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Porch Lights

Porch Lights

Written by Dorothea Benton Frank

Narrated by Robin Miles


Porch Lights

Written by Dorothea Benton Frank

Narrated by Robin Miles

ratings:
4/5 (25 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 12, 2012
ISBN:
9780062191045
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

“The queen of sassy Southern fiction.”
Charlotte Observer
 
“Dottie Frank’s books are sexy and hilarious. She has staked out the lowcountry of South Carolina as her personal literary property.”
—Pat Conroy, Author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad
 
New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank is back home in the Carolina lowcountry, spinning a tale that brims with the warmth, charm, heart, and humor that has become her trademark. Porch Lights is a stirring, emotionally rich multigenerational story—a poignant tale of life, love, and transformation—as a nurse, returning to Sullivans Island from the Afghanistan War, finds her life has been irrevocably altered by tragedy…and now must rediscover love and purpose with the help of her son and aging mother. An evocative visit to enchanting Sullivans Island with its unique pluff mud beaches, palmetto trees, and colorful local lore—a novel filled with unforgettable characters, and enlivened by tales of the notorious Blackbeard and his bloodthirsty pirate crew and eerie Edgar Allen Poe stories—Porch Lights stands tall among the very best works of not only Dottie Frank, but Anne Rivers Siddons, Rebecca Wells, Pat Conroy, and other masters of the modern Southern novel as well.
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 12, 2012
ISBN:
9780062191045
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

New York Times bestseller Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. Until her passing in 2019, Dorothea and her husband split their time between New Jersey and South Carolina. A contemporary voice of the South, Dorothea Benton Frank was beloved by fans and friends alike since her debut novel Sullivans Island. Readers from coast to coast fell for the quick wit and the signature humor that permeated her many bestselling novels.


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What people think about Porch Lights

4.0
25 ratings / 18 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Enjoyable audiobook. Well written and kept the reader's attention.
  • (2/5)
    If not for the interesting literary references, this would have been a complete loss for me. My biggest obstacle was the annoying main character.
  • (4/5)
    This was my first Dorothea Benton Frank novel. I didn't have very high expectations and thought it would be extremely saccharine, but it was a pleasant surprise. The relationship between Jackie and her mother, Annie, was written well. The grief of young Charlie for his recently killed father was poignant. Charlie could have been written a bit more precocious. I liked the friendship between Annie and Deb, and between Annie and Buster, their easy humor together was fun. Annie's reflections on getting older were humorous and interesting. I also liked the colloquialisms used by the family, although I have read reviews on here that dispute their accuracy. I enjoyed the atmosphere of Sullivan's Island as another character fleshed out in this book. The neighborly and slow-paced seaside way of life I found very appealing. I didn't really buy into the connection made between Jackie and the eligible neighbor, Steve. I found Jackie to be emotionally unavailable. I do not know whether this was intentional or not. This became a believability problem later on in tying up the story into a neat bow. The side story of Jackie's reflections on her tour of Afghanistan were too superficial and brief to be useful to the plot. It seemed like an afterthought that did not jive with the rest of the story. As others have said, the ending after the climax was not well thought out and too swift and tidy to be believable.
    Would I recommend this novel? Well, if someone asked for an easy, gentle read of family life in an oceanside community. Yes! This author does not intend to soar to great literary heights here. I find it annoying when reviewers criticize a book of this genre for lack of content. The same as walking into a hometown diner and expecting a gourmet meal. You're the one being silly. Sometimes I just want a positive book for escape where I don't have to think too hard. This book doesn't pretend to be anything else.
    Would I read this author again? Yes, with reservations. I gave it four stars compared with others of its genre. From viewing the covers, and reading some synopses from other works of DBF, they all seem to have the same setting and formula, so I would not read them back to back. I would probably read another, late this summer or next summer. A beach read that is easy to put down and pick up again.
  • (4/5)
    I needed a light hearted read and I did not know Dorothea Benton Frank. The name alone drew enough interest then add it takes place mainly in a beach house called The Salty Dog. With a spunky 58 year old Southern Lady and her tangled family dynamics revolving around her 10 year grandson and a husband who has been "fishin" for 11 years well......you just gotta know what takes place under those Porch Lights! I'll be reading more DBF when I need more light reads.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful author. Who paints with her words the beauty of the low country.
  • (4/5)
    I have read three of Dorothea Benton Frank's books this week and loved them all - she is such a great storyteller, and mixed with the dynamic sense of humor and wit, keeps you laughing throughout the story. The Last Original Wife was excellent as well --just finished it. If you are from the south you will appreciate all the details of the Lowcountry area, as it makes you homesick to return. (get the audio as the narrator does an excellent job)!


