Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank

Cate Cooper has had quite the year.  She had built up quite a life with her husband of twenty-six years, Addison Cooper.  And what a whirlwind it had been, an insane love for each other in the beginning… and then it all began to unravel.

As Cate stood over Addison’s casket, she had to wonder where it all went wrong…

Life can be funny that way, as Cate soon finds out that Addison’s death is only the beginning of surprises for her.  Quickly (really minutes) after the funeral Cate discovers that Addison was not at all who she thought he was.  Within 48 hours… she is out of the home she had grown to love, and finds herself heading back to Folly Beach, the place of her childhood, looking for scraps she can accumulate into a new life.

But Folly Beach is not only the place where Cate grew up… it is also the memories of another woman from another life time… memories of a marriage that was like a symphony, the Heyward’s spirit lives on within the breezes of Folly Beach.

Can Cate go home again and start anew?

Folly Beach, South Carolina

Take it from someone who did return to her childhood home, yes, you can go home again. Folly Beach took me a bit by surprise.  I was expecting it to be a good story, I wasn’t expecting some of the great humor!

“Everything was a sheet of ice, the temperature around 20.  It was only by God’s holy grace that we had all managed to make it to the cemetery without flying off the highway and into a ditch.  I was pretty sure the ditches were filled with mangled bodies.”

And that’s just in the early pages, as Cate’s story unfolds it is not only one of a backdrop of historical (?) fiction, a little romance in the mix and a lot of family drama too… it is also one of finding your own fit in this world.  I enjoyed going along with Cate as she did just that.

The reason I question the historical fiction above is that while the scenes in the book referring to the Heywards may be fiction, the Heyward’s were not.  Dorothy Kuhns Heyward and her husband Dubose Heyward were real people and real playrights.  Dorothy was also a novelist and assisted her husband in turning his novel Porgy, based on Negro life on the waterfront of Charleston, South Carolina, into a play.

Truly fascinating to see them woven into this book.

As I write this review I sit at the antique round kitchen table that was my mother’s. If you lean on it, you will find it to be not quite level, but as far as I am concerned, no other table will grace my home. It connects me to her. 

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You can find Dorothy Benton Frank at website:, and she’s also on Facebook.

Amazon Rating

Goodreads Review

I received this book as part of the TLC Book Tour

Also – I happen to have an extra copy of this book and would love to give it to one of my readers!  Please leave a comment here letting me know where you would like to escape for a time of relaxation and renewal?

39 thoughts on “Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank

  1. Oh, I think I would love this book! It’s definitely going on my list. I thoroughly enjoy stories about people finding themselves after disappointments and disillusionment….and going home to do that.

    I like the sound of your table, Sheila…I love old things that connect to people and places I’ve loved.

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book! I’d love to back to PA and see all the homes and farms again where my relatives used to live – that we would visit back in the 40s and 50s. The last time I did this was in 86 with my youngest son and my mother. Precious memories.

  3. First of all, I would like to say that I am giddy to be able to read all of your book reviews and find we have a lot of the same interests!! 🙂

    I would LOVE to escape to the beach or the mountains to relax. But, since those 2 choices are impossible at the moment, I will just escape withing the pages of a good book! 🙂


    1. It was really interesting Kathy – I am a little embarrassed to say that I did not catch that the Hensley’s were real people at first… it was the “in memory of” page in the front of the book that had my Googling the name. Now I want to read the play that they wrote!

  4. A few years ago, when my son-in-law wasn’t able to take off, I went to Myrtle Beach with my daughter and her two children. Myrtle Beach is up the coast from Charleston, closer to North Carolina, and it’s a place I’d enjoy seeing again. It would be perfect to read a book by Dorothea Benton Frank while there. Do you want to go with me, Sheila? Let’s go see the coast.

  5. In 2010, my husband and I escaped to the coast of Oregon and a beach house there. Now I’m not really a beach person, but I was mesmerized by watching the waves from the living room couch. Amazing and healing. I’d love to go back.

  6. Hubby & I are new retirees as of last year & are fortunate to be able to retire to our family beach home here in North Carolina…the most relaxing place I know!

  7. I would go to St Augustine, Florida. There is alot to see and do. 24 miles of beaches and the rest is history. Beautiful old places and some good old ghosts stories. Yeah! 🙂

  8. Up the coast. I love walking along the beach collecting shells & other interesting treasures.


  9. After reading Margaret Maron’s books, the Low Country appeals to me as a wonderful place to relax on a beach, eat wonderful seafood, and catch up on reading in a cozy cottage in the evening. I’d take our canoe and explore the rivers and tidal flats too. (As I write, it’s about 2 degrees F here in PA.)

    Folly Beach sounds like a book for me. I’ve always loved “Porgy and Bess.” The sounds the morning after the hurricane are just like you hear in a seaside town.

  10. I love the beaches of the Lowcountry but this time of year it is too chilly so I’d have to escape farther south – maybe Miami! Thank you for hosting the giveaway!

  11. We just returned from a vacation on Sanibel Island where I read four books in three days. I’d love to go back for some more relaxation!

  12. (I see Susan just returned from Sanibel. I live down here by Sanibel all the time! It really is beautiful!) Considering that I live in a spot that many people escape to, I tend to go the totally opposite direction. Rather than tropical beaches, I prefer mountains and rustic cabins. I love Washington State in the summer, and I’ve always wanted to check out Colorado in the winter!

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