Isle of Palms [NOOK Book]

Overview

A special note and offer to readers from Dorothea Benton Frank!

"If you'd like a signed bookplate for any of my books, just send me your name and address and how you would like it inscribed (send your email to bookplate@dotfrank.com). ...
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Isle of Palms

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Overview

A special note and offer to readers from Dorothea Benton Frank!

"If you'd like a signed bookplate for any of my books, just send me your name and address and how you would like it inscribed (send your email to bookplate@dotfrank.com). I'll send it right out to you in the mail."

About Isle of Palms:

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 to be 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—only to be cranked up another ten degrees by Anna's own fling with Arthur, who is, heaven help us, a Yankee. 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

From Barnes & Noble
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: 9781440622267
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/4/2005
  • Series: Lowcountry Series
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 18,891
  • File size: 525 KB

Meet the Author

Dorothea Benton Frank
You can visit Dottie Frank online at www.dotfrank.com.

The sands of Sullivan's Island follow me everywhere. No matter where I have traveled, worked or lived, I am only and always a woman whose home place is the beach. Growing up there gave me lots of time to dream - to dream of what my life would become. And writing this book gave me lots of time to remember. One of my happiest summer memories - besides digging holes to China and sliding down the hill fort - is of the Bookmobile. This old clanker of a bus/van would stop in front of my momma's house and I would run for my fortnightly dose of juvenile literature. Three books under my arm, I'd dive into our hammock and finish them all in one day without moving. Then I'd have to wait thirteen days until the Bookmobile returned. Waiting became a theme in my life - waiting for more books, waiting to be old enough to do this or that, for life to give me permission to pursue my dreams, for a million things. I'll probably never develop the virtue of patience, so waiting is my cross. It should be the worst thing I have ever had to bear.



Unlike my sister Lynn, I was a terrible student. Around my twelfth year, I stopped studying in school. I was the classic case of wanting to be cool, the Saving Ophelia Syndrome, rebelling against everything and a whole long list of pathetic excuses. I only reveal this now to let you know that where you start seldom has anything to do with where you land. Life is not like the trajectory of a bullet. I never stopped reading and I never stopped working. Both of these I do with frightening vigor. I managed to graduate from a fashion school on sheer luck and worked on Seventh Avenue for years. I took what skills I had used there into the world of volunteerism for a few more years, raising money for the arts and education.



That vigor is the thirst I could never quench, and the harsh realities of the business world and volunteer fundraising made me understand just how critical a complete education is. But love of words (and my compulsion to be understood) is what made this miracle of becoming a published author come true. So now I'd like to do something for other women who for whatever reason didn't get the educational experience they longed for and who can't find the courage to change their lives. And, needless to say, I'd like to do something for women and children without hope, who don't dream. Please take a moment to visit the Foundation link and share your thoughts.



So what else? I am ecstatically happy with my delicious husband Peter, and adore my two children, Victoria and William down to their last freckles. I have two Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Henry and Buster who are as cute as cookies. I play awful tennis, cheat at cards to make my children laugh, speak emergency French and Italian - lots of gesturing, love to cook and entertain. I also garden like mad, still love to visit Sullivan's Island as often as possible, and am always looking for an adventure. I still read like a lunatic - favorite authors are the ones I shamelessly tortured to give me endorsements for my book - John Berendt, Pat Conroy, Bret Lott, Fern Michaels, and Ann Rivers Siddons. I'm always on a diet and admit to being slightly neurotic. If I could have anything in the world, it would be to pick up my entire life and drop it on the beach at Sullivan's Island. Writing is the next best thing.


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

Isle of Palms


By Dorothea Benton Frank

Berkley Publishing Group

Copyright © 2005 Dorothea Benton Frank
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0425200108


Chapter One

Hearts of Fire

1975

This is what I remember. That day, all I could think about was getting home and riding my bicycle. In my ten-year-old opinion, I had wasted the best hours of my day as a prisoner of the Sullivan's Island Elementary School, in a hot stuffy classroom, on the receiving end of an education that I was absolutely sure was entirely unnecessary. It was late May and the temperature was already up there in the stratosphere.

