Dorothea Benton Frank

An American author hailing from South Carolina, the writer Dorothea Benton Frank has been creating her unique brand of fiction for some years now, as she builds upon her ever extensive backlog. With a well established name in the publishing industry, she has come to be well respected by both her many peers and contemporaries, as she continues a long tradition with her highly regarded genre of fiction. Focusing on relationships and romance, whilst she may initially come across as light literature, there’s so much more depth to her work than first meets the eye.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1951, the author Dorothea Benton Frank was brought up in the area of South Carolina on Sullivan’s Island, where she spent the majority of her childhood. Growing up with her four siblings; Michael Kent Benton, Lynn Benton Bagnal, Theodore Anthony Benton and William Oliver Benton, she was lucky enough to enjoy a rich and colorful upbringing. Always taking in inspiration from her surrounding environment, she was never short of ideas, as she always kept up her passion for both reading and writing from a very early age.

Attending the Bishop England High School in Charleston, she then went onto graduate in 1969 from the General William Moultrie High School. This then led her onto The Fashion Institute of America situated in Atlanta GA, where she graduated in 1972, as she initially followed her interest in fashion. Taking up a career in this field for a number of years, she held numerous positions within the industry, as her passion took her around to various different locations.

Deciding to retire from this particular profession in 1985 after marrying her husband, Peter Richard Frank, in 1983, she soon found herself taking up another passion of hers; fundraising. For many years she would find herself organizing a number of events for a collection of different organizations, all whilst simultaneously bringing up her children as well. Many of these non-profit organizations benefited enormously from her work, along with her children too, all this whilst she built upon her wealth of experience that was to become the inspiration for her novels in the following years to come.

After publishing her first novel ‘Sullivan’s Island’ in 2000 through the Berkeley Publishing house, she was well on her way to reinventing herself as a highly successful writer. Quickly reaching the top of the New York Times Bestseller lists, she was growing in popularity fast, and soon she released her second novel to much acclaim once again. With more to come from her as a writer, as plenty more books are planned on the horizon, there’s no stopping anytime soon for Dorothea Benton Frank as she continues to grow in popularity day-by-day.

Writing Career

Her first novel ‘Sullivan’s Island’ was published in 2000, following the long build up of burgeoning writing career for Dorothea Benton Frank as an author. Selling over a million copies, all from her debut release, it went on to be translated into ten different languages worldwide, thus giving her an even larger global audience as well. The same has happened for her following novels, which were not only translated and enjoyed worldwide too, but also reached the top of the bestseller lists as well.

Over the years she has received honorary doctorates, such as her awards from The College of Charleston, along with Bloomfield College as well. In her spare time she takes up a number of speaking engagements, as she lectures on the creative process which has informed much of her career, as she talks to both the young and old alike. Not only that, but she also manages to go fly fishing as well, along with cooking traveling and reading, as she constantly looks for her next big novel idea.

Isle of Palms

Originally published on the eleventh of January in 2003 through the Berkeley Publishing house once again, this was to make up the third installment in the Lowcountry Tales series. Building upon the premise initially set by the franchise, this features many stories set both in and around the area, as it takes inspiration from the authors own life and upbringing. Creating a unique cast of characters for each entry into the series, it manages to capture a highly relatable slice-of-life element, as it creates a world that is extremely immersive for both her and her many readers.

Up until now the life of Anna Lutz Abbot has seemed somewhat carefree, as she’s taken a bright and sunny outlook on life, unimpeded by any overt problems. A strong independent female protagonist, she feels she is happy with a sunny disposition and has a good head on her shoulders, that is until all that is to be tested. Facing up to secrets from her family, she finds that she must deal with both them and their unpredictable nature if she is ever to move on, along with her own past as well. Why is all this happening now? Can she come to terms with the truth of her family? What will become of them all during their time on the Isle of Palms?

Porch Lights

As a standalone novel, this was first released on the twelfth of June in 2012, and it was this time released through the William Morrow publishing house. Whilst it may be set once again on Sullivan’s Island, it is a story all of its very own, as it manages to create an entirely different world than the ones she has created previously. Establishing a whole new set of characters, it creates a more somber tone to what she has written about previously, although it still remains both heartwarming and touching as well.

After the NYFD fireman Jimmy McMullen dies during his time on the job, he leaves behind a ten year old son Charlie, along with his wife and the mother of Charlie; Jackie. As the son becomes more quiet and reserved, something that’s in direct contrast to his initially outgoing nature, she decides to take him to her childhood home of Sullivan’s Island, as a change of scenery might help. That’s when they learn about the healing power that families hold, as they all come together to learn something about each other and, ultimately; themselves. Will they ever be able to get over what has happened? Can they come together and help each other? What will become of them as they head to Sullivan’s Island to find the waiting porch lights?

Books published in order by series:

Lowcountry Tales Books

Sullivan’s Island(2000) 
Isle of Palms(2003) 
Shem Creek(2004) 
Pawley’s Island(2005) 
Return to Sullivan’s Island(2009) 
Lowcountry Summer(2010) 
Folly Beach(2011) 
The Hurricane Sisters(2014) 
Same Beach, Next Year(2017) 
Queen Bee(2019) 

Standalone Novels

Full of Grace(2006) 
The Christmas Pearl(2007) 
The Land of Mango Sunsets(2007) 
Bulls Island(2008) 
Porch Lights(2012) 
The Last Original Wife(2013) 
All the Single Ladies(2015) 
All Summer Long(2016) 
By Invitation Only(2018) 
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