Friday, May 25, 2018

Book Review: By Invitation Only

I mentioned on Instagram that it isn't summer until I have a new Dorothea Benton Frank book in hand and here we are. It is SUMMER.

By Invitation Only - Dorothea Benton Frank
The Lowcountry of South Carolina is where By Invitation Only begins at a barbecue engagement party thrown by Diane English Stiftel, her brother Floyd, and her parents to celebrate her son’s engagement. On this gorgeous, magical night, the bride’s father, Alejandro Cambria, a wealthy power broker whose unbelievably successful career in private equity made him one of Chicago’s celebrated elite, discovers the limits and possibilities of cell phone range. While the mother of the bride, Susan Kennedy Cambria, who dabbles in the world of public relations and believes herself deserving of every square inch of her multimillion-dollar penthouse and imaginary carrara marble pedestal, learns about moonshine and dangerous liaisons.
Soon By Invitation Only zooms to Chicago, where the unraveling accelerates. Nearly a thousand miles away from her comfortable, familiar world, Diane is the antithesis of the bright lights and super-sophisticated guests attending her son Fred’s second engagement party. Why a second party? Maybe it had been assumed that the first one wouldn’t be up to snuff? Fred is marrying Shelby Cambria, also an only child. The Cambrias’ dearest wish is for their daughter to be happy. If Shelby wants to marry Frederick, aka Fred, they will not stand in her way—although Susan does hope her friends won’t think her daughter is marrying more than a few degrees beneath her socially. At the same time, Diane worries that her son will be lost to her forever.
By Invitation Only is a tale of two families, one struggling to do well, one well to do, and one young couple—the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hard -working Southern peach farmers.
I absolutely loved this book. I really can't remember a book that Dorothea Benton Frank hasn't hit out of the ballpark, all of her books are a guaranteed great read, this one included.

We have two families, one really wealthy family and one not so much.. they're farmers. But they come together over a wedding, both families marrying off their only child and both families play tug of war over what it should be like. Kind of. The wealthy family wants the most extravagant ceremony and the farmer family just can't compete, you know? The shenanigans leading up to the wedding are hilarious, includes a chicken named Molly, and you find yourself smiling throughout the whole thing.

But not to be outdone, there's more than just this wedding. We have a budding romance between Diane and Alden, we have someone going to prison, someone's fall from grace, and exciting news all wrapping up the book.

I had such a great time reading this one and this is one that I would buy and gift as a summer read. It needs to be on your list for the beach this year. This would also make an excellent gift for anyone preparing a wedding as a reminder of what's important, the vows. Everything else... fades away and isn't important. Back to basics, sometimes sweeter than originally thought. This book is funny, it's sweet, it's a perfect southern novel that makes you want to plan your next vacation in the Lowcountry, it's in my future plans!

You can find this book on Amazon of course but you can also get it on the HarperCollins website, an excellent source for new books.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!