Teenagers with surfboards and suntans crossed every intersection of the islands coming to and from the beach. Summer residents were already arriving in hordes and my vacation was overdue. I could barely concentrate on anything except going barefoot.

I climbed up on the school bus at two forty-five and rushed for a seat by a window, that is, a window that would open. It's funny what the mind remembers and what it forgets. Like most girls would, I remember exactly what I wore. It was my pale yellow sundress, hand-smocked with green thread. I had on green sandals that matched. I was a major hot tamale in that dress. It was true. In the pecking order of my peers, I had the best clothes. Not the best hair (blond and thin) and not the best face (too pale-invisible eyebrows and lashes), but definitely the best clothes. I remember thinking that even though I had on my favorite dress that day, the humid weather and the proximity of summer vacation were making me cranky.

As I struggled to push the window open, I began to perspire. It just annoyed me that the adults in charge of our lives gave so little consideration to the comfort of children. Our desks were so hard on our bony little backsides, it was no wonder we squirmed around like our britches were spray-starched with itching powder. Weighted down by books, we were positive we would grow up with warped bones. The steaming cafeteria could clean your pores. Everything about life seemed worrisome and inconvenient. Even the paper towels in the girls' bathroom had a chemical smell and were so stiff that you were better off just to dry your hands on your clothes, if you washed your hands at all, which of course, I always did. Germs.

Worst of all, by May, the voices of our teachers were like unending white noise-just some droning yammer in the background. I'd had enough of the fifth grade and I knew one thing for sure. When I grew up, I was determined to change a few things about the slipshod way children were treated by the authorities.

That day, I was just all a-twitter recounting my juvenile list of complaints as I boarded the ancient yellow rattletrap to go home. The only good thing about the bus ride was Lovely Leon, the driver. He was so cute and he flirted with all of us girls. His longish straight brown hair was always in his eyes, which I found irresistible. We loved him and our little hearts danced when he winked at us. Leon was a senior in high school, but he finished classes at two o'clock and was hired to drive us home. Because I lived at the end of the Isle of Palms, I got to ride with him longer, as most of the others got off the bus sooner. Sometimes he would start with the furthest stop and work his way back. And that was what he did that day.

In the back of the bus, Eddie Williams (the first stop on his route) was giving Patty Grisillo (the third stop on his route) an Indian burn of Olympic quality. She was biting him on the arm. Hard. They were both screaming. Patty's friends were whacking Eddie with their backpacks and Eddie's friends were laughing and telling him to cut it out.

"Y'all are acting like a bunch of idiots!" Leon said. "Eddie? Get your butt up here and work the door! I'm going to the Isle of Palms first!"

The bus lumbered up Middle Street toward Breach Inlet at twenty-five miles an hour, moaning and complaining with every shift of the gears. Restless drivers passed us and we swore they would get tickets for passing a school bus. We made faces through the windows and hollered at the top of our little lungs at the disrespectful criminals who zoomed around us. They were merely further proof of the overall disregard adults had for children.

We crossed the bridge and headed for Forty-first Avenue, way up at the end of the island. Everybody was carrying on, despite Leon's pleas to Please y'all! Shut the hell up!

Somebody, Sparky Witte, I think, said, "Look at all the police cars!"

All at once, the bus became quiet. There was a huge commotion where I lived. Fire engines appeared behind us and Leon pulled over to let them roar past. They were from the Sullivan's Island Fire and Rescue Squad. Must be huge, I thought. We followed them, going a little faster than before.

When we got to Forty-first Avenue, the police had blocked off the road. People were all over the streets. Leon didn't know what to do, so he stopped and waited for a moment. I started to shake, afraid that whatever the trouble was, that it was happening at my house.

Leon got off and told us to stay put and be quiet. He walked over to a police officer and must have explained his predicament. He had a kid on the bus who lived on that street and what should he do? The police officer walked over to the bus with Leon, boarded the bus, and called my name.

"Anna Lutz?"

"Yes, sir?" I felt numb.

"Come with me, honey."

I looked at this uniformed stranger with the gun on his hip and knew something terrible had happened. Lillian, my best friend, wanted to come with me, but he said, No, just Anna. It wasn't a good idea, he said. Lillian started to cry and so did I. I still remember her crying and everyone saying, Oh, no! What happened? Call us, Anna, okay? You okay?

