Author weaves romance, mystery, history together in 'Folly Beach'

In Dorothea Benton Frank’s latest novel, “Folly Beach,” the author once again takes her readers to the beautiful coastal region of South Carolina known as the Lowcountry with a story that weaves romance, mystery and history together to form an unforgettable tale.

When Cate Cooper’s life implodes, the one place she knows she can go to regroup and restart her life is Folly Beach — the place of her youth, the place she feels safest and most loved. The Lowcountry has always been a place of healing, and with her beloved Aunt Daisy, Cate hopes she can find a place for herself to begin again, but she doesn’t count on falling in love.

After the untimely death of her husband and the discovery of his unscrupulous financial activities, Cate is forced from her home with little more than the clothes on her back, a few possessions and her piano. When her Aunt Daisy hears of her plight, she urges Cate to come home to Folly Beach to help her oversee the real estate property the family owns.

Cate is moved into the famous “Porgy House,” the former home of Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, the couple who had collaborated with George Gershwin on the musical “Porgy and Bess.” As Cate becomes intrigued with the story of Dorothy and DuBose, she has a chance encounter with local literary professor John Risley, who encourages her to find out all she can about the famous couple.

The more Cate discovers about the unassuming Dorothy Heyward, the more she finds out about her own strengths. And the more Cate is around the handsome professor Risley, the more she finds the romance she had thought was dead.

Interwoven with Cate’s story are chapters that feature the voice of Dorothy Heyward, telling her story of life with her husband, DuBose, who wrote the original “Porgy” story, and how she supported him in their bohemian lifestyle that was so closely connected with the Carolina Renaissance movement.
As Cate and Dorothy’s stories intertwine, the magical effects of Folly Beach can be felt as each woman finds her capability and confidence restored.

Dorothea Benton Frank has a fabulous gift for storytelling, and “Folly Beach” is a prime example of her exquisite talent. Readers will feel they’re right there on the beach with this wonderful novel.