Sullivan's Island native unveils latest local fiction novel

By Amy

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- On June 12, author Dorothea Benton Frank's new novel, "Porch Lights," will appear on book store shelves. On Monday, she visited Lowcountry Live to share the story.

"Porch Lights" follows Jackie McMullen and her 10-year-old son, Charlie, as they cope with the loss of their husband and father. Jimmy McMullen was a fireman with the New York Fire Department and died while on duty.

Charlie becomes quiet and withdrawn as he struggles to cope with his loss and Jackie worries desperately. She decides to take him to her childhood home on Sullivan's Island to spend the summer with her mother, Annie Britt. While Jackie and Annie's relationship had been strained in recent years, they reconnect during their summer together.

"I hope it's a fun read for everybody," Frank said.

Frank was born and raised on Sullivan's Island. She and her husband divide their time between South Carolina and New Jersey. Frank draws on her firsthand knowledge of Lowcountry life to transport readers to our beaches.

In "Porch Lights," Frank writes of lush green grasslands, dazzling evening skies, Lowcountry pluff mud, fresh seafood and palmetto fronds swaying in ocean winds.

She also weaves in tales of Blackbeard and his pirates in Charleston waterways and Edgar Allan Poe, who spent time on Sullivan's Island during the Revolutionary War.

"I had a fun time writing this book because I learned a lot about Edgar Allen Poe," Frank said. "It's his history and his weird, little personality that saves a little boy from depression."

Frank is also the author of local works of fiction such as "Folly Beach," "Lowcountry Summer," "Return to Sullivan's" and "Shem Creek."{}

Frank will appear at two upcoming "Porch Lights" book signings:

Saturday, June 16, 2pm: Barnes & Noble, Mount Pleasant Towne Centre

Monday, June 18, 12pm: Barnes & Noble, College of Charleston