Isle of Palms

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Overview

Set off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, Anna Lutz Abbot thinks she has her independence, and therefore her happiness, intact. She is a capable woman, a sensible woman, not someone given to risky living. This all seems true enough until her lovely daughter returns from college for the summer a very different person, her wild and wonderful ex-husband arrives, and her flamboyant new best friend takes up with her daddy, turning a hot summer into a steaming one. All the action unfolds under the watchful eyes ...
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Overview

Set off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, Anna Lutz Abbot thinks she has her independence, and therefore her happiness, intact. She is a capable woman, a sensible woman, not someone given to risky living. This all seems true enough until her lovely daughter returns from college for the summer a very different person, her wild and wonderful ex-husband arrives, and her flamboyant new best friend takes up with her daddy, turning a hot summer into a steaming one. All the action unfolds under the watchful eyes of Miss Mavis and Miss Angel, her next-door neighbors of a certain age, who have plenty to say about Anna's past, present, and future.
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Fans of Anne Rivers Siddons, Pat Conroy, and Fannie Flagg will love this big-hearted saga set in South Carolina's Lowcountry. Shot through with equal parts of down-home humor and truth, this hardcover debut by the author of Sullivan's Island and Plantation stars the irrepressible Anna Lutz Abbott, a hairstylist who's been making the best of things for entirely too long and determines to return to her roots on the Isle of Palms. Of course there are complications that threaten to disrupt Anna's new life -- her daughter returns from college looking like a Goth, a sexpot neighbor has designs on her father, and a handsome New Yorker with boyfriend potential appears on the scene. At the end, readers will cheer with Anna as she reflects, "I think all the failures and victories of my life have come together pretty nice -- like a string of graduated pearls." Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
Honey, you think you've got a dysfunctional family. Anna Lutz Abbot wants you to sit yourself down with a glass of sweet tea and hear all about why her family takes the pound cake. Momma dies in bed (amyl nitrate) with the wrong man when Anna is 10. Daddy is a tightwad who does a better job of looking after other people's kids (he's a pediatrician) than his own. Paternal grandmother Violet is a German martinet who blames Anna when Everett Fairchild drugs, beats, rapes and impregnates her after the prom. Jim Abbot, who gallantly insists on marrying her, is gay, which is fine with Anna except that he's gorgeous as well as perfect and she craves more from him. Toss in Jim's harridan mother and Anna's daughter, Emily, who makes her first appearance in full goth regalia. Frank's brilliant stroke is to give her narrator a voice like nobody else. Oh, Anna's Dixie as all get out, madly in love with the South Carolina Lowcountry, especially the islands off Charleston, but she's no steel magnolia. A perpetually pissed-off curmudgeon is more like it; she actively prays for her grandmother's death and takes a hammer to Everett's Mercedes when he shows up to meet Emily. "You're my birth father, aren't you?" Emily says, in one of the few scenes to lack high drama. (Frank writes at a fever pitch, even when describing the decor of Anna's new hair salon.) The third Lowcountry novel (Sullivan's Island; Plantation) is sure to delight Frank's fans and win new admirers, although the story occasionally staggers under the weight of its mammoth cast. Agent, Amy Berkower. (July) Forecast: Readers will be happy to pay the extra few dollars for Frank's hardcover debut-she gives readers more than their money's worth. A 20-city author tour is an additional plus for fans. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hardcover debut about a hairdresser who hears more juicy confessions than a priest. Divorced single mom Anna Lutz Abbot can retouch roots and soothe a troubled soul si-mul-taneously, and, honey, she’s been doin’ it for more than twenty years. Not that she doesn’t have a few secrets of her own, and they are every bit as juicy, Lucy. That would be the hussified Lucy who’s trying to get up close and personal with Anna’s daddy. Well, her mama died of a heart attack when Anna was a young girl, and her daddy must be feeling lonely since she moved out of his place and bought herself a little beach house in her personal paradise, a Gullah-speaking island off the North Carolina coast. Crotchety Miss Mavis, her elderly neighbor on the island, has a few things to say about that, but she mostly confides in Miss Angel, her tart-tongued, Gullah-speaking companion of many years. Anyway--oh, Anna’s mind does wander--really interesting secrets have a way of coming to light, and she can’t just talk about nothing for the entire book, can she? Her teenage daughter Emily is coming home from college with facial piercings, a bad dye job, and a nasty attitude. What if the child finally figures out that her supposed daddy is not only gay but also not her biological father? Should Anna tell Emily that she is the result of a rape? Hell and damnation, she just found out that her long-ago rapist is coming to the Isle of Palms in person! To sell motorboats to snowbirds and Yankees! Speaking of Yankees, Anna just met a sexy one: Arthur, a Harrison Ford type from Connecticut. Oh, Lawd, Anna’s just going to have to sit on the porch and guzzle sweet tea and talk some more. And she’s not the only one in this plot crowdedwith problems. Good-natured, just-us-girls babblefest. Author tour. Agent: Amy Berkower/Writers House
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425195499
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/29/2004
  • Series: Lowcountry Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 4.36 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothea Benton Frank
Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina.