  • (4/5)
    Leave the light on for me. PORCH LIGHTS was a book about caring, family, healing, and a book that will steal your heart in more ways than one.Jackie, recently widowed with a ten-year-old son, decides to go back home for the rest of the summer to help Charlie heal from the loss of his father. Many surprises await Jackie as well as many decisions. One of the surprises is her mother. They never did have an easy relationship, but her mother seems to have changed.The characters were a nice mix of fun, intensity, loneliness, being loveable, and unique. The setting was very well described as well as the emotions of each character. You will cry, laugh, and even be envious of the family connection. You will want to be part of the Britt family and live with them on Sullivan's Island. You will definitely want to share the delicious meals made by Annie, but you won't want to be Jackie who has a major life decision to make.I have never read a book by Ms. Frank. She has an easy style and drew me in. This book was a pleasant read. 4/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
  • (5/5)
    This woman is one of my all time favorite authors. She can't tell enough tales of the Lowcountry for me. This tale ensures a love of the beach and family and food, even those uneven families that are all too real, you still get into another world of reading. Please if you haven't read every one of dorothea's books do so this summer!
  • (3/5)
    My initial thought was that this was the lesser of the three Frank books I've read, but it picked up steam as it went and I ended up enjoying it very much. Frank's stories all have a familiar cast to them, but she manages to make her characters so appealing that it is easy to overlook similarities.
  • (4/5)
    Jackie McMullen is an army nurse who had been called back to New York from Afghanistan when her husband Jimmy, a New York firefighter, dies while fighting a fire. Their son Charlie is having trouble adjusting. Jackie decided to take Charlie to visit his grandparents on Sullivan's Island to heal. Her parents have been living separately for eleven years although they are not divorced. Charlie takes on a job tending the next door neighbor's dogs while he's at work. He quickly makes friends with some vacationing children from Greenville. He doesn't want to return home although his mom is determined to return to Brooklyn at the end of the summer. There's some great information on Poe, a touch of romance, and a pivotal hurricane in the plot. It's a perfect summer beach read--a true "comfort reading" book.
  • (3/5)
    Dotty Frank is hit or miss with me. This one's pretty much a hit, but mostly because I'm enchanted that the voice actor has taken pains to do a Charleston accent for one of the characters. Hearing "house" pronounced in the patois near and dear to me, made me smile. Story is fine; Typical DBF, with a lot of lowcountry references thrown in. I didn't want to slap anyone, which I sometimes do with her work. Some nice touches in terms of views of war nursing, motherhood, grief, and good ol' hurricanes. I can't go to Poe's Tavern, though, because they use latex gloves, and I'm allergic to latex/natural rubber. :(
  • (3/5)
    This book is written, in alternate chapters, in the grown daughter's and the mother's voices. I really wanted to know what happened, and enjoyed the daughter's chapters, but the mother's were tiresome, so I quit reading.
  • (5/5)
    Porch Lights by by Dorothea Benton Frank Jackie has lost her firefighter husband Jimmy and she and Charlie travel back south to visit with her mom for the summer months.Charlie adjusts and even gets a job and makes a map with treasure at the end and weeks later he doesn't want to leave. Jackie has nightmares of the war she was in and knows that she has to get back to NY soon.There are romances that keep things light. Love the things I learned in this book about the sealife. Love how the book got it's title.Love talk of Poe and pirates, catching up with others on Sullivan's Island but sad to see those who are gone now. Love hearing of the typical hurricane preparedness and the food preparations for a meal are to die for! Cedar Planks, gonna have to try those out!Charlie tries to talk his grandmother into letting them stay ...Things rise up to a new level of fear when Charlie goes missing and the hurricane is on their doorstep...
  • (2/5)
    I'm about to give up on this author. This book had a poor plot, characters that I cared nothing about, and a very predictable ending.
  • (3/5)
    One of the oldest traditions of finding your way home involves leaving a light in the window - a candle, a hurricane lamp, an electric lamp, and porch lights. In Frank's novel, Porch Lights, she uses this tradition to symbolize Jackie's return from the darkness, to her home. Jackie and her son Charlie have suffered the devastating loss of Jimmy, Jackie's husband and Charlie's father. They are living in the home they made as a family in New York, trying to put their lives back together. Jackie and Charlie are understandably having a rough time, and Jackie realizes they need to get away from it all for a bit, to return to her family home of Sullivan's Island, to help her child heal.She doesn't have the best relationship with her mother, thinking her too flighty and dramatic, but has a pretty solid relationship with her father. At least at first. Jackie begins to appreciate her mother and see her in a new light, during their weeks together. And she also starts to heal herself. Her son is flourishing on the island, and does not want to return home. And I don't blame him, it sounded like paradise on the island. Sitting on the porch, drinking coffee in the morning, cocktails at night, with an ocean breeze blowing over you, all relaxed and lazy. Morning walks on the beach, all the Poe trivia - I wanted to move in with Annie too!! I had no idea that Edgar Allen Poe ever lived on Sullivan's Island. I found the bits of information about Poe and his life on the island very interesting, and definitely inspired me to read The Gold-Bug. I haven't started it yet, but I will soon. I have always been a fan of Poe's poetry, and some of his stories, like the Tell-Tale Heart. I have always wanted to go to the Outer Banks, but now I really want to go, now that I know of Poe's Tavern. (yes, I am a nerd)Is this book one of the most well written I have ever read? No, and sometimes the dialogue drives me nuts. But the characters are fun, the setting amazing, and it is entertaining and beachy and perfect for a light read.
