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Pawleys Island

A Low Country Tale
Narrated by: Dorothea Benton Frank
Series: Lowcountry Tales, Book 5
Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Of the many barrier islands that pepper the coast of South Carolina's Lowcountry, Pawleys Island, the "arrogantly shabby" family playground for generations, might be the most mysterious and charming of them all. It is here and in the surrounding area that Dorothea Benton Frank has placed her latest Lowcountry tale, Pawleys Island.

Meet Huey Valentine, the owner of Gallery Valentine, catering to interior decorators and, heaven save us, tourists. Huey resides on his family plantation on the shores of the Waccamaw River, where he cares for his mother, Miss Olivia, a wise and irresistible octogenarian. And meet Huey's great friend Abigail Thurmond, retired attorney from Columbia, who has laid claim to her family's home on Pawleys Island. Huey and Abigail are complacent in their fat and sassy lives until the stormy advent of the artist Rebecca Simms.

Rebecca has been catapulted from her home, her marriage, and her children. She has escaped to Pawleys Island to hide herself from herself. But after Miss Olivia pries Rebecca's secrets from her, Huey and especially Abigail are challenged to reenter life outside the dream state their idyllic geography evokes. They will see that Rebecca has her day in court, but they never expect to provoke a national forum for discussion.

With characteristic humor and a full cast of eccentric and wonderfully lovable characters, Dorothea Benton Frank brings us her most honest and entertaining story to date. People have secrets they never want anyone to know. People have pasts they would prefer be left out of conversation. In Frank's nimble hands, it all comes spilling out to be examined and reconciled.

©2006 Dorothea Benton Frank (P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Deborah
  • Deborah
  • 17-08-09

Flawed book, weak narration

Because I find reader reviews helpful, I wish that I could say something in support of this book, but I cannot.

I don't know whether the novel would seem quite so annoyingly insipid if the narrator (whom I believe to be Frank herself) was not so truly terrible. You would expect the author to provide a nuanced reading, adding her understanding of the characters to the presentation. Not so here--and the value of narrators who can read professionally, bringing the characters to life, was never more clear to me. In this version of "Pawley's Island," the combination of weak writing and flat, poorly-timed reading makes this book 'unlistenable'.

I wanted something light for the summer, and Frank's popularity seemed to suggest a reasonable level of skill, but this book is entirely without merit. Having purchased it, I tried three times to listen, but could never get past the first two chapters. Both writing and reading are so flawed that I had no expectation that it would improve if I continued.

The other lesson is to take the time to listen to a sample before purchasing. I was taken in by this one, but unless you are a devoted fan of the author and will like anything she writes, I hope I save someone else from an unhappy experience. Audible.com has such a wide range of books to choose from that you will surely find another that is worth your time.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kat
  • Kat
  • 20-09-09

Bad Narration, Good Story

I enjoyed this story. The plot was interesting and the characters were believable. I hated the narration by the author!! It took several chapters to settle in and start enjoying the story - Ms. Benton Frank's flat emotionless voice, not to mention her terrible timing, almost ruined the book for me. Hang in there - the book is worth the effort.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly E Ketcham
  • 16-03-15

poor narrator

narration was poor. had a difficult time knowing or understanding which was speaking. made it very difficult to follow

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jana busby
  • 26-10-14

Another great Dorothy Benton Frank book!

What did you love best about Pawleys Island?

As always, Ms. Franks books have a great story about real people. Love the southern region as the landscape for the story. My husband and I listened to this on a long driving trip and he really enjoyed it too.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracers
  • 28-08-14

Great Story - Terrible Storytelling

This is the second time I listened to this book. I forgot what a great story it was. One word of adviae...PLEASE go get Robin Miles to re-record the narration.
It would be so great
...if you could do this for your audience.
There is a huge difference
...between narrating a story
...and reciting a book.
It was almost too difficult to hear.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • gnash
  • 11-08-19

Hard to get used to narrator at first

Good low country book with a heartwarming story. The narrator grew on me as I got in to the book.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Renie
  • Renie
  • 16-07-19

Narrator is HORRIBLE

Personally I CANT STAND the sound her (the narrator's) mouth makes. the lions smacking the sound that she needs a gallon of water. I have to turn it off cause of the these horrible SOUNDS. Her ability to read is definitely less than par. The narrator's lack of ability to distinguish voices between the characters makes it hard to follow as well. Wish audible made it easier to get refunded.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. K. Bryant
  • C. K. Bryant
  • 18-11-18

Dorothea, Stick to Writing

I love, Love, LOVE DBF's books. I've wanted to live in the Low Country ever since I started with Sullivan's Island. The characters are real to me. As someone else said in a review of another book/author, I wonder throughout my day how the characters are doing. I swear after listening for hours, I'm going to speak with a southern accent every time I listen to the books. Dorothea, dear, sweetie, honey...DON"T read your own books. Please don't. Not sure if Robin wasn't available or WTH happened, but please just don't do it again. I'm not going to list my complaints. Get the book. Enjoy the story. Hear Dorothea as the female lawyer. Don't let her reading style deter you from enjoying the story. AND...I'd like to hear a "Return to Pawley's Island---flesh out the abused wife's career and life after.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for StaceyJean
  • StaceyJean
  • 17-03-17

I will have to read rather than listen to this one

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narrator, the author herself, in this case, is excruciatingly painful to listen to. I only made it it to chapter two, but it's far more than I can endure. I am very interested in the story, but will be reading and not listening to this one.

Would you recommend Pawleys Island to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, but not the audio version as read by the author.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

YES...

What character would you cut from Pawleys Island?

Just the narrator

Any additional comments?

I love Dorothea's books. Have yet to dislike one. Her narration is grating and drones on and on. Too bad Robin Miles wasn't the narrator in this instance, it would have been perfect.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gloria Himes
  • Gloria Himes
  • 04-02-16

The author should have hired a professional reader

Would you try another book from Dorothea Benton Frank and/or Dorothea Benton Frank?

I have read several of her books and enjoyed them; however, there was a professional voice actor reading the book. Makes all the diference in the world.

Has Pawleys Island turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, just from authors reading their own books.

What didn’t you like about Dorothea Benton Frank’s performance?

Every voice sounded the same. I had a hard time telling one character from another.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

1 person found this helpful