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Authors: Dorothea Benton Frank

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Contemporary Fiction

Isle of Palms

BOOK: Isle of Palms
4.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Table of Contents
“Dorothea Benton Frank is the bad girl of southern fiction—
the bad, bad girl. Her books are funny, sexy,
and usually damp with seawater.”
—Pat Conroy
Praise for Dorothea Benton Frank’s Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms
is as light and gratifying as a sand dollar just washed to shore . . . The author and Anna like to remind folks of the things that matter most: finding inner peace, learning to forgive, and cherishing friends who become family.”—
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Entertaining . . . Garrulous, engaging Anna’s a treat, talking up a storm about life in the South Carolina Lowcountry 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.”—
Orlando Sentinel
“[A] page-turner.”—
St. Petersburg Times
“Frank uses the same sweet southern charms that enticed readers to her previous novels,
Sullivan’s Island
Plantation . . .
A fun summer read, and its scenery entices the reader to take a trip to the beach.”
—The Daily Oklahoman
“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
“Her novels are hilarious and full of richly amusing characters.”

The Myrtle Beach Sun News
“[Frank] defies convention and weaves comically twisted plot lines for each of her characters . . . Fans of
Sullivan’s Island
will not be disappointed . . . Anna’s narration makes
Isle of Palms
stand out.”—
The Florida Times-Union
Sullivan’s Island
“The setting and the characters are blazingly authentic . . . Frank evokes the eccentric Hamilton family and their feisty Gullah housekeeper with originality and conviction; Susan herself—smart, sarcastic, funny, and endearingly flawed—makes a lively and memorable narrator. Thanks to these scrappily compelling portraits, this is a rich read.”—
Publishers Weekly
(starred review)
“Dorothea Frank and I share the exact same literary territory . . .
Sullivan’s Island
is hilarious and wise, an up-to-the-minute report on what it is like to be alive and female in the South Carolina Lowcountry today. It contains the funniest sex scene I have ever encountered.”
—Pat Conroy
“Dottie Frank’s take on the South Carolina Lowcountry is tough, tender, achingly real, and very, very funny.
Sullivan’s Island
roars with life.”—Anne Rivers Siddons
Sullivan’s Island,
southern womanhood has found a new voice, and it is outrageous, hilarious, relentless, and impossible to ignore.”
—John Berendt
“One heck of a beach book . . . Frank keeps you reading compulsively.” —
The Charlotte Observer
“A satisfying treat . . . Dorothea Benton Frank ventures into the territory of another three-named writer, Anne Rivers Siddons.”

Orlando Sentinel
“Those who enjoy Pat Conroy or Anne Rivers Siddons will not be disappointed.” —
Library Journal
“Authentic characters and setting . . . a very moving story of family, love, and place.”—
The Knoxville News-Sentinel
“A novel that should be on every ‘beach reading’ list this summer.”

The Greenville (SC) News
“Effortlessly evokes the lush beauty of the South Carolina Lowcountry while exploring the complexities of family relationships . . . Readers will enjoy immersing themselves in the lives of these deftly drawn, heartfelt characters.”—
Publishers Weekly
(starred review)
“Think Terry McMillan meets Rebecca Wells by way of the Deep South and you’ll be barking up the right bayou.”
—The Mirror
“Filled with entertaining characters and lots of humor.”
—The Columbia (SC) State
Titles by Dorothea Benton Frank
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4V 3B2, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr. Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,
South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2003 by Dorothea Benton Frank.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
BERKLEY is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “B” design is a trademark belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
eISBN : 978-0-425-20010-0
Frank, Dorothea Benton.
Isle of palms: a lowcountry tale / Dorothea Benton Frank.
p. cm.
1. Women—South Carolina—Fiction. 2. Isle of Palms (S.C.)—Fiction. 3. South Carolina—
Fiction. 4. Islands—Fiction. I. Title. 
PS3556.R3338185 2003

For my wonderful children,
Victoria and William
Barrier Island
Where nothing is certain, we awaken
to another night of delicate rain
falling as if it didn’t want to
disturb anyone. On and off
foghorns groan. The lighthouse beacon
circles the island. For hours, melancholy
waves tear whatever land we’re standing on.
Listen to sea—rain dripping
Through fog, suspended at the edge of the earth
on a circle of sand where we are always
moving slowly toward land.
poet laureate of South Carolina
THIS story is the result of the friendship and support of many people. First, I want to thank my family—Peter, Victoria, and William—for their unwavering support and great ideas on certain scenes and dialogue. It can’t be easy to live with someone who lives behind a closed door half the time. I love y’all more than I could ever say. And I want to offer some seriously bended knee thanks to my beautiful daughter, Victoria, who helped me plot many chapters in this book involving Emily and made sure her language and slang rang true. You mean a teenager in the year 2002 wouldn’t say
neato, groovy
, or
golly gee whiz?
Thanks, sweetheart, for putting this old poop on the right track.
Here comes the disclaimer: the grandmother in this book bears no resemblance to my actual mother-in-law. Hanna Frank of Dearborn, Michigan, is a saintly woman, a gentle woman, who did indeed immigrate to the United States after World War II. She was very generous to allow me to use some of her experiences, but the personality of Violet Lutz in this story is a raving paranoid. Hanna Frank is perfectly sane, extremely intelligent, and thank God, she possesses a healthy sense of humor.
And naturally, I want to thank Shannon Gibbons, my best girlfriend, for proofing this and for listening to me moan when the going got tough. Rar rar rar! That’s an inside joke about talking dogs, but she’ll know what I mean.
I thought it would be fun to use a lot of real people as characters in this book so I want to thank the following warm, wonderful and trusting people for the use of their names: Big Al from Shem Creek Bar & Grill and of course John and Angie Avinger, who own the place, for their generosity. Next, Mary Meehan, Mrs. Helen Clarkin, and Miss Marguerite Stith, who live in these pages as clients of the Palms Salon. Marilyn and Billy Davey, Betty Hudson, Larry Dodds, Patty Grisillo, Brigitte Miklaszewski, Bill the Butcher, Tommy Proctor, Dominique Simon, Ed Williams, Sparky Witte, and Miss Vicki, formerly of Dunleavy’s fame, and of course Patty and Bill Dunleavy, who own it and serve up the best hamburgers to be found. And special kudos to the Mayor of Sullivan’s Island, Marshall Stith, who owns the Station Twenty-two Restaurant. I asked him why his shrimp and grits were so good and he said probably it’s the butter and the half-and-half. Great. Good-bye, belt. Hello, sweatpants.
Special thanks to one of my oldest and dearest childhood friends, Francesca Jean Gianaris. Hey, Fran! Aren’t we due for a
Big Chill
weekend on the island? Don’t forget, okay? To Charlie Moore for his extraordinary goodwill and the use of
so good it’d make a bulldog break his chain!
And huge thanks and love to my brother, Michael Benton, of Irving, Texas, a.k.a. the Reverend Ben Michaels, for performing the wedding! Lord, honey! We all thought those two would never tie the knot! You done good!
BOOK: Isle of Palms
4.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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