Porch Lights: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Jun 12 2012
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From the Back Cover
When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman with the NYFD, is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and ten-year-old son, Charlie, are devastated. Charlie idolized his dad, and now the outgoing, curious boy has become quiet and reserved. Trusting in the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivans Island.
Crossing the bridge from the mainland, Jackie and Charlie enter a world full of wonder and magic—lush green and chocolate grasslands and dazzling red, orange, and magenta evening skies; the heady pungency of Lowcountry Pluff mud and fresh seafood on the grill; bare toes snuggled in warm sand and palmetto fronds swaying in gentle ocean winds.
Awaiting them is Annie Britt, the family matriarch who has kept the porch lights on to welcome them home. Thrilled to have her family back again, Annie promises to make their visit perfect—even though relations between mother and daughter have never been what you'd call smooth. Over the years, Jackie and Annie, like all mothers and daughters, have been known to have frequent and notorious differences of opinion. But her estranged and wise husband, Buster, and her flamboyant and funny best friend Deb are sure to keep Annie in line. She's also got Steven Plofker, the flirtatious and devilishly tasty widowed physician next door, to keep her distracted as well.
Captivated by the island's alluring natural charms and inspired by colorful Lowcountry lore—lively stories of Blackbeard and his pirates who once sailed the waterssurrounding the Carolinas and of former resident Edgar Allan Poe—mother, daughter, and grandson will share a memorable, illuminating summer. Told in Annie's and Jackie's alternating voices, and filled with Dorothea Benton Frank's charming wit, indelible poignancy, and hallmark themes—the bonds of family, the heart's resilience, and the strength of love—Porch Lights is a triumph from "the queen of Southern fiction" (Charlotte Observer).
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.
Top Customer Reviews
HarperCollins|April 15, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-221176-7
When fireman Jimmy McMullen is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and ten-year-old son, Charlie, are devastated. Trusting the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivans Island - a place of lush green grasslands, the heady pungency of Lowcountry Pluff mud, and palmetto fronds swaying in gentle ocean winds.
Thrilled to have her family back, matriarch Annie Britt promises to make their visit perfect. Over the years, Jackie and Annie, like all mothers and daughters, have had differences of opinion. But her estranged and wise husband, Buster, and her best friend, Deb, are sure to keep Annie in line. She's also got the flirtatious widowed physician next door to keep her distracted. Captivated by the island's natural charms, mother, daughter, and grandson will share a memorable, illuminating summer.
Jackie McMullen was an army nurse stationed in Afghanistan for a seven-month tour when her husband, Jimmy was killed. He was fireman for the city of New York and fell through the floor when it collapsed in a filthy, rat-infested tenement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Jackie swore that Jimmy couldn't be too far away because she could "feel him, watching over me, over us." They were very much in love and Jackie was devastated.
Their 10-year-old son, Charlie, was depressed and had idolized his Dad. Jimmy took Charlie everywhere on his days off, they spent a lot of quality time together and losing his father was like losing a part of himself. Charlie's despair was a huge concern for Jackie, no matter what she said or did, didn't seem to bring him around.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The protagonist, Jackie is a returning vet from Afghanistan whose husband (a NYC firefighter) has been killed and she and her young son return to her family home on Sullivan's Island.
I do agree that the handsome doctor next door WAS a bit obvious but how do you write a none predictable romance? Come on, boy meets girl is pretty tried and true and predictable no matter how you gussie up the circumstances that lead up to it lol.
I found Buster and Annie (our heroine's parents) quirky and funny in the grand Southern tradition of hysterically funny nut jobs (among whom I count myself).
A good, quick, read not the best of Ms. Dorothea (think Plantation, Sullivan's Island etc.) but a worthy read.
Why couldn't she have the characters talk to each other like real people, instead of being like cartoons? Additionally, the gross overuse of exclamation points adds to the cartoonish feel, and makes the book read like an eleven year old girl's diary. Thoughtful conversations and interactions, and sensitive and nuanced illustrations of place...AREN'T in this book. It is very sad.