  • (5/5)
    Every time I read one of DBF's books I want to move down south and get adopted by a big 'ole family and live like the characters in her book do. This book tells the story of a much fractured family. Annie and Buster is a married couple, both retired, that have been living apart for 11 years since he got fed up with her controlling ways. From Annie's point of view, it was the day after their daughter’s wedding, he had his junk all over the porch, and they had a bunch of relatives coming over so of course she was concerned. Jackie, the aforementioned daughter, is coming back to the low country with her son Charlie, aged 10. Jackie's husband Jimmie, an NYFD member had died on duty several months before and Jackie needs a break from life in Brooklyn. She is also grappling with decisions after being an active duty nurse in Afghanistan and now figuring out where her life will go.The visit is fraught with tension between Jackie and Annie and Annie and Buster. Throw in good looking Dr. Steve from next door who Annie has been lusting after in her heart and it just keeps getting deeper. Annie is the true southern woman who just keeps on living life every day no matter how hard it has become and who believes that good food is a cure for a lot of problems. She is a font of information for Charlie, telling him all about the low country ways, the battles in the area during the Revolution, and about local celebrity Edgar Allen Poe.One of things I love about DBF's books is that there is such a sense of normalcy in the lives of the characters, even when they are doing the craziest things- like scoping out Dr. Steve's unmentionables. The continuity of years of tradition becomes a balm that soothes the troubled soul whether you believe in the traditions or not. While this story does have a few incidents of emotional lows and one scary moment, generally it is a tale of a family finding its way back to each other by living day after day and opening their hearts to the healing they can give each other.
  • (5/5)
    Porch Lights are a sign of welcome or a symbol that you are waiting for someone to come home and that's exactly what you, the reader, will find when you read the latest novel by Dorothea Benton Frank, Porch Lights!I guess the hardest thing for someone to deal with in life is to lose someone that they love. Dealing with the loss and finding a way to move forward when it feels like you lack the motivation to do so would be a challenging thing to do. Yet that is exactly what Jackie and Charlie McMullen are trying to do. Finding a way to move forward without Jimmy McMullen, who was killed as a New York fireman when the building he was in collapsed, living Jackie without a husband and young, ten-year-old, Charlie without a dad.Now Jackie is trying to find a way to pull Charlie out of a lingering depression that is consuming his life. Withdrawing as an Army nurse, Jackie takes a trip back to her childhood home on Sullivan's Island in Charleston to stay the summer with her mom, Annie Britt in hopes of finding a solution. What she learns there is a process of letting go of the pain but retaining the love and memories she has of her life with Jimmy and begin building a new one. Along the way she learns how much she needs to change as well as the beach begins to sooth away the worn and sharp edges of her past. She learns to let Charlie begin to experience his own challenges as a boy growing up, from skateboarding with the friends he meets, sleep overs, baseball games and learning a different way of life from the one he left behind before the summer.Along the way, Charlie and Jackie have plenty of help from not only Jackie's mom Annie, but her father, Buster who comes and stays with them to help Charlie make the transition much easier doing stuff a father and son might. A neighbor next door to Annie's, is a local doctor, Steven Plofker, who offers Charlie a job walking his dogs and taking care of them for the summer while teaching him the value of a job and responsibility. He is also very interested in Jackie seeing as they both share losing a spouse in common.The delight the reader finds in Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank is a life that is much more simple. Spending the days walking along the beach in search of the ocean's treasures, sharing homemade ice cream from an old fashioned crank machine, and just memories of grilled bar-b-que meals eaten in the company of close family and friends on porch, calls the reader home in a serene way. Healing begins for all of them and changes how they view life as they work together to move forward in the next chapters of their life. Dorothea paints such a splendid canvas for the reader, you can smell the salty air and feel the cool ocean breezes in her latest novel.I received Porch Lights compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins publishers for my honest review. If you are truly looking for a memorable summer read, than search no further and pick this one up. It is such a treasure to find a difficult subject like the loss of someone dear is something to be shared with family and friends and in the end changes them all and brings healing no one really expected. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and the cast of supporting characters Dorothea created make this an exceptionally fun read, especially Jackie's mom, Annie who fears aging the most!
  • (3/5)
    My husband and I listened to this audio book on a trip and both enjoyed the gentle, sometimes sassy humor and the story. The reader was very good, which adds life to a story. A fractured, charming family comes together at a beach house that's been in the family a long time. A set of older parents, a newly bereaved daughter, her son, and various friends and other characters reveal what is going on in their lives. It's complicated, just like real life. You'll recognize people you know here. Charming is the word that comes to mind most often. Stuff happens. Precious details dot the book. This isn't my husband's type of book at all, so it's worth noting that he liked it, too.