“Isle of Palms is as light and gratifying as a sand dollar just washed to shore.”—The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
“Entertaining…Garrulous, engaging Anna’s a treat, talking up a storm about life in the South Carolina Low Country as she makes her second coming of age. Really, it’s best just to take Anna’s initial advice—sit back, relax, sip some sweet tea and listen up. She’s got a story to tell.”—The Orlando Sentinel
“[A] page-turner.”—St. Petersburg Times
“Beneath the Fannie Flagg-style jocularity and small town anecdotes lies a more serious subject: loneliness. Credit this unlikely cast of characters with having the strength to form unconventional loving relationships, an ad hoc family of sorts, to fill the void left by their less-than-perfect biological ones. Upbeat and uplifting, Anna’s song is one of hope in the face of modern realities for all those whose dreams have been derailed by circumstance.”—The Fort Myers News-Press
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
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.
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