tall Pines, the family gathered to celebrate Caroline Wimbly Levine’s forty-seventh birthday. Caroline has no problem with closing in on fifty as her focus on the family remains first and foremost in her mind. Her only son Eric (from the marriage with that English pig) is attending college at the University of South Carolina less than an hour drive away from home, but that could be on the other side of the Atlantic for how often he comes home. Caroline rationalizes that he probably feels freedom from her and his horde of other adult supervisors. His mom worries about him because he is living with an older woman and her child.

Caroline struggles with the rest of her family members at the gala. Her sister-in-law Frances Mae becomes drunk. Her nieces except perhaps the oldest Amelia must be adopted as they cannot share even partially her DNA as she considers them escaped convicts. Her brother Tripp has personal issues of a sexual kind. However, it is the family’s late matriarch the recently departed Miss Lavinia who still from beyond controls the rowdy horde through Caroline.

This entertaining Southern Fried family saga returns readers to the Plantation for a Lowcountry Summer jamboree. The cast is solid but it is Caroline who wryly holds the plot together with her observation on others and her wit. Fans will enjoy the return as the child becomes the adult with Caroline having learned Miss Lavinia’s life lessons.

Harriet Klausner

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