I wasn't okay. Not one bit. How could I be anything but scared to death? I walked with the policeman who introduced himself as Beau. He held my sweaty hand and carried my backpack for me. I knew something horrific was waiting for me. As we rounded the corner, I saw it all.

My house was surrounded by police cars. It frightened me so badly I wanted to run. I just stood there with this Beau person, waiting for someone to explain this to me. What did it all mean? Had my house been robbed? Did they get away? Did they steal all our stuff? Were there a bunch of bad guys still inside-was that why so many police cars were there?

Our neighbors were like statues in their yards, rooted by the spectacle before them. The Emergency Medical Service ambulances and attendants waited with a stretcher. When I saw Daddy's car, I panicked. Was he in there? Oh! My God! What about Momma? Where was she? Where were they? Where were they?

Out of nowhere my daddy appeared by my side and lifted me up. He was breathing so hard I started getting hysterical. I couldn't understand what was happening but I knew it was a catastrophe.

"Momma is ... Momma's had a terrible heart attack," he said. "I'm so sorry, Anna." Did that mean she was dead? He shook and gulped while he held on to me. Then he coughed, pulled out his handkerchief and blew his nose, hard. "Oh! Dear God! Why? How could I let this happen?"

I couldn't talk; I could scarcely breathe. Did he have something to do with it? I could only watch. Momma was dead? It just didn't seem possible to me. The rescue workers had disappeared inside the house. Shortly, they came back out with a body on a stretcher. It was Momma. She was covered in a sheet. The ambulance attendants zipped a bag around her. A few minutes later, the police reappeared with a man. His shirt was unbuttoned. From where I stood he seemed to be in handcuffs. Was he? I started screaming. What did he do to my momma?

"Hush!"

The hush came from our neighbor, Miss Mavis, who broke through the crowd and grabbed me by the arm. It seemed she wanted to take me to her house on the next block.

"This child doesn't need to see all of this, Douglas! Have you lost your mind? Someone should have brought her to me right away. Come on, baby!"

She started to lead me away with Daddy bringing up the rear. My mother had not spoken to Miss Mavis for a long time. They'd had an argument about something so I thought it was a little peculiar for her to jump into the middle of this. Momma said she had a tongue as long as a telephone wire and that she was going to hell for gossiping. But since Daddy was coming along with me and Miss Mavis, I went without arguing. It was no time to resist adult decisions.

Miss Mavis had a house worthy of a full-scale investigation, but I would not have wanted to live there. I think because she had multitudinous cats, she thought it was necessary to stick one of those deodorant frogs or shells on every table and potpourri in bowls all over the place. It smelled seriously sickening to me. On the occasions I would stop by for a cookie with some kids from the neighborhood, we would always hold our noses. The minute we got out of there we hollered Phew! and laughed about it, making gagging noises for the rest of the afternoon.

Her house was divided in two, upstairs and downstairs. She lived on top and could see the ocean, and Miss Angel, who worked for her, lived downstairs. Miss Angel was much more interesting than Miss Mavis. She could trace her ancestors back to slavery. She was also a master basket weaver. She had so many stories, her stories had stories.

We would always see Miss Angel sitting in the backyard, weaving sweetgrass, sewing it around and around with a strip of palmetto, or on other days shucking corn or stringing beans. If we were too tired or hot to run around anymore, we would wander into her shadow, asking her what she was doing.

"Ain' you chillrun have nothing better to do than come around 'eah bothering Angel?"

She would stare us up and down, one by one.

"No, ma'am," we would say.

"Well, then I expect y'all want something to drink?"

"Yes, ma'am."

She would sigh, put down whatever she was doing, and, like ducks, we would follow her into her kitchen. Then the storytelling would start.

"When I was a girl, we had to pump our water ..."

When she got warmed up she would go on and on.

"Tha's right! My daddy, he say to me, 'Angel?-be my angel and go fill this 'eah bucket like a good girl. Lawd! That girl is strong like two bull ox!' Tha's fuh true, 'eah? You chillrun don't know what hard times is! I hope y'all helps your momma when she call. Do you?"

