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I was selected to be a tour stop on “The Hurricane Sisters” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary hardback copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
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I do admit, I like a well-writ family drama every so often, as I like to see how different family dynamics are written into fiction. Everyone has a different life from everyone else, but it is still inherently true to find similarities between us as well. The manners in which families are strongly attached to each other despite their flaws and otherwise bad attributes of personality; find a bridge of connection through as the bonds between the members are rooted and anchoured by love. Or at least you hope their connected through love, because there are all kinds of families out there, and it’s how they become a family that is less important than the fact that they are one.
Even close friends can feel more like family than your actual immediate family because especially in the case of women, sisterhood bonds of connection are as strong as an oak! Each writer has a different way of giving out a portrait of a family and a different way of attaching different threads of adversity to the family as a whole. I personally like to dig inside Southern Literature as often as I can, and although I have heard of Dorothea Benton Frank in passing, I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading one of her novels.
The Hurricane Sisters first appealed to me to read whilst I caught sight of it by title alone: any girl or bloke who grew up with severe storm systems grievously wrecking havoc on their home state will be alerted to the word ‘hurricane’ whichever way to Sunday the word is implied or used. To me, it nearly felt as if the storms themselves was a method of inclusion and of connection — to where, despite the odds against it, this little vacuum of space might yield an incredible bond. I wasn’t quite sure what I would find inside the novel itself, even after reading the impressive synopsis, but I knew this much: the Low Country of South Carolina has called me before into it’s fictional folds and this time, I knew I’d feel as if I were re-visiting a favourite setting.
My favourite authors who set their stories inside South Carolina include Sherryl Woods of the Sweet Magnolia series and Rosina Lippi of The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square – two authors I can quite happily say I found at my local library who sparked a wildfire of hours encased inside their worlds!
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.
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Genres: Literary Fiction
Published by William Morrow
on 4th June, 2014
Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
7 April 2015 (P.S. Edition – paperback edition)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Hardback, Trade Paperback, Ebook
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