Folly Beach: A Lowcountry Tale (Lowcountry Tales)

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9780061961274: Folly Beach: A Lowcountry Tale (Lowcountry Tales)

“Dottie Frank’s books are sexy and hilarious. She has staked out the lowcountry of South Carolina as her personal literary property.”
—Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad

The incomparable Dorothea Benton Frank is back with her latest Lowcountry Novel, Folly Beach. As she has with Lowcountry Summer, Return to Sullivans Island, Land of Mango Sunsets, and so many other delightful literal excursions to this magical Southern locale, the perennial New York Times bestselling author enchants readers with a heart-warming tale of loss, acceptance, family, and love—as a woman returns to the past to find her  future. Folly Beach is a constant delight from “a masterful storyteller” (Booklist) who has already secured her place alongside Anne Rivers Siddons, Sue Monk Kidd, Rebecca Wells, Barbara Delinsky and other contemporary queens of bestselling women’s fiction.

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Product Description
Experience the wild beauty and sultry magic of New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's Carolina Lowcountry—where the pull of family is as powerful as the ocean tides and love can strike faster than lightning in summer...

Folly Beach

Home is the place that knows us best...

A woman returns to the past to find her future in this enchanting new tale of loss, acceptance, family, and love.

With its sandy beaches and bohemian charms, surfers and suits alike consider Folly Beach to be one of South Carolina's most historic and romantic spots. It is also the land of Cate Cooper's childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam freely. Cate never thought she'd wind up in this tiny cottage named the Porgy House on this breathtakingly lovely strip of coast. But circumstances have changed, thanks to her newly dead husband whose financial—and emotional—bull and mendacity have left Cate homeless, broke, and unmoored.

Yet Folly Beach holds more than just memories. Once upon a time another woman found unexpected bliss and comfort within its welcoming arms. An artist, writer, and colleague of the revered George Gershwin, Dorothy Heyward enjoyed the greatest moments of her life at Folly with her beloved husband, DuBose. And though the Heywards are long gone, their passion and spirit lingers in every mango sunset and gentle ocean breeze.

And for Cate, Folly, too, holds the promise of unexpected fulfillment when she is forced to look at her life and the zany characters that are her family anew. To her surprise, she will discover that you can go home again. Folly Beach doesn't just hold the girl she once was... it also holds the promise of the woman she's always wanted—and is finally ready—to become.

Folly Beach, filled with the irresistible charm, saucy wit, and lush atmosphere that have won her the devotion of fans and propelled her books to bestsellerdom, is vintage Dorothea Benton Frank.

A Look Inside Folly Beach
Click on the images below to open larger versions.

Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, from the Collections of the South Carolina Historical Society. Tourist brochure of Folly Beach, from the Collections of the South Carolina Historical Society. The way to the beach from Porgy House. Photo credit: Kathy Glick. Porgy House on Folly Beach. Photo credit: Kathy Glick.

Dorothea Benton Frank on Writing Folly Beach

Last summer, I went down to the South Carolina Historical Society and read the papers of Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, thinking that it was DuBose who wrote Porgy and Bess with George Gershwin on Folly Beach during the summer of 1934. Not true.

My first discovery was that DuBose was a high school dropout and that Dorothy, a young orphan, was unusually well educated and already an award winning playwright when they married. Then I discovered the huge economic disparities between them. Dorothy was wealthy and although DuBose was comfortable at the time they met, he had grown up in poverty. I ran across a copy of her birth certificate, on which her name is “Dorothea”—my name—and letterhead that stated she lived on Fifth and Twelfth in Manhattan—my old address— on and on. Every time I turned around, it seemed I was bumping into another coincidence. Okay, I thought, there’s a story here and I’m going to try and tell it. Who was Dorothy Heyward? And what happened that summer on Folly Beach?

It is historic fact that Dorothy herself adapted DuBose’s book Porgy for the stage and that she also had a great hand in creating the adaptation of Mamba’s Daughters for the stage, the two most successful works with DuBose Heyward’s name attached to them. But she shied away from taking credit for herself and spent her widowhood making sure that DuBose’s name appeared in the credits of all of Gershwin’s productions of Porgy and Bess so that his estate would receive the royalties that were due.

What is in those boxes at the SCHS is there because it was what Dorothy wanted us to see. Every single letter from her to DuBose is absent. Perhaps he did not save her letters or perhaps she disposed of them. We will never know. But it appears that Dorothy wanted us to have a one-sided conversation with DuBose, not her. Dorothy always wanted DuBose to be the celebrity, the icon, the one who was remembered and revered. She loved him that much.

And, finally, while Dorothy Heyward may have wanted to disappear into history as “just a girl from Ohio who wanted a career on the other side of the footlights,” the facts appear differently to me. True, she was diminutive in the extreme, and the fact that she was from Ohio may have left her more easily dismissed by DuBose’s crowd of aristocratic old Charlestonians. But Dorothy Kuhns Heyward was a powerhouse, who married into one of Charleston’s most prestigious families and spent her life doing everything she could for the man she fiercely loved who was, for his time, a civil rights pioneer. My new novel explores their lifelong collaboration, their devotion to each other and what magic happened on Folly Beach in 1934 and in 2010, both periods of fascinating self-discovery.

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

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