The Land of Mango Sunsets: A Novel

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9780060892388: The Land of Mango Sunsets: A Novel

Miriam Swanson is thoroughly provoked and she doesn't mind letting you know. Twenty years ago her husband Charles, a powerful attorney with one of the last remaining white shoe law firms in New York, dumped her for a younger woman nearly half her age. Obviously it happens all the time and it's not exactly news, but what's fascinating is to watch Miriam evolve from pathetic to spectacular. Perfectly proper Miriam's great metamorphosis results from the arrival of a little red neck school teacher, Liz, from Nowhere, Alabama. Liz is Miriam's tenant along with Kevin, a 50 something gay man who is Miriam's best friend. Liz is everything that Miriam is not: young and thin. They constantly clash. Then finally, she meets a man named Harrison who changes her into a gal named Mellie.

Miriam spins out from the revolving door of her postured life as a Manhattan quasi socialite while she thirsts, no, starves for recognition. How did she become what she hates the most and what does she endure to realize it? And where are the answers? It takes a few spins, dips and one spectacular fall until Miriam gets her head on straight. Then in a whoosh she's off to see her mother in the enchanted and mysterious land of Sullivans Island, deep in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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About the Author:

New 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.

From Publishers Weekly:

A middle-aged woman's self-discovery is predictable but not pedestrian in Frank's (Full of Grace; Pawleys Island) latest. A divorce has stalled Miriam Swanson's life: her snooty Hermès-swathed Manhattan friends abandoned her after her ex-husband "ran off with his whore"; one of her grown sons keeps her at arm's length, while her other son, a "nice nerd," stays beneath the family radar for months at a time; and the major drawback to her job at a museum is her boss—icy former friend Agnes Willis. In a twist that stretches disbelief, Miriam catches Agnes's husband, Truman, having a noisy rendezvous with Liz, the cute new tenant in Miriam's townhouse. After a brief interlude that sends Miriam to a South Carolina barrier island to visit her former cotillion queen mother—and meet the dreamy local Harrison Ford ("Not that wimpy actor")—Miriam reveals Truman's affair, with consequences that fuel the remainder of the book. Frank's narrative is heavy on healing—physically, mentally—and the importance of family, and though her sometimes delightfully nasty heroine is sympathetic, supporting cast members have one note apiece. This isn't Frank's finest, but it'll sate her fans. (Apr.)
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