Biography

An author who has helped to put the South Carolina Lowcountry on the literary map, Dorothea Benton Frank hasn't always lived near the ocean, but the Sullivan's Island native has a powerful sense of connection to her birthplace. Even after marrying a New Yorker and settling in New Jersey, she returned to South Carolina regularly for visits, until her mother died and she and her siblings had to sell their family home. "It was very upsetting," she told the Raleigh News & Observer. "Suddenly, I couldn't come back and walk into my mother's house. I was grieving."

After her mother's death, writing down her memories of home was a private, therapeutic act for Frank. But as her stack of computer printouts grew, she began to try to shape them into a novel. Eventually a friend introduced her to the novelist Fern Michaels, who helped her polish her manuscript and find an agent for it.

Published in 2000, Frank's first "Lowcountry tale," Sullivan's Island made it to the New York Times bestseller list. Its quirky characters and tangled family relationships drew comparisons to the works of fellow southerners Anne Rivers Siddons and Pat Conroy (both of whom have provided blurbs for Frank's books). But while Conroy's novels are heavily angst-ridden, Frank sweetens her dysfunctional family tea with humor and a gabby, just-between-us-girls tone. To her way of thinking, there's a gap between serious literary fiction and standard beach-blanket fare that needs to be filled.

"I don't always want to read serious fiction," Frank explained to The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "But when I read fiction that's not serious, I don't want to read brain candy. Entertain me, for God's sake." Since her debut, she has faithfully followed her own advice, entertaining thousands of readers with books Pat Conroy calls "hilarious and wise" and characters Booklist describes as "sassy and smart,."

These days, Frank has a house of her own on Sullivan's Island, where she spends part of each year. "The first thing I do when I get there is take a walk on the beach," she admits. Evidently, this transplanted Lowcountry gal is staying in touch with her soul.

Good To Know

Before she started writing, Frank worked as a fashion buyer in New York City. She is also a nationally recognized volunteer fundraiser for the arts and education, and an advocate of literacy programs and women's issues.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Okay. I had a dream about my mother last night and I always seem to dream of her when she has had a beyond-the-veil itch to scratch my back. She was waltzing with my father at an enormous celebration of some kind. They were smiling and having a wonderful time. I couldn’t remember ever seeing Doc so happy or Momma so beautiful. She never said a word. She just smiled at me. I had so many questions I wanted to ask her but for some reason, I couldn’t speak.

The next thing I knew, I could sense the light of morning growing all around me. I must have been born with the thinnest eyelids in the world. You know how that is? Well, I realized I was awake. But for a few moments I hung on to the fringes of sleep, trying to retain the details of everything I had seen. I wondered, like I always did, if there was a larger meaning to the dream. Half of my DNA is German, but it was the all-American Lowcountry remainder that wore itself out to a frazzle searching for cosmic explanations.

