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.