Return to Sullivans Island

Return to Sullivans Island

by Dorothea Benton Frank
3.5 105

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Return to Sullivans Island 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am usually an avid fan of Dorotheas, but the main character was simply not believable. She was just too silly for my notion. I love anything about the S. Carolina coast so I read all of the book, but I was surely disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I sit here on the Isle of Palms (the sister island to Sullivans) getting ready to head back reluctantly to Manhattan, I felt like re-reading a couple of my reviews and others, and realized I hadn't commented on Return to Sullivans Island. Like most of those who've posted here, I don't think this is Ms. Frank's best work, but it is an entertaining read if you're already familiar with the Hamiltons and, of course, the leading lady in all of Ms. Frank's novels - the Lowcountry herself. Catching up with Susan Hamilton Hayes Rifkin and her daughter Beth Hayes, plus their extended family and those dear departed loved ones in the mirror, is well worth an afternoon or two. Still, I'm not sure Ms. Frank's voice resonates quite so authentically through a twenty-one-year-old heroine just out of college as it has from more grown-up protagonists in their thirties and beyond. Also, this book is written in third person, whereas her others are all (if I'm not mistaken) in first person, sometimes with the literary device of switching from one character as narrator to another. So Beth's story isn't as immediate - you feel more like an older sister, aunt, mom or grandmother looking over her shoulder and knowing she is going to make some bad decisions before everything works out all right in the end. Perhaps that's intentional on Ms. Frank's part - if so, it works. I do wish, as a general comment on all her novels, that Ms. Frank would not have her characters consistently use bad grammar - something most well-brought-up Southerners occasionally do in fun, but certainly not all the time. And I must say that I've never heard any of the men in my circle of friends and family call another guy 'bubba' (which Ms. Frank constantly employs as a synonym for 'man' or 'dude'). As I've mentioned elsewhere, I think this is something Ms. Frank's Yankee editors encourage to make us Southerners more palatable to a wider population that wants to believe we are all - the doctors, lawyers and investment bankers in this book included - moonshine-swilling rednecks. The story has many charming elements - the Hamilton siblings are warm and funny, and remind me of my own mother's large family - and Beth, whatever her errors in judgment, is a sweet and likeable girl. The explanation for her infatuation with Max, though - presumably sufficient to explain her committing fraud with her trust fund - rings a little hollow and perhaps comes too late in the plot (there's nary a hint earlier). But Woody is a great guy, and I very much hope that Ms. Frank will return to tell their story. 'Wedding on Sullivans Island,' anyone? Let's hope we are all invited!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually love her books. This one fell way short, the characters were just not real enough and the house ghosts too silly. If this was the first book of hers I read, I probably would not read her again. But I know her previous books were more plausible, more enjoyable, better character development and great summer reads.
LuckyPatty More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Dorothea Benton Frank's novels and eagerly looked forward to this new one. As with her other novels Frank's focuses on life in the low country and this novel is no different in that respect. The overall theme is an aspiring writer, Beth Hayes, returns to Sullivan's Island to housesit for a year while her mother is off to France and her aunt is somewhere else. What unfolds next sounds like something from a Nancy Drew novel with ghosts creaking in the night and upsetting bed linen and a sophomoric crush on a bad boy while ignoring the good boy. I thought I had left high school behind. Frank's books have always had such rich characters and they always left you wishing to be in her books, but not this time.
ARTSMART More than 1 year ago
It was slow to start. I couldn't get into the ghost thing. It seemed written for someone much younger than me.
krin More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a complete waste of reading time. The characters were not close to being real, and by the 2nd chapter you want to kill them. Also, anyone who lives in the low country knows everyone has air condioning in their homes....it's too hot and humid even in the evenings with an ocean breeze. The plot itself was far fetched, and the twin aunts was pulled out of the air. I was very disapointed in her book, and I don't think I will purchase another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot recommend this book. Do read Sullivan's Island. I would also recommend Bulls Island, Isle of Palms, and Shem Creek.
Douglass-Debbie More than 1 year ago
This was the worst book I read from Ms. Frank and I read all of her books. I don't think I will be waiting for her next one. I was so bored that I had to skip a page or two to get through it. Perhaps this was written for the new generation in their 20's. Good luck selling books to them.
pcgrace More than 1 year ago
Having just finished Sullivan's Island I was thrilled to see Return to Sullivan's Island available and ordered it right away. I had been asking all of my friends and family to read the original as I enjoyed it so much. I can't say how disappointed I was about 100 pages into Return. It was so sophomoric and predictable I could barely finish it and was continuously skipping pages just to get to the end. Don't even bother with this one unless you are a vapid 23 year old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the best of this author's work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although Return to Sullivan's was a good book, the original was much, much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love most of her books but this one feels like it was scratched together from old cliched srories. Poor