Maybe something was going to happen. Had we all been at a wedding? The old salts said that when you dreamed about weddings it meant the opposite, that something was coming to an end. More change? No, thanks.

That was when my feet hit the floor. There was no way another blessed change could happen without me pitching a hissy fit. Big time. We’d had enough change around here to choke a goat. We had made it through Thanksgiving and were now trying to focus on Christmas. Thanksgiving had been enough to make anybody’s head burst like an overripe melon. Like Bettina says all the time, it’s enough already. Bettina’s from New York. She’s our manicurist and you’ll love her when you meet her.

There’s so much to tell you about.

Anyway, next I got myself a cup of coffee—ground Colombian beans with a piece of split vanilla bean thrown in the filter—and went outside to get the paper and look at the sky. The first thing I noticed was that my blasted garden still continued to climb all over my trees and my house. Every night it took over a little more. Not that it wasn’t pretty. Hell, no! It was nothing less than a horticultural miracle. Jack’s beanstalk.

The sky looked fine, no storms coming or anything like that. In fact, it was going to be a beautiful day. I stood there watching the sun rise on the Isle of Palms. Right then and there, I decided that my dream had been a message that it was way past time to tell my story. So, here I am.

Now, you don’t know me yet, but by the time I’m all done working my jaw, you’re gonna see that I’m not one to blab. Even though I’ve heard more tales than every bartender

in Ireland, I’ve always tried to keep my distance from trouble. Gossip was trouble and I gave it a wide berth. At least I had tried to. Not that I hadn’t had my share of tight spots. Lord! Jeesch! Man! There were days when I thought the devil himself was out to get me. Maybe he had been, but lately, I had been feeling like he thought he’d given me his pitchfork enough. Not that I’m suspicious, but don’t repeat that, okay? Saying things were going great might get his attention.

Here’s the thing that had landed me in trouble in the first place. Most of my years had been spent careening through life, keeping my plans on a back burner. I kept waiting to live. But wasn’t that what women did? Didn’t we always put duty to others before our own ambitions? Were we not the caretakers, the peacemakers, the homemakers, the ones who told our men and our children that we would always be behind them, no matter what? We told them that everything would be alright and that life was worth living.

Well, most of us tried to do these things. Not all women. Some women were so mean if you looked at them funny your hair could turn into snakes. But all they ever got themselves by being mean was older and more bitter. Ooh! I’d tolerated a few women like that for too long. Somebody better tell them to run and hide because Anna’s talking now. That’s me. Anna Lutz Abbot.

My professional life has earned me nothing but beat-up eardrums and a grossly underexercised tongue, mainly because I own a salon. I’ve been working in the salon world for getting on to twenty years. See, when my clients bared their souls, what I thought and what I said were very often two different things. Who in this world has the privilege to really speak their minds? The lunatics, honey, that’s who. Naked truth from my lips would have put me in the poor-house long ago. Besides, isn’t it better to try to deal with people and all their problems with some little bit of sympathy? Of course it is. But, bottom line? I have heard it ALL!

Have I got a story to tell? Yeah, honey, let’s get you a glass of sweet tea and then plop yourself right down in my chair. I’m gonna tell you a lot of secrets, but if I hear them told, I’ll come after your tongue with my shears. Or worse, my hammer! Yes, I will. This entire tale is true to the very last word and all the names and places are real to expose the guilty.

I was telling Arthur the other day—Arthur is the man who drives me crazy with the shivers—that I had been thinking that maybe it was time to tell some people about how my whole world had changed in just a few months. If it could happen to me it could happen to anybody, right? He laughed so hard I thought he might up and die on me, so I said, Just what the hell is so funny, and he said, Since when don’t you talk? I was not amused. Not at all. No.

