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.
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.
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!)
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.