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the entire plot figured out in thirty pages or less.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very disappointing read from an author who usually writes excellent novels. No empathy developed for the main character, who acted less responsibly than I would have expected from a high schooler. In fact, I was so impatient with the novel that I kept putting it down and reading other books - surprised I finished it.
SCSandy More than 1 year ago
For anyone who enjoyed her previous book, "Sullivans Island", this book is a chance to get reacquainted with some of those wonderful characters and to meet some interesting new ones. I enjoyed Ms. Frank's descriptions of beautiful Sullivans Island and the low country, and I always enjoy her wit. Great summer read!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Having just graduated from college in Boston, wannabe writer Beth Hayes returns to her family home on Sullivan Island, South Carolina while her mother spends time in Paris; mom had asked her daughter to house-sit while she is in France. Beth looks forward to the quiet time at her family home Island Gamble to contemplate her future and hopefully begin her writing career though she lacks confidence in her skills. --- She also looks forward to seeing the extended family, the successful twins Sophie and Allison, Susan, and Uncle Henry; she also plans to hug her Miss Manners-reincarnation Aunt Maggie, her Uncle Timmy and her stepfather Simon before the trio travel to California. Beth soon enjoys her trysts with total opposites Max Mitchell and Woody Morrison, but that will darken her RETURN TO SULLIVAN ISLAND. --- Dorothea Benton Frank returns to the Lowcountry with a warm family drama that is filled with humor, compassion, and sadness. The extended cast is solid, but this is clearly Beth's tale as she struggles with a lack of confidence when faced several times with difficult choices. Readers who appreciate deep complicated relationships will enjoy the RETURN TO SULLIVAN ISLAND. --- Harriet Klausner
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good continuation of the story begun in Sullivan's Island , with thevsame mesterful prose snd the same characters. It did, however, seem to delve much more into the spooky and supernatural than the previous book. Also, I found it hard yo believe that yhe main character would be so foolish and weak after reading about the strong character of Susan in the last book. Bottom line, it could have been allot better. Stephanie Clanahan
LisaM221 More than 1 year ago
As so many others have said, this was really not a good book. I loved Sullivan's Island and was hoping this would be as good, but it was a huge disappointment. It was a very one-dimensional story with a ridiculously bad ending. That being said, I'm still planning on reading some of this author's other books that are set in the Low Country. I moved to the Charleston area a year ago and really enjoy reading stories set in the area, so I hope her other books will be more along the lines of Sullivan's Island.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
Sullivan’s Island is the treasure of the low country. In Return to Sullivan’s Island Beth Hays makes a return to this treasured island. Her family has asked her for a commitment for a year. Synopsis: Is this a commitment that she wants? Beth goes despite obligation to family. Her mother Susan is leaving to go to France and teach at the University. Her Aunt Maggie is going to California with her family. So someone must stay at the house! Her Aunt Sophie suggests for her to go and get a job, and use the experience to write her book. One job is as a freelance journalist for the local paper. Beth’s first assignment is the destruction of a favorite landmark and the new construction project. She is worried that this project goes against the rich history of Sullivan’s Island. Max Mitchell is the developer and sparks Beth’s interest. What will this relationship go anywhere? What will happen to Beth’s family? Will they forgive her for her choices? My Thoughts: This is my first Dorothea Benton Frank novel. I can tell you that I am ready for the next one. I listened to this novel as an audiobook. Robin Miles is an excellent reader/narrator. I hope that she is part of more of Dorothea’s novels. I did come into this series in the second book. I felt that I might have missed a little of the history of the Hamilton family. The author’s style of writing brings the reader in and makes them comfortable. She communicated an obvious love for the low country. The author paints a vivid picture of what is it like to be at Sullivan’s Island. This novel is rich in culture and history of the south.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
This was my first read by Dorothea Benton Frank and enjoyed it. It took me a while to get into it; and listened to the audio and Robin Miles did an outstanding job with the narration. As a native of NC, and spent most of my adult life in Atlanta (been in Florida for years), and having worked in Charleston, SC area--love the southeast and the mentions of the places I have visited in the Lowcountry area. I enjoyed the humor of the southern women and Beth a young college grad who returns to SC to housesit for her mother and family. My favorite character was Cecilia as though she could be your best BFF! Some history, fun, ghost, Ponzi schemes, romance, and learning to trust. I look forward to reading more from Dorothea!