Besides my own discoveries, it had occurred to me that it would be très cool if people knew about another side of life in the Lowcountry and baby, there’s plenty to talk about. Every possible thing you needed to know about southern living was discussed under the roof of Anna’s Cabana—and don’t tell me, I know: Anna’s Cabana sounds like the name of a seedy juke joint on the back beaches of the Virgin Islands. It does! But, when you come to understand how it was given that name, you’ll see why I let ithappen.

In any case, my crazy little salon is a gold mine in human behavior studies. When you take one part old salts, mix it up with gentrification and garnish it with tourists, you got yourself one mighty cocktail, ’eah? What happened here a few months ago literally turned the tide. It did. In any case, if I charged the same for listening as I charge forfixing hair, I would own the biggest house on this beach. No joke.

And this whole drama isn’t just about what I hear at work. No, no. There’s a whole universe here on this island. We say we are from Charleston, but we are really from East of the Cooper—Cooper River, that is. Around here you’re either from Charleston, East of the Cooper, West of the Ashley (that’s the other big river), or out by Awendaw. Maybe you lived in one of these weird developments that keep cropping up that look like a movie set of downtown or one of the islands you could only get to by boat. The point is that in this neck of the woods, you can better believe that where you hang your hat makes all the difference in how you tick. I am and have always been an island girl and there was nothing to be done about it.

My family hasn’t been in Charleston for a thousand years. We don’t have some grand family home, plantation or any silver we rescued from the Yankees by hiding it in the bricks of our chimney. In fact, I don’t own a lick of silver and it suits me fine. Polishing silver would not be the best use of my time. But we do love the history of the Lowcountry with a wild passion and we romanticize it all, telling ourselves we are anything except ordinary just because we can call this place home.

My momma and her people were from Beaufort and I guess the only thing unusual about my background is that my daddy immigrated here with his parents after World War II. They wound up in Estill and were peach farmers. That means my daddy and his daddy worked like coolies to get to where they got and what they got was a comfortable but unspectacular life with no frills.

I can tell you right now that I was never indulged, coddled, or overly nurtured. But that was probably because my daddy’s family had to fight for their very survival. Things were tough in the early days for them and for me too. For the longest time it seemed like my life would be an endless exercise of pushing big rocks up a hill. Take money. My daddy was the one who taught me the value of a dollar. Okay, he’s got a reputation for being a massive tightwad but he can’t help it. And, sometimes when I least expected it, his wallet would open, the moths would escape, and then the buckolas would start to flow. He’s full of contradictions, just like everybody else. Anyway, I learned from him that saving money and perseverance could get you something you wanted if you wanted it badly enough. And the only thing I ever really wanted was to get back to the Isle of Palms and live my life.

That took longer than it should have, to say the very least. But you see, nothing in my life ever happened quite the same way it did for the other people I knew. Everything happened in wild extremes, which made for a whole lot of hullabaloo and lessons in life. Frankly, I could do without more learning experiences for a while. (Lord, I hope You heard that.) The most important thing I learned is that to be truly happy, you’ve got to pay attention to that stupid little inner voice we all have. It knows what you need and will drive you shit crazy until you listen to it. Guaranteed. My New Age clients—and I know them on sight because they wear crystals to which they have attached human names—call it connecting with the universe. Like my daughter says, whatever. I’ll just stick with my own name for it, thanks. Now, that inner voice thing sounds simple but you wouldn’t believe how many people I know who are stuck in the rut they dug for themselves. And the good Lord didn’t mean for so many people to be so unbelievably dissatisfied with their lives. I’m pretty sure about that.

Think about it. If you spend ten years thinking you wish you could go to China, then there’s a good chance the experience would give your soul something it really needs. I’m not talking about people who say, Damn, I wish I could run away to China this minute. Running away never solved a daggum thing. In fact, real happiness is hidden in facing yourself, asking yourself what it is you really want out of this life and then being honest about it. By the way, you couldn’t pay me money to go to China.

