Review: By Invitation Only

The South Carolina Low Country is the setting for Dorothea Benton Frank’s novel By Invitation Only. The novel is the story of both young love and a midlife makeover.

The young lovers’ backgrounds couldn’t be more different. His mother and his grandparents run a small peach farm in the South Carolina Low Country. They live in a house that needs painting and work hard to make their farm profitable. Her mother and dad live in Chicago at a swanky address and have more money than they know what to do with. Her mother is determined to score a social coup by throwing the most glamorous and elaborate wedding Chicago has ever seen.

The groom’s mother Dianne has an admirer who wants to get close to her, but after her divorce years ago, she steers clear of men. She’s a little miffed when competition enters the picture.

As you’ve probably guessed, the book shows a contrast between high society and regular life, and ultimately picks one over the other as the better way to live. However, it was interesting to see how that conclusion was reached. There were some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting, some fun adventures, and some not so fun. The author made you care about the characters. Some you liked, but even the ones you didn’t had redeeming characteristics. One of the things I liked most though, was the feeling of being in the Low Country. I’ve been there many times, and the book made me feel as if I’d taken a little vacation while sitting in my recliner. I’d definitely recommend the book. I’d give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

by invitation



About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
This entry was posted in book review, Elaine Cantrell, Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Review: By Invitation Only

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    It’s always fun to read stories set in locations you’re familiar with, isn’t it? This sounds like a great read. Thanks so much!


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    does “low country” refer to the swampy areas near the coast?
    My own mom and dad came from socio-economic backgrounds that were polar opposites:
    Dad was born to an illiterate widow with six older children (some grown by that point)… they had not a dime to their names.
    Mom was the only child of an important Bell Telephone executive who kept being promoted to larger offices and bigger cities.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope that I can find time for this one, Elaine. The idea that high society always means ‘mean and shallow’ wears on my nears terribly and it is way overused in stories; On the other hand, having to be swept away to a castle doesn’t appeal to me, either. Then you have the those who are portrayed as always ‘poor, but honest’ or always downright ‘dirty trash-poor’; there are never continual extremes in any class of people. I am happy to see a writer who shows all sides.


  4. It sounds like an interesting book. I didn’t know what low country referred to either until I read your response to Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s