By Invitation Only

“If I could only read one writer from now until the end of my life, it would be Dorothea Benton Frank.” --Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author of The Identicals 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

By Invitation Only - Dorothea Benton Frank Summary

By Invitation Only is a tribute album by the Michael Schenker Group released in 2011. This album, made up of songs that influenced the career of Michael Schenker, includes guest performances from members of various bands, including Whitesnake, Blue Öyster Cult, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Iron Maiden. It's a re-release of the Heavy Hitters album from 2005, with one extra song ("Run To The Hills")...

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By Invitation Only - Dorothea Benton Frank Book Reviews (390)


By Invitation Only5 star

This book was very relaxing to read! Love the southern humor! The characters were brought to life in their different environments & blended in perfectly at the end! 55


Loved it!5 star

Susan Kennedy Cambria and her husband Alejandro are part of Chicago’s wealthy elite class. And, although Susan adores Frederick Stiftel, her future son-in-law, she worries that her daughter is marrying below her. Frederick was raised on a farm, in Low Country, South Carolina, after all, and not in a city, like the Cambria’s. Diane Stiftel loved her son Fred, and although, she truly wanted to get along with his fiancee’s mother, Susan Cambria, she was not about to allow the woman to bully her about wedding plans. I found the banter between the Stiftel’s family hysterical; as well as the engagement party held by them in South Carolina. When wealthy over-the-top-snobbish Susan Cambria and her friends came to South Carolina, they got a full, in-your-face, eye-opening introduction into farm life and southern hospitality. I love the Stiftel family, especially, Diane. She’s a giving, kind, and wholesome woman. Susan Cambria on-the-other-hand is just the opposite. She and her husband Alejandro are about to learn a couple of hard-earned lessons. Unfortunately, life’s greatest awakenings don’t come as a spur-of-the-moment, brilliant idea, but occur at the tail-end of an excruciating and agonizing experience. By Invitation Only is a hilarious as well as a poignant read. The characters are well-crafted and engaging; the plot captivating and the dialogue witty. I absolutely loved it. By Invitation Only is a quality read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. 55


By Invitation Only5 star

I have read so many of your books an love them all. This book is my favorite one so far. Thank you so much for writing it. Truly I enjoy each one I read. I hate to finish them it’s like leaving friends. Thank you so much, Lou Waid 55


By Invitation only.5 star

So enjoyed your new book, loved all the characters and description of where everything takes place. The only bad thing is once I start reading your books I can’t put them down. So it only takes me maybe two or two and half days to finish and then I have too wait until your next one and that’s almost a year🤦🏼‍♀️. Our son went to Johnson and Wales culinary college in Charleston, and when we arrived I was hooked on the whole Lowcountry area. We have had many vacations to Charleston, Isle of Palms and Sullivan Island 🌴 just so love the area. After September 11, our son moved back North to be close to family with his then to be wife 😊. In your books you mention so many places that we have been to, it make like going on a mini vacation thank you. Can’t wait for your next book 55


By invitation Only (and all books5 star

By Dorothea) The only thing I dislike about her books is the last page. I hate for them to be over. Wish you could write more than one a year! But, I understand. Perfection takes a while. 55


By Invitation Only5 star

Loved this book, I was so happy , last years book was not so good, but this was a good Read! 55


By invitation only5 star

I look forward to every book as a great gift of imagination shared. Thank you ms Franks 55


By Invitation Only5 star

Love, love, love this book and all the characters! DBF did it again! Can’t wait for the next book! 55


!!!1 star

Terrible! I can’t believe I made it through this pointless book. The use of exclamation points became so distracting it drew my annoyed attention far more than the story line. 15

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