I’m lucky because I always knew what I wanted. It just took one helluva long time to get it, that’s all. For me to be content and happy, I had to be on this particular island. I mean, I couldn’t breathe right anyplace else. I’m serious. I’ve asked other people who live here what they think about that and they actually agree with me. They don’t feel like they belong anyplace else either. And, my whole spirit is stronger here.

Naturally, I have a little theory about why that’s so. Islanders are their own species. We have to live near the ocean to stay in touch with our souls. Everything is amplified. The breeze is sweeter, the air is thicker, the sun is relentless, and the nights are more mysterious. God’s fingerprints are all over it and, before y’all go get your knickers in a knot, I know that you should go to church but I also believe you can talk to God anywhere. Especially on the Isle of Palms.

We’re not a bunch of shiftless pansies either. We’re actually a pretty courageous bunch, usually unafraid of anything that Mother Nature slings our way. Hurricanes? Big deal. This may sound crazy but for some peculiar reason we need to, no, we have to stand in front of the angry ocean right before a storm hits. When I was little my daddy, Doc, would say, Anna?—let’s go have a look at what the Atlantic is up to before the eye hits. We would stand on a sand dune and inhale enough salt to actually elevate our blood pressure. It was good for us. Evacuations? We usually stayed at home. Until Hugo. Then everybody threw up their arms and said, just why did we pay these hefty insurance premiums in the first place? If the hurricane was a real monster, we just packed up our precious belongings and the family photographs and got out of town. We’d let the old storm have her way for a day or two and then we cleaned up her mess. Afterward, we’d rock away the nights on each other’s porches, laughing and telling stories about hurricanes for a million years.

Islanders recognize something kindred in each other. Shoot, if I get a tourist in my chair and she says she’s from North Carolina I handle her one way ...like a Yankee, but don’t let’s go around telling that, okay? But if she tells me that she lives in Wrightsville Beach, well, then she gets treated like an old friend.

Beach people love life harder than anybody else. We do! We have a tendency to be, well, slightly excessive in our behavior. You usually won’t see us eat one boiled peanut, drink one beer, tell one joke or get just a little bit of sun. So if you tell me you’re from a beach, I know who you are. Except if you’re from California where everything wiggles. See what I mean? Hurricanes don’t ruffle me, but earthquakes? Not me, sugar.

People who live on islands are generally unpretentious too. This is a quality that is greatly overlooked and undervalued by others. Look at all those people who live in New York. They have outfits for everything! They have jogging clothes, which aren’t the same as their workout clothes, which aren’t the same as their weekend clothes and, Lord have mercy on us, every stitch they own is black! Shoot! They probably blow out their hair to go around the corner to buy a newspaper!

I just couldn’t live like that. I mean, God bless them, they’ve had their trials for sure. It’s just that I don’t think life is supposed to take that much effort. Down here in the Lowcountry, we just prefer to take things a little slower and savor each moment.

Arthur says that in New York City dinner for two in a fancy restaurant can cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. You could spend a right good bit of money down here on dinner too. That is, if you wanted to drive to Charleston. Out here on this island, you’d probably have to wait twenty minutes for a table, if you went to a restaurant that took reservations (which they don’t), because we don’t like to rush people when they’re trying to have supper and enjoy each other’s company. Actually, most of us would rather stay home and eat what somebody caught that day along with a salad or something. Maybe it’s because of the heat, but our big meal is in the middle of the day, if we can manage that much time for dinner. But supper (which is called dinner elsewhere) is usually a smaller meal.

Island people aren’t like other people out there across the causeway and we don’t want to be either. We have our own style of everything and our own point of view. Living here makes you practical. I knew all along that my business would be recession proof. Go ask any woman you know. If it’s a toss-up between doing her roots and buying a dress, she’s getting her hair done before you can blink. And I knew, or at least I hoped, that my old clients wouldn’t mind coming over here from Charleston. Every last one came because when women find a hairdresser they like, they stick with them like white on rice.

