By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank

Dorothea Benton Frank

By Invitation Only

BY INVITATION ONLY is Dottie Frank’s newest novel.  She just keeps getting better and better. Plus, she’s really funny. Don’t think funny is easy to write…

We all know that weddings bring out the best and worst in most of us. Tensions rise, expectations abound, and everyone is on point trying to make everything spot-on perfect for the big day.   That’s what Frank’s story is all about.

You already know that when you pair a rich socialite from a large urban city and a not-so-rich country boy from a small farm near Charleston, South Carolina, well, you know, there will be hurdles.  The bride and groom are kind people. It’s the bride’s parents who are over-the-top snobs with more money than anyone should be allowed to have.  Then there’s the groom’s mother, his grandmother, and his Uncle Floyd. They are farmers; always have been. Still live and work on the farm. Just saying’, it’s a FARM versus a penthouse apartment in Chicago…

At times, I found myself laughing my head off. At others, just enjoying the Lowcountry and the drama that ensues. Frank is witty.  I was not prepared to love this story. First of all, I was all set to read a summer beach read that takes place in and around the South.  Most of this novel is set in the frigid cold of a Chicago winter, one with more snow than usual.  Once my mindset was on straight, I was good to go.

This story begins with Diane who is Fred’s mom preparing for a big BBQ to celebrate Fred’s and Shelby’s engagement. Shelby’s parents have just arrived from the city and it sets the tone for the story. Try to picture a super successful businessman, Shelby’s dad, on his phone on conference calls almost every given moment. Then picture Shelby’s mom with her nose high in the air. Then enter Uncle Floyd and his moonshine. And you have a recipe for a very interesting evening to say the least.

Move the story to Chicago where Shelby’s parents are now giving their own engagement party.  Both Shelby and Fred are only children. The pressure is on.  And it’s winter.

Very funny and quite insightful, BY INVITATION ONLY is a thought-provoking story of two families totally out of their comfort zones. There is a turnaround here that changes everything.  And gives this story more depth than I expected. The book was so readable, so engrossing, and, yes, it is a quick read. But don’t think you’re getting a beach read. It’s much more than that!

Dorothea Benton Frank


Dorothea Benton Frank

is the New York Times  bestselling author of eighteen novels, all taking place in the Lowcountry of the Carolinas.  She rocks.

My beautiful finished novel arrived from William Morrow a division of Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. I loved it!


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