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Isle Of Palms: A Lowcountry Tale Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (June 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425191362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425191361
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Waggishly mixing high jinks with high drama, Frank brings to hilarious life the quintessential South Carolina low-country community of Isle of Palms, Anna Lutz Abbot's once and future home. Growing up there, Anna survived her mother's scandalous death, life with a domineering grandmother, a prom-night date rape that resulted in pregnancy, and a doomed marriage to her gay best friend. Despite its associated heartbreak, the seaside town represents the only place Anna feels she truly belongs, and her return launches a roller-coaster voyage of self-discovery. Aided and abetted by a quirky cast of supporting, and supportive, characters, among them the Misses Mavis and Angel, aka the Snoop Sisters, and Lucy, her surgically enhanced, blender-totin', party-gal neighbor, Anna discovers the wisdom in starting over before her past can pull her under and learns that the true nature of family goes far beyond any shared DNA. Sassy and smart, warm and true, Frank's characters are as real as a soft breeze on a summer's day. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

I am the author of fourteen novels placed in and around the Lowcountry of South Carolina and thanking God for my chance to speak. When I'm not writing, I'm reading or gardening or cooking. Love to travel, shoot the breeze with people and most of all, be with my husband, children and dog - not always necessarily in that order. THE LAST ORIGINAL WIFE (William Morrow) goes on sale June 11, 2013. Love to have company so come visit at www.dotfrank.com or on Facebook. And by the way, serious huge gushing thanks for everything - your kind words, posts and emails. Writing saves me, but without your support it wouldn't mean as much. (So I'm a little sentimental - big deal.) xxoo Dot

Customer Reviews

The characters are captivating.
Garrett A. Root
I am reading all of her books and I am enjoying them very much.
Victoria Elizondo
After reading her first book I was hooked.
Kathleen Quickel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "bookexchangemarietta" on June 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Hello-she's baaaaaaaack- that low country lovin, livin, writin, Dorothea Benton Frank.
As with her previous 2 releases, ISLE OF PALMS, is also set in the author's beloved birthplace region and is a tribute to everything from it's salty marshes to it's eccentric inhabitants.
IOP is the author's best book yet.Frank provides equal parts drama, southern heritage and razor sharp one liners(reminiscent of Jersey girl, Evanovich).
The character of Anna Lutz Abbot is richly layered and supported by an ensemble cast that is flawed,but,loving and loyal.Anna's narrative is truly southern as well as sassy!
After reading all 3 of Frank's books, I have added a much needed, soul feeding, low country visit to my 'things to do before I die list.'
The 2 days spent reading this book was a long over due treat and well worth the wait since PLANTATION. My only regret is I didn't have my feet and backside firmly planted in the sandy beaches of South Carolina while reading it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a fun and entertaining beach book (especially about the low country beaches of South Carolina), Dorothea Benton Frank's Isle of Palms is just the book. Having previously written Sullivan's Island and Plantation, Frank's third book is her best effort yet.

Summer is coming and 37-year-old Anna Lutz Abbot decides that it is time to take control of her life. Three traumatic events occurred during Anna's childhood, and she has pretty much lived her life as a victim. A divorcee' raising an 18 year old daughter, Anna decides to buy a house, make a career change and find a romantic interest. A terrible wrong in her life must also be righted. Things don't always develop as Anna expects, but sometimes the surprises are the most rewarding.

What makes Frank's books so much fun are the sassy writing, witty dialogue, and colorful characters. Frank's descriptions are hysterical. At one point, she tells us the difference between Southern gentlemen, bubbas and red necks-something that only a person raised in the South could do without offense. Her characters are especially memorable from gay ex-husband Jim, to Lucy the intellectually challenged and surgically altered bombshell neighbor to beautiful daughter Emily, who comes home from college in Gothic attire.

On the minus side, this story is a bit unbelievable in parts. Anna doesn't quite deal with issues involving both parents and her childhood. Also, the book is written entirely in the first person. Most of the chapters are seen through Anna's eyes, but several are told by the nosy neighbor, Miss Mavis. At the start of a new chapter, it was sometimes confusing to figure out who was speaking.

But negatives aside, Isle of Palms is an entertaining read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Donna K. on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The first few pages of this story was very slow reading, but once I got used to the casual and conversational narrative, and the local dialect, I became deeply engrossed in Anna's colorful life story. The setting was awesome, and the secondary characters were delightful! I'd definitely rank this as one of the best books I've read this year!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Reading Enthusiast on September 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Please, please don't miss reading this book! It's hilarious, charming, and so so low country. I've read all of Dorothea Benton Frank's books, and this is the best one yet. It kept me laughing and intrigued from beginning to end. I loved Anna! What a survivor! Life may have dealt her a few lemons but she sure knew how to make lemonade. I also loved the flamboyant Jim, crazy Lucy and Brigette, the Bronx bomber who so quickly adapts to life on the Isle of Palms. The only problem with this book is that it ended too soon. Please keep them coming, Ms. Frank, you're the best!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linda Lauren on July 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the third book and the third time I was held hostage by this author's words! I loved this book so much that I couldn't get a lick of work done until I finished it! The characters are deeply defined to the extent where I find I am missing them. I want to go to the Isle of Palms and have my hair done by Anna herself!
Great story! I only wish there were more Jims in this world!! :::sign:::
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As it pours outside my Manhattan apartment window--for what it seems like the 90th consecutive day--my favorite escape has been in the pages of ISLE OF PALMS. Anna's voice, the quirky characters, and the warm, salty breeze from the beach by Anna's house have enveloped me in their southerness and I am content to just cuddle up on my leather sofa with a really good book. I almost don't mind the pitter patter of rain on my metal windowpane, it provides a certain rhythmic backdrop, drowning out all other city noises, so that I can be more easily transported to the Isle of Palms and all she has to offer. Ms. Frank certainly has a way with words and relaying emotions on paper and, while the story is multi-leveled--as are the characters--reading this book is a breeze. A perfect beach read.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I hate to rain on the parade of stars for this book, but I honestly thought it was totally unbelievable. I had read Sullivan's Island which was funny and convincing most of the time, so I was looking forward to reading this book next. I have to say that except for in a few chapters, the story is just too ridiculous. It has too many underdeveloped characters and plot ideas. Anna, the narrator, takes ONE walk on the beach and meets the perfect man. She buys a new house and starts her own business and has parties and on and on without the least problem. It is such a fantasy, it's hard to feel convinced. The author has talent, but she needs to slow down and think through her plot a little better. I'm getting tired of so many sterotypes in southern fiction. This had potential- it was just overdone.
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