Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Review: The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

Hi all,

I was intrigued by the title The Last Original Wife when I saw it was on sale on Amazon. I just had to try it, and I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed this novel with its humor and drama. This is the first novel I've read by Dorothea Benton Frank, and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. Here is more about the novel and my five star review.

The Last Original Wife

Dorothea Benton Frank


Book Description:

Leslie Anne Greene Carter is the last original wife among her husband's group of cronies. They've all traded in their first wives-the middle-aged women they long ago promised to love and cherish 'til death did them part-for riper peaches: younger . . . blonder . . . more enhanced models.

Leslie is proud of her status and the longevity of her marriage. Sure the spark isn't quite as bright and sometimes takes a little longer to flame. And it wouldn't be too much to ask if her husband paid just an itty bit more attention to her desires. But there's something to be said for a comfortable and deeply familiar relationship. Or at least she thinks until the day, out golfing with her husband and his friends, she slips into a manhole. And nobody realizes that she's gone.

That one misstep opens Leslie's eyes to the sham her perfect life has become. No longer will she be invisible. No longer will she accept being taken for granted. With the healing powers of South Carolina's lush white beaches, candy-colored sunsets, and feisty and funny residents, Leslie is going to transform herself and reclaim the strong, vibrant, sexy woman she was meant to be.

The Last Original Wife is classic Dorothea Benton Frank: an intoxicating tale of friendship and love that is as refreshing as a soothing breeze across a golden lowcountry marsh and as invigorating as a dip in cool, salty waters on a sizzling South Carolina summer day.

My 5 Star Review:

The first thing I have to say is that this is a novel – novels are meant to entertain – and that is what this story does. As I read other reviews of this book, picking the story to pieces, I wondered why these readers bought this book. Fiction is not always supposed to have some deeper meaning that will change your life. Sometimes – actually most of the time – fiction is just an escape from reality, no matter how much you can relate to the characters. That is what The Last Original Wife does – it entertains and lets you escape from your own life into the life of someone else. You delve into their problems, heartaches, and happiness for a while and forget your own.

I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the flowery prose, I enjoyed the over-the-top drama – I just loved it. Some of my favorite authors are southern women, and Dorothea has become one of my new favorites. Southern writers seem to have a flair with words that I find entertaining and a wicked sense of humor as well. From the very first sentence, you know this writer has her own unique style, and I found it intriguing and refreshing.

The Last Original Wife is not a novel for young women who still believe their marriages will last forever. It's for women who've been in the trenches of marriage and, even if you're still with your first husband, you can still sympathize with some or all of what Leslie feels. Wives and mothers, whether working outside the home or homemakers, ARE taken for granted many times by their spouses and children, and made to feel guilty if they don't always put their family first. The fact that Leslie could finally say "enough!" and walk away to figure her life out was wonderful. I loved Leslie's brother, Harlan, and his dog, her best friend, and all the other characters peppered throughout the story. Well, I wasn't really a fan of Wesley's, but then, that was the point. And although there are a few plot points that seem over-the-top – I didn't mind. Like I said earlier—this is fiction—so those plot points were fine with me.

If you enjoy a well-written page turner with wicked humor, you're sure to enjoy this novel.

I hope you'll give this novel a try.



  1. I was very much surprised to see so many negative reviews and I have given that much thought. I identified very much with Leslie Carter. But, I am a woman past age 60 and divorced. I am thinking that the negative reviews were more from younger readers who may have been unable to identify with the wife in this book.

    1. HI - Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you. I think this book is for an older audience. I've never been divorced but I can still relate to Leslie in this novel. Plus - it's a witty, fun read. The characters are vivid and downright fun - well, except for the husband. I enjoyed it - I'm sure many other women will, too.

  2. I think another reason why Leslie's books get negative reviews is because most of the bloggers are either young or in their mid thirties. It is quite obvious that her books don't appeal to them.

  3. I loved this book. It rang true in so many ways and was hilarious. When Wes was speaking, I laughed the loudest! Fun, summer read! Light and entertaining!!!

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