Customer Reviews for

Bulls Island

Average Rating 4
( 77 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful story telling. The book makes you feel a part of the Island life.

Bulls Island, like the rest of Dorothea Benton Frank's books, Make you feel like you are part of the island / Charleston life. Not only does she deal with today but she brings out the history in her people and how it shapes their lives.

posted by SASSIE on May 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Need more depth

This is a light read...interesting concept, okay to read, but really could've used more depth in the characters. The characters SOUNDED interesting... but they needed more interaction to make them truly come to life. It was like the author did a quick brush over for th...
This is a light read...interesting concept, okay to read, but really could've used more depth in the characters. The characters SOUNDED interesting... but they needed more interaction to make them truly come to life. It was like the author did a quick brush over for the characters, when I really was curious and wanted to know more... almost like she didn't want to write that much. I did find some of the writing to be amateurish---like when one character died, she explained that another character was 'white as a cadaver'...odd connection to make, I thought. There was great potential there for a heart-wrenching love story, but it ended up limited--almost like the writer didn't know how to write the detail that would touch your soul.

posted by Anonymous on June 10, 2008

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  • Posted September 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    You never escape your past.

    We all have some kiind of skeltons in our closets. Dorothea Benton Frank has given us the story of one of us with such skeltons. Her characters are vivid and believable. I was pulling for the main character to survive her trip back into her past and the repercussions this involved. Dorothea reminded us that we all do what we have to do to survive and begin again. But someday, we must face our past in order to make peace and a better future. This book was an excellent read

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    Wonderful story telling. The book makes you feel a part of the Island life.

    Bulls Island, like the rest of Dorothea Benton Frank's books, Make you feel like you are part of the island / Charleston life. Not only does she deal with today but she brings out the history in her people and how it shapes their lives.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Real People dealing with real life written by an excellent author

    All of Dorthea Benton Frank's books are a must read for me since I stumbled on to them a couple of years ago. I enjoy the information that she includes about the area where the story is set - it makes me feel as though I am right there. I appreciate her characters - they are never too quirky, nor are they too bland.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Bull's Island is no bull!

    Dorothea Benton Frank has done it again! She creates a world that draws you in. I'm a BIG fan & have read most of her books. If you've ever visited Charleston, you will fall in love with Frank's writings. If you've never been to Charleston..........what are you waiting for!!!!! The low country is just waitin' for ya'll!!!
    Great summer escapism.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Really, really good - almost great

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I have most of Ms. Frank's novels. Somehow I'd missed it, and found my way to it after reading Return to Sullivan's Island. Ms. Frank's protagonists are warm and compelling and she has an authentic South Carolina voice that resonates with those of us who live away from home (I also go back and forth between New York and the Lowcountry). I found Bulls Island one of her best books - in fact, I've read it more than once in a short time. The love story is genuine, heartfelt, and bittersweet, and the ending, even if expected, is very satisfying. Ms. Frank's reasoned take on balancing development and environmental issues (also a theme in her novel Shem Creek) is well-thought-out and refreshing. But - all that said - some elements trouble me. First, no Southerner I know, of any racial background, calls his or her mother 'Momma', as do all the characters in Ms. Frank's books. The time-honored name, and its spelling, is 'Mama' - a word held dear to the hearts of Southerners, black and white, across many generations. And certainly no educated Southerner (as Betts and J.D. are) goes around saying 'yo momma' (especially in Charleston, of all places). Why inject ghetto-speak where it has no authentic usage? Gullah is a beautiful language, and one of which Ms. Frank has some command; hip-hop is something else entirely. I can't help but feel that this is either pandering by Ms. Frank or an imposition by her editors to make Southerners seem somehow 'cool'. We're plenty cool enough, thank you. I also find Ms. Frank and/or her editors to be careless - she says toward the end of the book that she's spent 'six months agonizing' when the time elapsed between late September and Christmas is barely three months. That's not atypical of editorial glitches in her books. But most jarring, in Bulls Island, is her attitude toward infertility, which is cavalier and insensitive to readers who have wrestled with this issue. There's no question that this book ends exactly as it should - but to imply that infertility is even remotely an excuse for divorce is shocking (I can't believe the editors allowed the use of the term 'barren womb' - shades of Henry the Eighth here?). Nor does infertility excuse drunkenness and drug addiction, however difficult the struggle to conceive may be. Valerie is thoroughly unlikeable, but to mingle her innate character flaws with her infertility is a poor choice on Ms. Frank's part. It also detracts from J.D. and Betts, who are both honorable, principled people - the fact that they refrain from an extramarital affair is impressive, considering that readers love titillating bedroom scenes, and Ms. Frank doesn't give them one. The overarching message of this book is love and reconciliation, and it's a wonderful story - but it could have been even better with a little more care.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2008

    My first visit with this author, but NOT my last!

