Monday, October 22, 2012

Porch Lights


I don't usually post so many things about books.  It's not that I don't read a lot.  It's just that a book really has to be good (or maybe terrible) to move me to write about it.  I tend to read about one book a day and if it doesn't catch and hold me,  I move on to the next book and forget about the last one.  Then there are the books I love and make a note in my Excel file of all books read.  I started it in the mid-nineties and it is currently over 6500.  I keep track of the ones I love, to go back to that author, and the ones I hate, to avoid that author.

Dorothea Benton Frank is one of the good ones.  She writes about the Low Country off the coast of South Carolina and it makes me want to go.  I wonder if the Chamber of Commerce pays her to set all her books there.  Her bio tells me she also spends time in New Jersey and she doesn't use that as a backdrop and I have no desire to visit there!  Maybe the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce needs to pony up some dough.

Her latest book is Porch Lights.  In this book Jackie has come home from Afghanistan , where she worked as a nurse, because her husband, a New York firefighter has just been killed in a fire.  She has a young son who is so depressed, she takes him home to her parents on Sullivan's Island. 

There they both begin to heal.  The safety and freedom of a small town allows her son to explore and gain self confidence.  Things he was never allowed to do in the big city .He gets his first job, walking dogs for a neighbor, and has the run of the beach, just off the back porch of his grandparents home.  I love that he calls his grandmother Glam-ma, for Glamorous Grandma.  My aunt is called GiGi for Gorgeous Grandma, so I can relate!

I love the Southern sayings.  For example, " But one way or other, it's probably time, like we say down here in the Low Country, to think about fixing to go on and get ready to do something about getting a move on."  Don't you love it?

I was fascinated by the information about Edgar Allan Poe woven into the story.  And how his book , The Gold Bug , was used to inspire young Charlie to love history. I read that book when I was about Charlie's age and I still remember bits of it.   Ms Frank was able to get me to feel the sultry weather and yearn for a drink on her porch while watching the waves through the sea grass.  I grew up on the West Coast and really need to get fixing to get a move on to go visit the East Coast!

The summer on Sullivan's Island was the beginning of healing many problems in the family and I loved how it played out in a slow and realistic fashion. If only everyone could have their own personal Sullivan's Island.

1 comment:

  1. I have read a couple of Benton's books. She's a little syrupy for me so I don't read her often.

    You read a lot. I manage about one a week. I used to do better than that but ever since I went to progressive lenses I have had trouble seeing to read, and I find I don't do it as much. Getting old is sad.