• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 23, 2019)
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.
Dorothea Benton Frank offers a funny, sharp, and deeply empathetic novel of two very different worlds—of limousines and pickup trucks, caviars and pigs, skyscrapers and ocean spray—filled with a delightful cast of characters who all have something to hide and a lot to learn. A difference in legal opinions, a headlong dive from grace, and an abrupt twist will reveal the truth of who they are and demonstrate, when it truly counts, what kind of grit they have. Are they living the life they want, what regrets do they hold, and how would they remake their lives if they were given the invitation to do so?
By Invitation Only is classic Dorothea Benton Frank—a mesmerizing Lowcountry Tale that roars with spirit, humor, and truth, and forces us to reconsider our notions of what it means to be a Have or a Have Not.
About Dorothea Benton FrankNew York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.
Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
First and foremost, I love Dorothea Benton Frank. She is one of my favorite authors and I've had the privilege of reading quite a few of her books.
In By Invitation Only, we are thrown into a beautiful family story, smack dab in the middle of a farm run by Diane, her parents and her brother Floyd.
Diane has a son, Fred, who is engaged to a know it all socialite Shelby.
Diane leads a very simple but enjoyable life, running the farm where vegetables and peaches are grown, and then sold at a roadside store. It is a full life, a busy life but one that Diane adores and plans to continue for many years to come.
But now she is thrown into planning a wedding and an engagement part, while wondering how Shelby's family will accept their simple, southern charm when they're clearly used to lavish lifestyles in Chicago.
The story runs us through each family members point of view.
On the one side we have Fred and Shelby who only really care about being married and are not interested in any family issues. Then we have Diane who is determined to keep things simple and give the kids the wedding they want. And then there is Susan, Shelby's mother, the socialite used to getting things her way by waving some money around.
Things start off rocky but by the end, great friendships are forged and characters have grown in many ways.
Loved this sweet story!!!