    I have to admit, even though I knew how this would probably turn out, I still could not put the book down! I read it in 2 days because I had to find out if I was right or not. There were some surprises. Excellent summer read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2008

    Avid Reader in Texas

    One of Frank's best and I have read them all. This one does not disappoint. The characters continue to live with you after you finish the book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2008

    Bull's Island

    I've read about 1/3 of this book, and can hardly put it down. It just gets better with each page I turn. Dot Franke always delivers. I eagerly await her next and her next and her next.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2008

    THE BEST YET!!!

    I loved this book! I have read all of her books and think this one is the best. The characters are wonderful and real! I am a Charleston native and can absolutely see and feel the whole story! I am a semi-slow reader - and I finished the book in one week. It's a great beach read! It is laugh out loud funny! Looking forward to a new book! Please buy and enjoy!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2008

    Need more depth

    This is a light read...interesting concept, okay to read, but really could've used more depth in the characters. The characters SOUNDED interesting... but they needed more interaction to make them truly come to life. It was like the author did a quick brush over for the characters, when I really was curious and wanted to know more... almost like she didn't want to write that much. I did find some of the writing to be amateurish---like when one character died, she explained that another character was 'white as a cadaver'...odd connection to make, I thought. There was great potential there for a heart-wrenching love story, but it ended up limited--almost like the writer didn't know how to write the detail that would touch your soul.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2008

    Great Book!!

    Bulls Island is one of the best books i have ever ready!! I think anyone who lives in SC should read this book!! It took me 2 days to read this book because I could NOT put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2008

    Wonderful book about the costs of secrets and lies in one southern family.

    Bulls Island by Dorothea Benton Frank I'm not a 'professional reviewer', I'm just a very avid reader, so please keep this in mind when you read this review. A very brief summary of this book - The main characters of this book are 'Betts' McGee and J D Langley who, when we meet them 19 years ago are very young and very much in love. Through a tragic event on the day they become engaged, they seperate, Betts leaves North Carolina and breaks off from her family and JD. Moving forward 19 years and the true story starts. This book is filled with a variety of emotional upheavals - I laughed through many chapters and cried through the same number, but the one thing you can't get around is everyone in this novel carries some kind of secret. Secrets and lies - this is the glue that seems to hold these two families together for bettter or worse. Ms. Franks writes with a vividness and Southern style that makes you want to be sitting on your front porch sippin' at a Mint Julep while you watch the 'gators slowly swim by in the murky river. JD and Betts are thrown together again after 19 years when Betts, now a high-powered New Yorker, whose job it is to evaluate and restructure distressed properties for her company, finds herself forced to work on a project back home in North Carolina with Langley Developement , AND J D Langley on the Bulls Island project. Secrets and lies, and Betts seems to be hiding the bigggest secret and telling the largest lies. I was more than half-way through this book, before Ms Frank started to make me worry that the secrets will remain untold and the lies would remain un-apologized for...more chapters went by and I started to gnaw at my finger-nails thinking she could never pull this off. Just when i thought I couldn't stand another moment of suspence it happened...Betts secret is out. I read the last chapters with much skepticism thinking that the ending was just too pat, too easy...too false. But thank God for the epilogue. It sealed the deal in making this a perfect beach -read and for making me go to the bookstore to pick up all Ms. Franks books to add to my collection. On a side note - In the first quarter of the book, Betts does have a bit of a fling with someone so totally out of her comfort zone, that I had to wonder why Ms. Franks bothered. But, the pieces seem to fall together in the last chapters and I see why she had Betts do something so out of character!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    enjoyed

    This is the first book I have read by Dorothea and now I have ordered another one. This book is very detailed and a creative read. Many twist that flowed nicely into the whole plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    Nanny

    Amateurly written. Story was disjointed and would be fitting for a young reader.

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  • Posted April 9, 2014

    The story was good and I enjoyed the book, however, I felt that

    The story was good and I enjoyed the book, however, I felt that it was a little "rushed". At times it seemed like the characters did a complete 180 with regard to their feelings and reactions to a particular situation instead of taking the time to have them come around more slowly over time. All in all, it was an enjoyable book and I would recommend it. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Good Read

    I enjoyed this nook book. I enjoy her stories. Not the first I have read and will not be the last................. of her books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    Great read

    This was a very fun and interesting read. The only reason to rate 4 instead of 5 is character development could have been more in depth if that makes sense. That said....really enjoyed this novel and highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Have read it twice, that is something I rarely do.

    Love her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    i've read almost all of DBF's books and this has to be my all ti

    i've read almost all of DBF's books and this has to be my all time favorite. i really hope she will do a followup to this book. I want to know what happens to Bett's & JD and the rest of the characters.

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