DOROTHEA BENTON FRANK
New York Times Bestselling Author of Lowcountry Tales
Explores Grace, Faith and Family
Within The Pages of Her Inspired New Novel and William Morrow Debut,
In a breathtaking departure from her traditional "Lowcountry" tales, New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank makes her William Morrow debut with FULL OF GRACE, a moving story about the sustaining power of love and life's surprising miracles of faith (William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers; ISBN 0-06-089235-8; on-sale 5/2/06; $24.95 U.S./$32.50 Can.).
Like all of Frank's novels, FULL OF GRACE is brimming with Southern charm, the author's trademark wit and sassy dialogue. When her dysfunctional (but irresistable) parents pack up their things (and Grandma Nonna) and pick up and move from the wilds of New Jersey (read: the suburbs) to the coastal paradise of Hilton Head, thirty-something Maria Graziella Russo (call her "Grace" - that's a whole lot of name for a good Italian American girl who doesn't even go to Church), she relocates to Charleston, immediately falling in love with its Antebellum allure and temperate climate. And all this before she meets Michael Higgins, a doctor and reasearch scientist specializing in the study of stem cells. Heads are spinning, bodies are rolling in graves and Italian tempers flaring when Grace and Michael (who, on top of his work - the Church definitely does not approve - is agnostic and of Irish descent; Nonna and Grace's father, Big Al, can't stop having convulsions) move in together. As she makes regular pilgrimages to the ever-heaving bosom of her family for holidays and other eating abbondanzas, she can't help but wonder when the people she loves most in the world will come to accept the man who has won her heart…and if he'll ever be invited to share in these special, crazy (and always pleasantly dysfunctional) celebrations.
Grace has the job most everyone dreams of: planning amazing vacations and corporate retreats for the world's wealthiest travelers. Not only does Grace escort these groups, but she meticulously plans each excursion, whether it be to the sun-soaked Sardinian coast, to the elite vineyards of Napa and Sonoma. But when Michael is diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma, an insidious and often inoperable form of brain cancer, the weeks away from his side hold no appeal - so she rallies against the one last trip her employer asks her to plan: a pilgramage for local Charleston Church-goers to the sites of some of the world's most celebrated - and debated (and, true to form, Grace does indeed try to argue) - miracles.
But when Grace and Michael experience a miracle of their own on Mexico City's most hallowed ground, the stage is set for a major change in faith that will not only alter the couple's outlook on life, but will touch every member of the Russo family, as well.
Reading FULL OF GRACE is like pouring a big glass of Chianti (this is strong stuff - sweet tea will not suffice!), diving into an indulgent plate of antipasti and embarking upon a mile-a-minute heart-to-heart with this voluble author about family, love, life and the eternal search for the perfect state of grace.
FULL OF GRACE
By Dorothea Benton Frank
William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
$24.95 U.S./$32.50 Can.
PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF DOROTHEA BENTON FRANK:
A rich readPublishers Weekly (starred review) on Sullivan's Island
Frank keeps you reading compulsivelyThe Charlotte Observer on Sullivan's Island
...Effortlessly evokes the lush beauty of the South Carolina Lowcountry while exploring the complexities of family relationshipsPublishers Weekly (starred review) on Plantation