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Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales, #3)
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Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales #3)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  7,228 Ratings  ·  288 Reviews
Anna Lutz Abbot considers herself independent and happy, until one steamy summer when she must find a way to deal with the secrets of her unpredictable family-and her past.
Paperback, 429 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Berkley (first published January 11th 2003)
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Quirky Southern Fiction
51st out of 694 books — 1,783 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 05, 2011 Debbie rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book as I have enjoyed other books by Dorothea benton Frank. There are great characters, a good story, and most of all I love the low-country and the references to places I know. But there were also several things I didn't like about the book.

The beginning starts off awkwardly with the main character, Anna, addressing the reader directly... "Get yourself a cup of tea, I'm gonna tell you a tale." Really tacky. Then several times throughout the book, also very awkwardly, the narrat
Nov 16, 2015 Marleen rated it it was amazing
This was such a delightful read. I absolutely loved the story-line and the characters. Dorothea Benton Frank rarely disappoints as she writes about what she knows best: the low-country, Charleston and surrounding islands - and the people who call it home. Indeed, ISLE OF PALMS, is set in the author's beloved birthplace region and is a tribute to everything from its salty marshes to its eccentric inhabitants. Frank provides equal parts drama, southern heritage and razor sharp one liners.
The main
Judi/Judith Riddle
Sep 01, 2012 Judi/Judith Riddle rated it really liked it
Anna Lutz Abbott grew up in a family plagued with dysfunction. In addition, the death of her mother shaped the rest of her life. Pregnant by date rape at her senior prom, she quickly marries Jim, her best friend, who is gay and together they raise daughter Emily. After 10 years they both agree that they love each other dearly but they must move on. Anna and Emily move from Charleston to a small beach house on the Isle of Palms. Anna and Jim remain close friends and it is Jim who comes to the res ...more
Apr 02, 2016 Debby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
I am a big fan of Dorothea Benton Frank's Lowcountry Tales books. I always look forward to reading one of her books because they are like a "Calgon take me away" reading experience. She is one amazing storyteller and the characters in her books are so real that you feel for them/withem.

Isle of Palms, in my opinion, is Frank's at her best! The cast of characters and the story were so captivating, I didn't want the book to end.

I highly recommend reading Isle of Palms and, for that matter, every
Amy Collins
Mar 16, 2016 Amy Collins rated it it was amazing
Dorothea Benton Frank always creates endearing characters, and this book is no exception. The protagonist in this story overcomes major losses and trauma for her girlhood and teen years, and in her late 30's, finally gives herself permission to begin living life by her own rules. She's bold and vulnerable as she takes chances, builds a sense of community and family among her neighbors, workmates and close friends, and learns to trust herself. She manages to reconcile the ghosts of the past and a ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Carol rated it it was ok
Not my usual read. I like a good mystery..The story is about Anna Lutz Abbott.She tells of her journey after leaving her beloved Isle of Palms and her bitter sweet return...
May 14, 2014 MaryNell rated it it was ok
Eech. This HAD to be her first book as there were glimmers of the stories, characters and writing to come. Where was her editor? I've enjoyed her other beach books about life in the Carolina Low-country, but this was all over the place.
Nov 16, 2014 Kath rated it it was amazing
I read a lot, and I enjoy most of the books I read, but every now and then there's one that leaves me saying "wow!"

I just finished reading "Isle of Palms" by Dorothea Benton Frank. Someone recommended to me and said it was very funny. While I found it amusing at times, it wasn't LOL funny like the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. It was just a really fabulous human interest kind of story

