July 16, 2009

Book Review- Return to Sullivans Island by Dorothea Benton Frank

I was recently given the opportunity by Mothertalk.com to review the newest book by New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank, "Return to Sullivans Island". This is my first exposure to this author, but her love for the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a mere hour from my hometown, caught my attention immediatly. This second book in her Lowcountry Series, follows Sullivans Island, a New York Times bestseller.


Book Description:

Dorothea Benton Frank returns to the enchanted landscape of South Carolina's Lowcountry made famous in her beloved New York Times bestseller Sullivans Island to tell the story of the next generation of Hamiltons and Hayes.

Return to Sullivans Island

Whether you were away from the Lowcountry for a week or for years, it was impossible to remember how gorgeous it was. It never changed and everyone depended on that.

Newly graduated from college and an aspiring writer, Beth Hayes craves independence and has a world to conquer. But her notions of travel, graduate study, and writing the great American novel will have to be postponed. With her mother, Susan, leaving to fulfill her own dreams in Paris and her Aunt Maggie, Uncle Grant, and stepfather, Simon, moving to California, Beth is elected by her elders to house-sit the Island Gamble. Surrounded by the shimmering blue waters of the Atlantic, the white clapboards, silver tin roof, and confessional porch have seen and heard the stories of generations of Hamiltons. But will the ghosts of the Island Gamble be watching over Beth?

Buoyed by sentimental memories of growing up on this tiny sandbar that seems to be untouched by time, Beth vows to give herself over to the Lowcountry force and discover the wisdom it holds. She will rest, rejuvenate, and then reenter the outside world. Just as she vows she will never give into the delusional world of white picket fences, minivans, and eternal love, she meets Max Mitchell. And all her convictions and plans begin to unravel with lightning speed.

There is so much about life and her family's past that she does not know. Her ignorance and naiveté nearly cost her both her inheritance and her family's respect. But Beth finds unexpected friends to help her through the disaster she faces: her wise and charming Aunt Sophie; Cecily Singleton, the granddaughter of Livvie Singleton; and Woody Morrison, the solid young investment banker.

This wonderful ensemble of characters could be your own family, but watch what unfolds as they succumb to the island's spell. If everything happens for a reason, then Beth's return to Sullivans Island teaches her that betrayal and tragedy are most easily handled when you surround yourself with loyal family and friends in a magical place that loves you so much that it wants to claim you as its own.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit I was really interested in reading this book. I love Sullivans Island and I couldn't wait to see how someone else who loves it as much if not more than I would describe it. The story itself took me a little while to get into, I found that I was "reading" the first few chapters rather than truly experiencing the story. I think that if I had read the prior book, Sullivans Island, that may not have been the case.

The book was a fun read- the characters were very well developed and although it the plot moved a bit slowly, there were just enough twists and turns to keep the readers attention throughout. The beauty of Sullivans Island is difficult to describe in words, but Frank does a great job of sharing her love of the Island with her readers.

All in all I truly enjoyed this read and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good, easy summer read- truly a book to enjoy on the beach or in a hammock under a beautiful blue sky.

About the Author:

SI2 New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She and her husband, Peter, divide their time between New York area and South Carolina.

To Buy:

Return to Sullivans Island can be purchased on Amazon or anywhere great books are sold.

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