New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank writes about the wonders and magic of the Lowcountry in a way only a native can.  Add the magic of Christmas and Frank’s latest book, The Christmas Pearl, shines with a wonderful story of an old Southern Christmas recycled to include the “hi-tech” world of today.
    The book and Dottie are yours to enjoy on Thursday, November 29, 2007 when Dottie Frank is the featured author at USCB Lunch With Author series at the Sea Pines Conference Center, Harbour Town, Hilton Head Island.  Lunch is served at noon and an autographed copy of The Christmas Pearl is included in the charge of $50.  Reservations are necessary at or 521-4147.  The series is sponsored by the University of South Carolina Beaufort Continuing Education department.
    The Christmas Pearl is the story of a fractured family—their rivalries, insecurities, secrets, and lies—and how, through the desperation of Theodora and the magic of Pearl, they rediscover their deep devotion to each other.
    Theodora Bryson has arrived at her ninety-third year, traditional as her mother’s silver and clinging to the last vestiges of the old guard.  But this Christmas she finds herself in a terrible conundrum. Her children and grandchildren have forgotten every value of importance in life, most especially conscience and decorum, and it is breaking her heart. During Theodora’s childhood, Christmas was a season of sincere generosity, not disingenuous commercial extravagance. Decorations, treasured for generations, were unpacked and displayed.  Gifts were everywhere, but they were thoughtful and homemade. Treats were abundant and every carefully planned meal was delectable. The air was suffused with balsam pine, baking fruitcakes, candied yams, and steaming biscuits. Most importantly, Theodora’s beloved housekeeper, Pearl, who orchestrated all the pageantry, was always nearby to share her wit, wisdom, and warmth—and her love.
    You’ll relish the characters in The Christmas Pearl, especially Pearl herself and Dottie will make you feel as if you are sitting at her perfectly set holiday table.  All the family’s holiday recipes and vintage photographs of winters gone by are included in the book. It’s a classic holiday story, unique because of its Gullah influences, and a contemplation of mysterious things we may never quite understand. Most of all The Christmas Pearl is the perfect treat to stuff in a stocking and extra copies will be available for purchase at the luncheon.
    Dorothea Benton Frank is the author of seven New York Times bestsellers, from 2000’s Sullivan’s Island to 2007’s The Land of Mango Sunsets.