Dec 2, 2009

Review & Giveaway: The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank


Still spry at ninety-three, Theodora has lived long enough to see her family grow into an insufferable bunch of truculent knuckleheads. Having finally gathered the whole bickering brood together for the holidays at her South Carolina home, the grand matriarch pines wistfully for those extravagant, homey Christmases of her childhood. How she misses the tables groaning with home-cooked goodies, the over-the-top decorations, those long, lovely fireside chats with Pearl, her grandmother's beloved housekeeper and closest confidante. These days, where is the love and the joy . . . and the peace?
But this is, after all, a magical time. Someone very special has heard Theodora's plea—and is about to arrive at her door with pockets full of Gullah magic and enough common sense to transform this Christmas into the miracle it's truly meant to be.

About the Author

Dorothea Benton Frank is the New York Times bestselling author of Bulls Island (William Morrow, 2008), The Christmas Pearl (William Morrow 2007), The Land of Mango Sunsets (William Morrow 2007), Full of Grace (William Morrow 2006), Pawleys Island (Berkley 2005), Shem Creek (Berkley 2004), Isle of Palms (Berkley 2003), Plantation (Jove 2001), and Sullivan's Island (Jove 2000). Her newest book, Return to Sullivans Island, will be released by William Morrow June 30, 2009.

My Review

Dorothea Benton Frank has been one of my favorite authors for several years. She writes wonderful stories that take place in and around Charleston, SC and it's barrier islands. Her books are well-written, with colorful, lovable, and sometimes eccentric characters that I've enjoyed getting to know. The Christmas Pearl is a story about several generations of a Southern family, rich with traditions and history, who seem to have forgotten what is truly important about family and Christmas. The eldest member of this family, Theodora, longs to guide her family toward the values and traditions she grew up with, but is at a loss as to how to go about this. Help comes to her, in a most unusual way, and soon her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren begin to see what a magical time Christmas is meant to be.

I loved reading this book, and I know I'll read it again. It put me in the mood to begin my own preparations for a meaningful family Christmas. And if a great read isn't enough to entice you to pick up this book, there are dozens of recipes that the author has collected from her family and friends, including Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese, Charleston Red Rice, Hot Crab Dip, Fruited and Glazed Ham, Breakfast Casserole, Rum Balls, and Apricot Brandy Pound Cake, just to name a few. Yummy!
The Christmas Pearl is available for purchase at


Thanks to Shawn and HarperCollins Publishers, I'm giving away 3 copies of The Christmas Pearl!

MAIN ENTRY: You must do this FIRST, in order for your entry to count. Tell me something about your family's Christmas traditions, or share a favorite holiday recipe.


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PLEASE make sure your email is either linked to, or included in your comment. Entries will be accepted until December 11th at 11:59pm EST. Winners will be drawn by and validated per rules. US & Canada addresses. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply before an alternate winner is chosen. Good Luck!

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. This is my honest opinion, and was not influenced by the sponsor in any way.