"Oh! Yes, ma'am!" we would all say, lying through our teeth.

"All right, then. Angel gone give y'all fresh lemonade she make this morning. Just this morning I say, Angel? -gone be hot like de Debbil's breath today! Better have something fuh dem bad chillrun when they come 'round, and come 'round y'all surely did. Drink up and gwine leave me be!"

Homemade lemonade! Wonderful! She thrilled us all the time.

Miss Mavis was the exact opposite of Miss Angel. Momma said she was always putting on airs, whatever that meant. Miss Mavis had a daughter who was away at college and a son who was married, living way off in California trying to be a movie star. She would show me his publicity pictures and tell me that he was up for a commercial or a part in a movie. Daddy always said her son was a damn fool because he had changed his name from Thurmond to Fritz. I didn't know which name was more stupid.

Miss Mavis and Miss Angel were the neighborhood's official but revered old biddies. They had taught us plenty, and contrary to what Miss Angel thought about us being just a bunch of spoiled Geechee brats, I was to learn what hard times were.

We climbed the steps up to Miss Mavis's part of the house and the minute we stepped inside you couldn't smell anything except dried flowers and pine. I sat on the couch, crying and hiccuping. Miss Mavis handed me a box of Kleenex, covered in needlepoint with magnolia flowers on a red background. She was one of those craft people.

"I don't understand," I said. "Who was that man? Was Momma murdered? Was he a robber?"

"No, baby, I'm sure he didn't murder her. Good gracious! Too much television!"

I started to wail. What a mean thing to say! I wasn't crying because of some television program! My momma was dead! Daddy was rubbing a hole in my back. He was in shock himself and I guess he couldn't begin to think of what to do with me.

"Come on now, Anna," Miss Mavis said, "let's blow our nose, all right? I'm gonna go over to your house with your daddy and see what we can find out. You just stay put and we'll be right back, okay?"

"Okay," I said, and thought for a second about why grown-ups said stupid things like let's blow our nose. Miss Mavis was nice, but she was making me mad.

When they closed the door behind them I felt very alone, confused and out of place. I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing while they were gone. I mean, watching television seemed inappropriate. Calling Lillian didn't seem right either. I guess I was sort of stupefied because the only thing I seemed capable of doing was looking around the room and wondering how something so awful could happen to me. I could feel a terrible weariness in my chest and for a moment I worried that there was something wrong with my heart too. What if Momma and I died on the same day? I didn't want to die. I tried to relax.

Miss Mavis's coffee table was covered with magazines and her end tables were jammed with framed photographs. I wasn't interested in any of it, but then my eye caught a picture of her in her wedding dress that must have been a million years old. She looked pretty in that picture and really young. Momma always said that her husband ran around on her like his pants were in flames, and he turned his liver into a rock. When he died, Miss Mavis went around telling the immediate world that he was a saint. He wasn't any saint. Even I knew that.

Daddy, who had as many stories as Angel, used to tell me a story about this pirate named Major Stede Bonnet. People said he became a pirate to get away from his nagging wife. Well, he wound up with his neck in a rope. I never understood how somebody could do something so mean to his family and his liver and then get to be a saint. I wasn't absolutely positive what running around meant, but I figured it had to do with other women. Stede Bonnet would've told him he'd be better off to just stay home and behave himself. Anyway, this slew of happy family pictures was pitiful because Momma told me Miss Mavis and all her people were all a bunch of screwballs.

Momma. I was so tired then that I just wished I could lie down and sleep. I hadn't realized I wasn't alone until Miss Angel appeared to see what I was doing.

"Come on, honey," she said, "Angel fixed you something to eat."

Angel hardly ever said I. Maybe she thought I couldn't remember her name. I followed her to the kitchen to find a slice of homemade peach pie on a flowered plate and a glass of milk. Angel was the only person I knew who could really cook. The pie was so delicious I ate it in huge bites and then threw it up all over the floor and all down the front of my favorite dress.

Continues...

Continues...


Excerpted from Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank Copyright © 2005 by Dorothea Benton Frank. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

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(35)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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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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