First Edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : William Morrow, 2018.
390 pages ; 24 cm
What happens when a young sophisticated Chicagoan falls for the owner of a farm on Johns Island, a lush Lowcountry paradise off the coast of South Carolina -- trading the bustle of a cosmopolitan city for the vagaries of a small southern town.
9780062390820 (hardback)
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Control Number:
Call Number:
F Fra
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Author Notes
Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Lowcountry Tales Series which includes the books Sullivan's Island and Plantation. Her title's have often made the Best Seller List such as: Porch Lights, The Last Original Wife, The Hurricane Sisters, All the Single Ladies, All Summer Long, Return to Sullivans Island, and Same Beach, Next Year. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Diane English Stiftel (Female), Married, Mother, Wealthy, Sister if Fred
Fred (Male), Engaged, Diane's brother; engaged to Shelby Cambria; son of hard-working Southern peach farmers
Alejandro Canbria (Male), Married, Father, Wealthy, Shelby's father
Shelby Cambria (Female), Engaged, An only child; privileged daughter of one of Chicago's elite
Susan Kennedy Cambria (Female), Married, Mother, Wealthy, Shelby's mother
Young adults
Wealthy lifestyles
South Carolina - South (U.S.)
Chicago, Illinois - Midwest (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

What do the Lowcountry of South Carolina and the glitz and glamour of upscale Chicago have in common? Not much, it would seem, as two worlds collide in Frank's latest (after Same Beach, Next Year and All Summer Long). The engagement of Fred Stiftel, sole heir to a Southern California peach farm and son of single mom Diane, and Shelby Cambria, daughter of wealthy broker Alejandro and his affected wife, Susan, brings two drastically varied families together. With all of the social events that come with upper-class nuptials, the Stiftels and Cambrias have numerous opportunities to duke out their differences-of which there are many. As with most families, there are a few skeletons in the Cambrias' closet and one of those skeletons just might destroy everything. Verdict An engaging read despite the predictable plotline; readers will love getting a glimpse at life in the Lowcountry and the dichotomy of the one percent. This title is perfect for book clubs and casual beach days, as it hums along but has enough substance to encourage reflection. [See Prepub Alert, 11/27/17.]-Chelsie Harris, San Diego Cty. Lib. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

South Carolina's Low Country is the heart of this tender paean to young love and midlife makeovers, but Benton Frank (Same Beach, Next Year) also blends the allure of big-city swagger into her smart and funny account of modern wedding madness. As middle-aged divorcée Diane prepares for the upcoming wedding of her only child, Fred, to city slicker Shelby, she thinks of all the reasons why the blend of a "tribe of hillbillies" and Chicago socialites might prove disastrous. These include Diane's lady-killer brother, Floyd, and her shoot-from-the-hip mom, Virnell. Susan, Shelby's mother, narrates in alternating chapters and unveils her doubts about the match after her plans for a lavish, society-page worthy wedding start to fall apart while her husband's financial issues increasingly come to the fore. It'll be Shelby and Fred who ultimately quell the rancor with their own plans to do "a better job of being a family," laying the groundwork for a hilarious rehearsal dinner hoedown amid an epic Chicago snowstorm and a sweetly intimate wedding day. New beginnings bubble throughout, with Diane taking a second look at love and Susan being forced into much-needed soul-searching and unexpected new relationships. Benton Frank readers will be richly rewarded by this endearing story of love and family. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<p>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.</p> <p>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 marryingmore than a few degrees beneath her socially. At the same time, Diane worries that her son will be lost to her forever.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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?</p> <p>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.</p>
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