• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 7, 2015)
Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people’s lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.
Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she’s dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz’s beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.
Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can’t talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.
Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.
So where is Clayton, Liz’s husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father’s love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who’s an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley’s precarious situation. Who’s in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.
The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?
Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.
If you know me, then you know I don’t like physical books. They are too heavy for me and I really don’t like lugging them around. So, for me to admit that I carried this book with me everywhere just goes to show how much I enjoyed this one!
Because it is stated in the beginning that different characters will be sharing their point of view, it seemed to flow better for me and I didn’t feel caught off guard. It’s hard reading from multiple view points because I tend to like one character over another, however it seemed to go well. Overall, this is more than just about sisters, but a family full of secrets, hurt, judgment, and decisions they have to make-individually and as a family.
This book does have a gay character (Ivy), who is together with this extremely intelligent and apparently good looking Asian (per Ashley’s point of view-Ashley is the sister to Ivy). However, their romance isn’t the main focus and it isn’t “in your face”. Rather, it was merely a part of the character and it wasn’t anything that made me uncomfortable. Although, I did feel horrible for him and his “camp” experience.
It was a little odd that everyone called each other by their given names (or nickname), rather than “Grandma”, “Mom”, “Dad” “Sis”, etc. It’s not very “Southern”, but then again most Southerners don’t hob nob with Senators, either!
Reading the book, I felt like the psychiatrist on Sybil (the movie) and where Sally Field changes characters in one session. As I’m reading and really getting to know one character, that chapter would end and another character would jump in. Each character had a story to tell, their own opinion, and like magic…it just works.
In the end, it’s about a family that looks great on the outside, but things happen behind closed doors and they each feel alone with their issues, without realizing they are all struggling with rejection, conformity, family expectations, dreams, and so on.
I enjoyed this book. It’s funny, tackles some heavy issues but doesn’t weight the book down completely, and it even has one crazy llama…yes, a llama!!
*A huge thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review.
About Dorothea Benton Frank
New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She is the author of many New York Times bestselling novels, including Lowcountry Summer and Return to Sullivans Island. She resides in the New York area with her husband.
Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Dorothea’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, April 7th: The Discerning Reader
Wednesday, April 8th: The man thoughts of a reader
Thursday, April 9th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, April 10th: Books and Bindings
Monday, April 13th: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, April 14th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, April 15th: Bookshelf Fantasies
Monday, April 20th: Books in the Burbs
Tuesday, April 21st: Bibliotica
Wednesday, April 22nd: Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, April 23rd: A Novel Review
TBD: A Chick Who Reads