Monday, August 10, 2015

The Land of Mango Sunsets - Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter / First Paragraph

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     Charming, funny, delightful. Those are the best words I can find to describe The Land of Mango Sunsets by Dorothea Benton Frank. I enjoy stories where the main character changes and grows, and that's what happens to Miriam in this book. But now that I think about it, she actually goes back to being her authentic self, which is even better.  
     I enjoyed Frank's descriptions of Sullivans Island, South Carolina, and her Southern voice. The description in the prologue is luscious! I'll read more books by this author. (Many thanks to my friend Nan for offering her collection to me.)

Beginning (Prologue):
     We called it the Land of Mango Sunsets. None of the old islanders knew what we meant by that, as they had only ever heard of mangoes. Bottled chutney perhaps, but that was about the sum total of their experience with a food that was so foreign. But I knew all about the romance of them from my earliest memories of anything at all. My parents had honeymooned in the South Pacific, which in those days was considered a little reckless, certainly titillating, and above all, highly exotic. Every morning they left their beds, still half dreaming, to find a tray outside the door of their bungalow. They would bring it behind the curtains of the mosquito netting and into their bed. Still in their nightclothes, my mother's hair cascading in tendrils and my father's young beard stubble scratching her young complexion, they would burn away the sour paste of morning breath with a plate of sliced mangoes, dripping with fleshy sweetness, a pot of strong tea, and a rack of toast. From then on, mangoes were equated with love, tenderness, and hopeful beginnings, and we spent our lives looking everywhere for other examples of them.

Teaser (from Page 266) - How does Miriam know her mother's death is near? She explains it this way:
     No, this was something particular in her eyes, not a light that was fading but as though her eyes were trying to memorize me, freeze-frame the moment, and tuck it away in the pocket of the gown she intended to wear into eternity. She would show my ancestors these pictures of her time spent in my family's life just like photographs of events of which she was especially proud or those that had given her something sublime that she had stolen away with her passing to share.

Amazon link: The Land of Mango Sunsets
Pages: 334 (trade paperback)
Genre: Women's Fiction
Author Website: Dorothea Benton Frank

Synopsis:
      Dorothea Benton Frank writes highly addictive tales of life's conundrums with hilarity and heat. Meet Miriam Elizabeth Swanson, in a full-blown snit, buoyed by a fabulous cast that runs the gamut from insufferable to wonderful. First is the arrival of Liz Harper, Miriam's tenant from Birmingham, who sets a new cycle in motion. Her other tenant, Kevin, stalwart companion with more style than Cary Grant, shakes Miriam out of her fog to see which battles are worth the fight. Then there's Miriam's estranged son, who announces he's marrying a Jamaican woman. And what about her ex-husband, Charles, and that sordid lingerie model of his? Finally, you'll laugh and cry when Miriam meets a man named Harrison who changes her into a gal named Mellie.
      Miriam spins out from the revolving door of her postured life as a Manhattan quasi-socialite while she thirsts, no, starves for recognition. It takes a few spins, dips, and one spectacular fall until Miriam gets her head on straight. Then in a whoosh she's off to the enchanted and mysterious land of Sullivans Island, deep in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
      Told straight from the heart in Frank's vivid, highly entertaining style,The Land of Mango Sunsets just might be her finest work to date. If you decide to read this book, don't make plans to do anything else for a while.


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!




First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

27 comments:

Suzie Quint said...

This doesn't really grab me, but I've hard to please lately. I think I'm going through a phase. :(

Beth F said...

I usually like Frank's books for enjoyable summer reading. This one is new to me, but looks like it would be fun. I'd keep reading.

Chippy said...

I think I'd have to read a bit more to decide if I wanted to read the whole thing.

I love the title though.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian said...

Frank is a good storyteller, so you'll find lots of reading enjoyment in your friend's collection. Enjoy!

My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/08/first-chapter-first-paragraph-116.html

Literary Feline said...

I love the intro you shared, and this sounds like a fun book--probably more relaxing for the mind than my current read. :-) I have yet to read anything by Frank, but I keep hearing good things about her work. One of these days, I will have to give her a try.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I have enjoyed this author for a while...she is a fairly recent new favorite.

This one sounds so lovely...the language brings me right into the setting, and I feel the thrill of it all...the sensual pleasures.

Thanks for sharing...and I must check this one out. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Vicki said...

This sounds very interesting. I haven't read one of her books even though I'm sure I have at least one on my shelves.

Sonia Lal said...

Interesting teaser!

mine: https://storytreasury.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/teaser-tuesday-the-curse-of-chalion/

Silvia Paoletta said...

Very nice teaser and new book to me!
Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog earlier :)

Margot said...

Actually, all you needed to do for me is say the author's name. However, I'm so glad you shared everything you did because I haven't read this one yet. It sounds so good. I'm off to find it.

madamevauquer said...

Enchanting title! Not familiar with the author, I'll have to check my library for any of her books.

Thanks for visiting mine today for the Sue Grafton book.

Laura Thomas said...

Sounds like my kind of wake up call:) Such beautiful writing too. Thanks for introducing this author.

And thanks for stopping by my teaser.

Jaina said...

Sounds cool! And sad . . .

Kay said...

I like the story about the parents and their honeymoon and the mangoes. Lovely. I've only read one book by this author and keep meaning to read more. Sigh. Need. More. Reading. Time. LOL

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Sandra,

A new author to me, although I do think her style of writing and the storylines she chooses, are just a little too 'sweet and sickly' for my taste.

The words included in your teaser excerpt, are however, very descriptive, whilst at the same time matter-of-fact and uncomplicated.

Thanks for sharing

Yvonne

Harvee Lau - Book Dilettante said...

I likw the title of the book and I also love mangoes. Luckily, we get them here in the summer.

Nadene Reynolds said...

Not sure if this is for me. Hope you are enjoying it. Thanks for visiting my blog

grammajudyb said...

I'd chose this one. I enjoy the author and I love the cover. Your intro makes me know I'd like it. Thanks for sharing.

Yvonne said...

I love the sounds of this one. I'm going to add it to my list.

Claire the Coffeeholic Bookworm said...

Sounds interesting, and the book cover looks very summery, I 'm going to include this on my TBR list. Thanks for the recent visit, by the way :)

Monica's Bookish Life said...

A lovely opening, and I love the title. I haven't tried any books by this author, but this looks like something I'd enjoy, so I'd keep reading!

Eustacia Tan said...

And now, I crave mangoes! Sounds like an interesting read(:

The Candid Cover YA book blogger said...

I haven't heard of this book before! Your teaser is really intriguing and definitely makes me want to check this book out. Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Jacqueline Gum said...

Loved this book! And she is great favorite here in Charleston! Lovely woman, great writer:)

Donna H said...

Sounds like a lovely read. Girl Who Reads

Stormi Johnson said...

Not sure this one would work for me, but I hope you enjoyed it. :)

Topazshell said...

I love the way she describes mangoes. It's such a bright and hopeful beginning. I've never tasted a mango.:)