“Her books are funny, sexy, and usually damp with seawater.”
—Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides
In Return to Sullivans Island, Dorothea Benton Frank revisits the enchanted landscape of South Carolina’s Lowcountry made famous in her beloved New York Times bestseller Sullivans Island. Frank focuses on the next generation of Hamiltons and Hayes, earning high praise from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which writes, “Frank brings to vivid life the rich landscape and its unpretentious folks….A reader need only close her eyes for a moment to feel that thick-sticky heat, smell the wild salt marshes.” If you enjoy getting lost in the works of Anne Rivers Siddons, Rebecca Wells, and Pat Conroy—novels brimming with atmosphere and strong Southern charm—you are going to love Dotty Frank’s Return to Sullivans Island.
Frank (Sullivan's Island) creates a world in which aspiring writer Beth Hayes, whose chirpy internal monologues and quiet uncertainties make her easily endearing, is as much a character as the house she lives in. After graduating from college in Boston, Beth returns to the South to spend a year house-sitting her family's home, Island Gamble, while her mother, Susan, visits Paris. Frank's portrayal of a large and complicated family is humorous and precise: there's Susan, adoring and kind; Aunt Maggie, a stickler for manners; twin aunts Sophie and Allison, who run an exercise-and-vitamin empire; and uncles Timmy and Henry, the latter of whom has ties to Beth's trust fund. Frank's lovable characters occasionally stymie her pace; there's almost no room left for Beth's friends or her love affairs with sleazy Max Mitchell and cherubic Woody Morrison, though these become important later on. Frank is frequently funny, and she weaves in a dark undercurrent that incites some surprising late-book developments. Tight storytelling, winsomely oddball characters and touches of Southern magic make this a winner.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I have loved all of Franklin's books until Return to Sullivan's Island. Missing were all of my favorite character's - the strong feminine role model, the complex relationships and winding storyline. Franklin's desire to follow current day news was disappointing for this reader and left me wanting more.
And I mean awful. What happened? I've liked the three previous books of hers that I've read- this one doesn't even read like her style. So boring! The endless, mindless internal dialogue of Beth is excruciating. And the numerous age references appear to be either her rejection of her own middle age or a reflection of seriously juvenile cliches that she thinks presumes her youth. Yuck. Don't waste your money on this one. Awful.
This book was not interesting. Too wordy! Most of the plot happens in the last 50 pages of the book. Not sure if I'll read anything else by this author!