A touching story of family, faith, and cultural identity in the New South.
It is sassy but not cynical, wise but not wiseacre, and kind, not cruel
Really enjoyed this book. Religion, especially Catholicism, gets a bad rap in so much literature. This book was an honest look at the effect of religion, both good and bad, in the family dynamic. And a lovely romance, too.
In this new tale, Frank takes us to Hilton Head, SC, a noted retirement heaven or at least it's supposed to be. But for Big Al and Connie, the move from New Jersey to the coastal paradise has been fraught with just a few complications. Especially for their daughter, Grace.
Well, that's what she likes to be called. Her family insists on Maria Graziella, but Grace has had enough of the Neapolitan lifestyle. The whole ethnic thing had been ok when she was under her parents' watchful eyes back in New Jersey. Now Grace is an intelligent, (struggling-to-be) independent 31 year old woman living (in sin!) with the man she'd marry if they both weren't so committment-phobic. Michael is a doctor and a scientist and Grace has a good idea that he's also an atheist. Over the years, this dutiful Catholic girl has become ambivalent about her faith. But her family is so devoutly old-fashioned as it gets.
The stage is set for a major showdown that just might change Grace's outlook on life, family and the South itself.
This book is guaranteed to make you cry (if you're a sentimental reader like I am!) ~~ so make sure you have kleenexs available. It's a wonderful book ~~ so different from her other books and just as delightful. This one is probably her best book so far! The characters are well-written and thorough, so the reader feels as if she has met them before. They are like "everyone" ~~ and yet, so likable too. Grace is sassy but tender and her love for Michael is a beautiful thing to read about. It's a book about love, faith and family. It's a book that you cannot put down for a minute. It's just wonderful.
I have read and loved all of Dorothea Benton Frank's books but this one has to be my absolute favorite! I've never related to any character in ANY book I've read like I did with Grace. Her description of her Italian/Catholic family's daily life and holidays had me smiling throughout this entire book! I loved it so much that I just couldn't put this one down and wound up finishing it at 5 a.m! Absolutely LOVED IT! (I was tempted not to post it but to keep it and read it again someday but since I loved it so much decided to share it so someone else could hopefully enjoy it as much as I did!)
Another great Southern novel by Dorothea Benton Frank, set in Hilton Head, SC about an Italian girl in the South. Great characters and relationships.
A great read! Frank captures so much about faith and doubt...it is very real. I found myself in tears a few times as her writing hit home, and I was left with a stronger faith when I turned the finally page. Wonderful!
This book was really wonderful,and made you want more. This is the first book of Dorothea Benton Frank's that I read, I will be reading more. This book had alot of love,and how family is important and the value's you learn through growing up, when you have a close knit family. This book also has learning to keep faith and how /why it's so important and , learning to believe in God again through God's granted miracles even when you believe you don't deserve God to be there by your side.
I loved this book. I have read several of Dot Franks books. They are all centered around the love of some "lowcountry" island. She usually has a tiny little supernatural element in her books. Her characters love to eat--- many life problems are solved around the family table! This book had those elements and more. This is a much more serious book than her others. It involves true love, religion, belief in God and the ability to change based on what life throws you. in contrast, it also has alot of humor. This book is a great read and was well worth the spent credit!
This is a departure from Frank's earlier stories. Still based in the South Carolina low country, the story is of a transplanted New Jersey Italian family and especially Grace, the daughter. It's more a story of families, and has its particularly melancholy moments as Grace's lover fights with cancer and the grandmother breaks her hip and fights being in rehab. But it's still a super story and I enjoyed it.
I always enjoy her books because I'm familiar with many of the places she writes about. This one was a departure from her usual Low Country books, but just as enjoyable. A story about family, love, and faith.
I loved this book even though I figured out the plot early. It made me laugh and cry and Grace just tickled me to no end. Well worth reading.
This book started out good. The ending was a little too touchy feely for me.
The last sentence of the book is "It just might save you from yourself." So, you should be able to figure out the plot from that. (Ahh, but who said it?)
I was undecided whether I liked or disliked the protagonist up through the end. I did find good character growth, but I didn't like some of the choices the protagonist made and I didn't bargain for the story of a spontaneous and miraculous healing.
I love Ms. Frank's books,especially because they are set in South Carolina. This book tells the story of faith and love and family.
The move from New Jersey to Hilton Head, South Carolina wasn't easy for the Russo family-difficult enough for Big Al and Connie, but even harder for their daughter, Maria Graziella, who insists on being called Grace. At 31 Grace and still, shockingly, unmarried Grace has scandalized her staunchly traditional Italian family by moving in with her boyfriend Michael-who, through a truely great guy, is agnostic commitment-phobic, a scientist, and (horror of horrors) Irish. Grace adores her parents even though they drive her crazy-and she knows they'd love Michael if they got to know him, but Big Al won't let him into their house. And so the stage is set for a major showdown-which, along with a devastating,unexpected crisis and perhaps, a miracle or two, just might change Grace's outlook on love, family and her new life in the South
Dorothea Frank writes with such lush language that you feel her books as much as read them. This one is just as good as her others.
I didn't like this book, and I have loved all her others. The story line just didn't grab me. I finished it so I could mail it - not because I wanted to.
A delightful, thought provoking story. The characters seem so real.
I received this book as a gift and if I had known that this book talked about religion and faith, I probalby would not have read it, but I am glad that I did! I very much enjoyed this book!
This was my first Dorothea Benton Frank book, and it will not be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, especially the lovable Russo family....I could relate, since I'm Italian, and she nailed the family situation, the food, the religion, the traditions, just everything! And the story line moved along at a good pace with some amazing things happening that shook the foundation of the main character's belief system. Good read!
Not a typical DBF Low Country Book. However, I enjoyed it immensely.
If you're from Charleston or just wish you were, Dorothea Benton Frank is the author for you. After every book, I'm reassured I still have pluff mud in my veins and if I close my eyes and inhale I can catch the scent of magnolia with a little blend of tea olive.
It took me awhile to get into this book and to be truthful I almost stop. I 'm glad I didn't. It is a very good read. Do not miss it.
Family relationships, love, miracles, and a fun read.
Very good book! My favorite by Benton Frank so far...
Very touching. Poor Grace is caught in a tug-of-war between the man she loves and her loving family. Then tragedy occurs, and it takes a real miracle to bring about a happy ending...
Wonderful story! A nice relatively quick read.
Very Interesting - lots going on
Another good Dorothea Benton Frank read.
tried to read this book twice...never did finish it
This is the 3rd book I have read by Ms. Frank. These aren't suspense novels but she keeps me glued to the page. I am loving her story telling.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Can't wait to read more!