And then there are the transplants. These days it seems like everyone I meet is from Ohio. All these folks moved here to live. I tell them, Look, sugar, you might not be able to become a Charlestonian until you’ve been dead for a bazillion generations. But! I say, you can become an islander and they seem plenty happy with that.

Attitude is everything in life, isn’t it? We are all capable of change. Even me. In the last six months, I found myself believing in the basic goodness of people again, and in the power of love and in miracles. You don’t believe in miracles? Well, when we’re all done here, come on by my house and see my yard.

I had somebody from a magazine stop by my house the other day. This fellow was a horticulturalist and a photographer for some magazine in Vermont or someplace like that. He wanted to know what kind of fertilizer I used. I laughed so hard I had to reapply my mascara. I said, Honey, I don’t use a thing except Lowcountry air and island magic! He shook his head and left, thinking I was playing with his head. But I had told him the truth. I never lie. Okay, I might leave out some facts but that’s different.

I’m sure you’ve heard all these stories about the South being haunted and people here talking to the dead and seeing ghosts. Bad news. They are all true. Every last one of them is true. Things happen here all the time that you can’t explain. That’s just the Lowcountry. When you get out to the islands, the weird factor accelerates. We don’t mind. We adore the bizarre and inexplicable as much as we treasure our eccentrics.

Every life has its share of trouble. Like Miss Angel says, every dog has his day but every cat has his afternoon. Miss Angel is my next-door neighbor and the neighborhood philosopher. She’s also a regular Edgar Cayce. I dream, but not like her. But don’t worry, we’ll get to her. There are a lot of people I want you to meet.

I wasn’t always content, you know. I went through some hellish suffering to finally love my life. But I never gave up hope. Like I said, it was my early years that were the worst. I had to go through them to understand what was worth fighting for and what wasn’t and I needed to learn how to just get along in the world. I guess the best place to start would be with Momma.

Do you need some more tea? Well, let’s get it now because I’ve been holding back the tide for a long time. I think all the failures and victories of my life have come together pretty nice—like a string of graduated pearls. I can talk about Momma now without being upset but, when I was ten? Honey, I would rather have taken a stick in my eye than hear her name so much as whispered.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2004

    I Want To Move to South Carolina

    Ms. Frank's books are so good that it makes me want to move to the Low Country! I couldn't put this book down but I wanted to make it last because I wasn't sure how long I would have to wait for another book by Ms. Frank. I read it when it first came out and months later, I still think about the characters. Anna is my soulmate. I would have done the same things she did. When she did dumb things I shouted at the book trying to warn her. I laughed out loud at some of the situations she found herself. I am 50 years young and appreciate reading about real women of substance. But don't take that to mean that the book is not relevant to younger ones. My daughter (age 28) and friend (age 26) also had a tough time putting the book down. I would love to meet Ms. Frank because she must have the most awesome sense of humor and I'd like to tell her how much enjoyment I've had reading her books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2003

    Huge Disappointment

    I was pleased with both Plantation and Sullivan's Island, but Isle of Palms is a literary disappointment. While Ms. Frank's descriptions of the Lowcountry are flavorful and lively, the story line itself is boring and uneventful. As a life-time resident of Charleston, I found her portrayal of the various merchants around the lowcountry to be gratuitous and often incorrect (there is no California Dreaming on Shem Creek, for example); her use of the Gullah dialect (which ALL of her characters use--I've lived here all my life and have only met about four people total who actually speak like that) was not only overwhelming but also laborious to read and almost insulting. As if Southerners don't already reap enough criticism for their drawls, now Ms. Frank has added an outdated, unused dialect to make us sound even more ignorant. Sure, the main character has a dysfunctional family. Who doesn't? She (Lutz) is a hairdresser whose mother died when she was young; she got pregnant in a date-rape situation; now she's moved away from home and opened her own salon to prove her independence. Big whoop. Oh, yes, and she has a rebellious teenage daughter. Oh my. So what's the climax of the novel? What internal conflict dominates the story? Well, that's what I was left wondering. There is no clearly defined climax, and the reader is left thinking, 'So what?' at the end. This book is little more than a collection of pretty descriptions and a poor portrayal of Lowcountry families and family dynamics. Skip this one, folks, and read Sullivan's Island or Plantation if you want a good story.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Outstanding