A lot of the books I read are action adventure or Sci-fi. I mostly don't read any of the genre called
Mar 16, 2012 Sandi rated it really liked it
While flying home from vacationing in Hawaii, I pulled out this book to continue reading. At one point I actually laughed out loud on the plane and the flight attendant said to me, "I've got to get that book because I'm watching you having so much fun reading it!" If I'd been able to finish it on the flight, I would have given it to her when I got off the plane. It was a very enjoyable read so I'm looking for another of her books.
Sheri Milam
Aug 06, 2014 Sheri Milam rated it liked it
What a good read! I thoroughly enjoy a story that can make me laugh out loud and feel involved and the Isle of Palms did just that. The story is told in the first person and it's almost as if you're being told a story.
The plot unfolds in South Carolina and there's just enough southern dialect to be funny and not overly exaggerated (I tend to take offense when a Yankee tries to emulate "Southern") which made it all that much more fun to read. The story is about life and the events that happen in
Elizabeth Christmas
Jan 05, 2013 Elizabeth Christmas rated it really liked it
Read this while at the beach (Isle of Palms). It was a good read and interesting to see the places that were in the book. The characters were mostly believable but for the ones that lingered close to the edge the suspension of reality (really, don't all works of fiction require some disconnection from real life?) kicked in. Over all, enjoyable and I'd read it again.
Jan 04, 2016 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: swapped
The characters in this Lowcountry novel reminded me of the characters in Sullivan's Island. Where they give you feeling of being just slightly over the top. The story was better though. There was more substance to it and the storyline was a little more interesting, even if I didn't like the cast.
Sep 20, 2016 Denise rated it really liked it
I really like Dorothea Frank's books and highly recommend any of her stories as a light summer read, her stories are easy to read, you'll care about the characters and not everything is always rosy and bright which leads to the believe-ability of her characters. BUT while her story ideas are great the further along in the book I get the more I find myself going "did I miss something?". It reminds me of someone writing as fast as they can to get down all of the ideas that keep popping up in their ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Anna is a hairdresser who returns to her roots (no pun intended). Her older neighbors, Mavis and Miss Angel, her companion/housekeeper, are curmudgeons but soft underneath. She worries about the hussy neighbor, Lucy, who has designs on her father. Anna has a daughter who was the result of a prom date rape which has been kept a secret. She hasn't seen the offender in years, but he eventually gets his comeuppance. Her good friend, Jim, is gay but marries her. When Anna returns to her southern root ...more
Kathleen S
Oct 05, 2014 Kathleen S rated it liked it
I read and enjoyed a Dorothea Benton Frank book several years ago. Since then I've read two other of her Lowcountry books and I did not like them. In the meantime I picked up this book at the used book store, and rather than waste my $1 I chose to read it. I have to admit that "women's fiction" is of little interest to me right now.*

Right from the very beginning, I did not like the tone of Isle of Palms, or the casual first person language. Isle of Palms is a wild ride of improbabilities. No one
Mike Radice
Mar 30, 2013 Mike Radice rated it it was amazing
What a powerful ending. I loved the whole book, and also the creativity of sprinkling the first person perspectives of a couple of old timers from the island who knew the history.
Sep 25, 2016 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
I enjoyed the book very much. Have read most of her books, like the way she carries her characters on through several books.
Mar 20, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it
Lots of endearing characters, heartfelt life musings, in a gorgeous setting...a perfect book to escape into!
Dorothy Timm
Mar 11, 2014 Dorothy Timm rated it liked it
It's really hard to give this book a rating. That's because my rating varied throughout the book. The entire first third of the book dragged on so long and went into so much detail that I almost gave up lots of times, 1 star for that. Once the story got into the present day, it got pretty enjoyable, I actually gave it 4 stars then. But, like the beginning of the book, the ending was much too long for me and my interest waned. Back down to 2-3 stars. Overall, this book was just much too long, it ...more
Ann Miller
Mar 19, 2015 Ann Miller rated it it was amazing
A delightful read from start to finish. Dorothea Benton Frank is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She paints complex characters on a backdrop of the southern coast of the United States, the Isle of Palms in this case. Her settings come alive right along with the people in her books. There is heart in her stories that leaves a reader with a residue of warmth long after closing the book. I feel more hopeful about family and friendship and the future after reading Frank. A deeply satisf ...more
Claire B. Brock
Feb 06, 2015 Claire B. Brock rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lowcountry
I liked the book. If you like this book read the rest. No they are not intellectually challenging just good, easy, entertaining reading. I am a Southeastern girl born and breed so the southernisms a familiar to me. I read a review of one of her books that commented on the 'War of Northern Aggression' and the author of the review said we should 'get over it' and 'quit romanticizing' the south. Well move out of South Carolina lady and don't come any further south to Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi o ...more
Book #3 of the series. I find that you don't have to read the books in order and can be read as a stand alone but some characters make an appearance from previous books.
If you don't want the book to hook you into it, don't open to the first page. I love Franks writings. She's an author you can't sit down or just one chapter. And if you do you hurry with whatever has to be done so you can pick her back up. Her books are great reads for a rainy day or a yard filled with snow.They make you feel coz
Mar 27, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it
Each year I like to pick an author and read everything I can by them. This year's pick is Dorothea Benton Frank and she's coming here to town to a local bookstore in June and I can't even wait! I'm reading her Lowcountry Tales and I have to say, after this one, I'm in love. First of all, my favorite place in the United States is the Charleston area. So it's so fun to read these books and spend some time in that beautiful place. I also am beginning to really love these characters. Although the th ...more
Nov 30, 2011 Dana rated it really liked it
Anna Abbott grew up on the Isle of Palms(IOP) and moved away when her mother died and her emotionally cold grandmother and controlling father took her to Mount Pleasant to live. However the IOP has been in Anna's heart for a long time. Anna was date raped at her senior prom and has a daughter, Emily.

