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The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank (the first 50 pages)

The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank (the first 50 pages)

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Published by WilliamMorrowBooks
Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.

Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.

Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can't talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.

Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.

So where is Clayton, Liz's husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father's love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who's an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley's precarious situation. Who's in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.

The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.
Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.

Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.

Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can't talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.

Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.

So where is Clayton, Liz's husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father's love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who's an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley's precarious situation. Who's in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.

The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.

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Published by: WilliamMorrowBooks on Apr 30, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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06/02/2014

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PROLOGUE
According to Liz
My husband, Clayton, and I were at the police station getting my mother, Maisie, out of jail for brushing up against the wrong side of the law. Her actual charges were still unclear. She claims it is not against any law in the state of South Carolina to take a llama for a walk on the open road. He was, after all, on a leash. The local police  beg to differ, saying this is a case of animal cruelty, endangerment, and reckless behavior. Legal or not, it wasn’t normal. I was glad they  brought her in to the police station until I could get there because her behavior surely demonstrates a lack of sound judgment. Or not. Maisie was crazy like a fox and we all knew it. So I sat and waited while Clayton made things right between the Town of Mount Pleas-ant and Maisie by writing a check.Anyway, the jailhouse may seem like an insensitive place to  begin my story, but I think it’s best if you know the truth about what my family is like. Too many times we all get introduced to people
 
2
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󰁤󰁯󰁲󰁯󰁴󰁨󰁥󰁡 󰁢󰁥󰁮󰁴󰁯󰁮 󰁦󰁲󰁡󰁮󰁫 
who seem perfectly nice and later on you find out they’re cracked. So, like people used to say, I’m cutting to the chase and telling it like it is. Every single person in this family is highly opinionated. You wouldn’t
believe
 how smart and clever they think they are. And even after the hurricane and all we went through with my daughter, Ashley, Maisie still can’t be trusted. And maybe it’s a good thing.Clayton came back and sat down beside me on the long wooden  bench.“It’s going to be about fifteen minutes until they let her out. You want coffee?”“No, thanks. The caffeine . . . I’m already a mess. Why is it taking so long?”“Well, apparently they’re having trouble with the llama. It’s skit-tish and spitting. I guess I’ll have to go out to the farm and get Joyce, the caretaker, to calm our woolly beast down and take her back. They’ve got her in the dogcatcher’s pen for the moment.”“I imagine that’s the best plan. It’s not like you can invite a llama into your SUV to take a seat.“Your momma is really something else, Liz.”“You’re telling me? She’s a hundred- and- two- pound sack of pure hell. I can’t wait to hear her side of the story.”All the trouble started on her birthday,” Clayton said.“Maybe.”It certainly was the date that marked the occasion when I first realized things weren’t right in my family. I looked at my husband and thought how lucky he was to be alive. And luckier for him I don’t  believe in packing a pistol. Clayton reached over and took my hand in his, giving it a good squeeze. I squeezed his back. After all, we were all in this soup together.
 
󰁴󰁨󰁥 󰁨󰁵󰁲󰁲󰁩󰁣󰁡󰁮󰁥 󰁳󰁩󰁳󰁴󰁥󰁲󰁳
 /
3
I wondered then what Maisie thought about that night. Clearly, we had not shared a point of view about very many things in a thou-sand years. And this llama business? Honey, it would be front- page news for the
Post and Courier
and all over Twitter
.
It might even make national news.Then I understood it all. It would be perfect if it did.

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