    Sit back with a mint julep and follow the thoughts of divorced single mom Anna Lutz Abbot. As a hairdresser, she knows everyone¿s skeletons as she hears more confessions than the College of Cardinals would hear in their combined lifetimes. Now Anna has scandals in her own life. As a high school senior, her grandma who raised her and the local minister arranged a date between their two charges. His son raped her. When Anna learned she was pregnant; her grandmother reacted with apoplexy that soon led to a death stroke.<P> Her college daughter is coming home at the same time the creep that sexually molested her will also return to town. Emily is unaware that the guy she thinks is her biological father is gay and never had relations with any woman while her real sire is a rapist. Then there is that gorgeous Connecticut Yankee to obsess.<P> This novel is reminiscent of the Mossy Creek tales. This excellent work of fiction is fun to read for those who want to read something escapist but interesting. The support characters are an eccentric delightful ensemble especially the lead protagonist¿s daughter and the two geriatric neighbors who seem less golden and more leaden in attitudes (an ultra conservative Maude in her geezer stage). This is a fine beach bingo book and fans will appreciate the insights into small town southern life that allows interruptions because the novel never requires as much power as the dryers used by Anna.<P> Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2006

    Big disappointment

    Thankfully this isn't the first DBF book I've read, otherwise I might bave been turend off to reading anything else she has written. Isle of the Palms is a major disappointment. The story line is so uncredible and her gay ex-husband is unfortunately drawn up as a stereotypical gay man who loves to go shopping and decorate. I'm 300+ pages into the book and I'm wondering why I have continued to keep reading when the book is dull and unexciting. The characters are not drawn up so as to seem convincing, remind you of yourself or someone you know. This story falls flat and does not deliver.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2003

    Not a Favorite as were her two prior books....

    I anxiously awaited this new book Because I LOVED Sullivans Island and Plantation both so much But I read this and was really disappointed. The story line just didnt grab you or take you anywhere. It ended right when she found her real father and nothing more ever became of their relationship I just found it to be lacking something and the characters a bit shallow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    Love this book

    Love the characters and the story, a very enjoyable book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Christina

    Youu at 'Homeslice'?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Christin

    Oh I dont

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Julia

    Really? Don't think it'll work. They're not easy to talk to.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Christina

    Thats awesome! (:

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Makes me want to move to that Lowcountry isle, even with the excessive heat during the summer. Another novel packed with love, loneliness, and family. And it (mostly) comes right at the end. Great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Jaysparkle

    Im leaving. Sorry.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Fireheart

    Am I deputy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    Timmy

    I walk in with an arrow nocked in my bow

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    A guide to all that is important in life

    This book leaves one to ponder tjlhe things that are really important in life. It is a book you won't want to put down and one you won't easily forget!
    RMB

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Fantastic! A must read!

    Love this series of books. Found out about them from a friend and won't stop until I have read them all!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Must Read......!

    Had me from the start. Written so that there are a lot of laughs throughout. Did not want to put it down.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    Good Beach Read

    I love the stories about the low country. This author writes similarly to Anne Rivers Siddons, although I find the plots to Siddons books more dramatic and Frank's descriptions of the low country are more evocative.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2003

    Best Yet

    I enjoyed the book. It was Dottie's best yet. Being almost raised as a 'barefoot brat from Sullivan's Island', I enjoyed the author's notes almost as much as the book. Sincerely, Craig Rhyne

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2003

    Writers reviewing writers

    This is for the 'reviewer' who was so hugely disappointed with IOP - this forum is for readers, okay? Not for the bitter and the failed. Get serious or stay off B&N.com. Real readers deserve better than your vitriolic verbage.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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