Anna married her best friend Jim who is gay and for 10 years they raised Emily together. Emily has just finished her first year in college and Anna decides to buy a small house on IOP. And if that is
Reese Penn
Sep 02, 2014 Reese Penn rated it did not like it
A weak protagonist, a predictable and neat ending, and shabby character developments... I did not enjoy this book at all. I have read several of Ms. Frank's books, and about a third of the way into this novel, I knew exactly where it was going. Unfortunately, she took an eternity to get there! The only reason that I kept reading was to see if she would ever complete the development of her characters, which she never did. She even sets one of the characters as a part-time narrator, but never real ...more
Andrea Finley
Jul 15, 2015 Andrea Finley rated it liked it
Some of the situations were very convoluted and not very believable. I don't like the way she paints men, they always seem to be amazing, or amazingly self-involved. I can't figure out why the main character likes Arthur at all. Yuck. I did like Anna and Emily at least, they were very interesting and fun. Sometimes the way Mrs. Frank writes emotions and dialogue is just not reasonable. I do love reading about the Lowcountry though, it seems like a magical place.
Jun 20, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it
After reading such a heavy, but wonderful book, I needed something lighter. I have always enjoyed Dorthea Benton Frank's books, but this one fell flat for me. I didn't particularly like the main character, who I found annoying and too self-absorbed at times. However, Frank is a great character developer and I loved Miss Mavis and Angel.

So, if you need a beach read, you don't want to think too much, and you enjoy the low country, it might be worth a try.
Jan Chamberlain
Dec 07, 2014 Jan Chamberlain rated it liked it
My parents shared this book with me during a visit and said that I would like it. My dad is a tough critic so I happily dove in! They were right, I did like it. An easy read that made me want to get to South Carolina as the descriptions of a lifestyle were so appealing to me. One thing that was odd was that the first few chapters bounced back in forth in time but after establishing some character background, the timeline stayed current.
Jeannie Long
Jul 01, 2015 Jeannie Long rated it did not like it
The story itself was something that I usually enjoy, a woman finding herself and achieving her dreams by pursuing her own business and moving to a place that has always drawn her, but I did not enjoy the style of writing. The conversational text seemed completely out of place numerous times, and I couldn’t relate to the author’s quirky sense of humor. If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be “silly.”
I love books by Dorothea Benton Frank and Isle of Palms has become one of my favorites so far. All the characters in this book are filled with low country charm, wit and craziness which makes for an awesome read. Anna Abbott lived on the Isle of Palms as a young child but when her young mother passed away, she was forced to move to Mount Pleasant with her dad and Grandmother Violet. Deep inside was a yearning that she knew she had to get back to the Isle of Palms one day. She finally decides to ...more
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Dorothea Benton Frank is the New York Times best selling author of ten novels.

Dottie has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Parker Ladd's Book Talk and many local network affiliated television stations. She is a frequent speaker on creative writing and the creative process for students of all ages and in private venues as the National Arts Club, the Junior League of New York, Friends of the Library org
More about Dorothea Benton Frank...

Other Books in the Series

Lowcountry Tales (8 books)
  • Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1)
  • Plantation (Lowcountry Tales, #2)
  • Shem Creek (Lowcountry Tales, #4)
  • Pawleys Island (Lowcountry Tales, #5)
  • Return to Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales, #6)
  • Lowcountry Summer (Lowcountry Tales, #7)
  • Folly Beach (Lowcountry Tales, #8)

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“The most important thing I learned is that to be truly happy, you've got to pay attention to that stupid inner voice we all have. It knows what you need and will drive you shit crazy until you listen to it.” 12 likes
“All the while I was trying to figure out if I knew anyone who had married and stayed in love for decades. I thought about Daddy and Momma. Daddy had loved Momma with a great passion. Everyone knew that. But, why? I knew why! The ugly truth was that he loved her because of how she made him feel, not because of who she was. Was that the nature of a man’s love for a woman? Not what you bring to the table, but how you make him feel? I was drinking a cup” 1 likes
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