Oct 23, 2013

Audio Review: The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

After nearly thirty years of marriage to Wesley Carter, a very successful Atlanta business man, Leslie Ann Carter has an epiphany in a hospital in Scotland. There she is following her golf-loving husband half way across the world so he can live out his dream of playing golf at the best courses and when she falls and breaks her arm, he basically leaves her to fend for herself. Feeling hurt and and frustrated, that event sets off alarms in Les's mind and she begins questioning her life. The circle of friends she used to have is gone because her husband's friends have moved on to much younger women who Les feels no connection to whatsoever. She feels completely taken for granted by her entire family, especially Wes, so she decides to do something about it. She packs up and goes to her hometown, Charleston, South Carolina to house sit for her brother for a month. Its the best place in the world to recuperate from her injury and to figure out if she wants to change her life. Who wouldn't want to stay in the stately historic home in the heart of Charleston with its beautiful surroundings, divine food and ...her first love from high school? 

My Thoughts:

Its been quite awhile since I've read anything by Dorothea Benton Frank. I've read many of her previous books and always enjoyed the stories and locations but mostly the characters. The same can be said of THE LAST ORIGINAL WIFE.  The characters were very believable and most of them were likable. But I must say that the thing that really drew me to this audiobook was the incredible narration by Robin Miles. I was flitting through Audible.com's new releases one day and I sampled this book and it had me from the first sentence. Southern accents can be tricky and if not done right can put off listeners very quickly. But Ms. Miles' performance, not only of Leslie Carter, but the entire cast, including the male characters, were absolutely spot on. Les's exasperation and Wes's hostility towards his wife's change in attitude were very well done. Wes is a man used to getting his way and his wife seldom questioned him or his actions. After Les woke up and realized her life wasn't what she thought it would be at her age, she decided to do something about it and Wes was clearly not having any of it. 

I loved the relationship between Les and her brother, Harlan and I really loved that she packed up and went to Charleston, one of my all-time favorite cities, to stay in his beautiful old home to re-assess her life. Honestly, I was a little jealous of Les and her lovely surroundings and the slow and casual tempo of her summer spent in her hometown. 

The writing was true DBF. She made me feel like I knew this woman and I had no trouble relating to her story at all. I thought it was clever how she started off with Les and Wes each in their therapy sessions. It gave insight and background to each of the characters and it showed their personalities, both good and bad. I thought it was a interesting way to show the development of the characters.

Overall, I'm glad I took the time for this book, however,. I can't say that I was blown away by the story, though it was a completely satisfying experience for me. It is a character driven story with flair and a genuine storyline. I appreciate the bravery Ms. Frank showed in Les to go out and make her life what she wanted it to be, even after 30 years of marriage. 

Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Publisher: HarperAudio
Published: June 11, 2013
Length: 11 Hrs 38 Min
Recommend:? Yes, especially for a beach or vacation read. 


  1. I totally know what you mean about narrators and accents. A bad Southern accent can ruin a book for me. I read this one in print and thought it was fun.

  2. This audio made me LOL a lot. It's the first DBF book for me so I look forward to reading her back list!


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