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

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  7,627 Ratings  ·  304 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.
ebook, 512 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Berkley Books (first published January 11th 2003)
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Sep 05, 2011 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Judi/Judith Riddle
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
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
Mar 31, 2016 Debby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 15, 2016 Amy Collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 16, 2012 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 21, 2014 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.
Elizabeth Christmas
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.
May 14, 2014 MaryNell rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 05, 2016 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mike Radice
Mar 30, 2013 Mike Radice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 22, 2014 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 03, 2013 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of endearing characters, heartfelt life musings, in a gorgeous setting...a perfect book to escape into!
Jennifer Morefield
I loved this story. I listened to the audio version. The narrator was wonderful. The story drew me in. I really enjoy the southern style along the ocean front. Just a good story with wonderful characters. It was plausible. I've read 4 or 5 by Dorothea Benton Frank. I have really enjoyed them. Not my first by her and definitely not my last.
Diane Johnson
Feb 24, 2017 Diane Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story

Great story about family and friends. Several storylines in one. Having been to Isle of Palms made it even more ennoiyable.
Sep 20, 2016 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 08, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 16, 2014 Kath rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 30, 2011 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 10, 2017 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
#3 installment in the LowCountry Tales and another winner for me! Characters you fall in love with in a location I honestly feel I am “there”. Just everything I look for in a great read! Family drama, southern heritage and one liners that honestly make me laugh out loud!
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
Sheri Milam
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
Kathleen S
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
Aug 28, 2007 Ally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: south carolina lovers
this is a great summer read since it is set on the Isle of Palms in South Carolina. It also takes place in summer, but that also might be a good excuse to read it in the dead of winter so you can imagine yourself in some warm place for a while. It's a quick read, but a thick book. It deals with a single mother, Anna, and her daughter, Emily, who just finished her first year of college. Emily is not happy about moving home for the summer, especially to a home Anna just bought for the two of them ...more
Jan 02, 2009 Marci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started to read this novel right before I went on vacation to Isle of Palms. It was so neat to see the same places that were in the book. Charleston was AWESOME!!!! Was a great vacation that ended in a tropical storm. We were having such a good time we didn't bother to listen to the warning about evacuation. We were stranded and could not get off at the main bridge to Mount Pleasant or the bridge to Sullivan Island. Two teenagers(one who had to be back at college the next day), a husband and ...more

If you love Southern's woman's fiction with humor, you'll love Isle of Palms. For Anna Lutz Abbot, she always loved the Isle of Palms in Lowcountry North Carolina, since she was a child. When her mother died, her grandmother from hell visited, while her father was loveless and in shock. So they moved, when things took a turn for the worse. In Anna's story, when she returns to the Isle of Palms, things change for the better. She owns her own house and then a hair salon. Her daughter visits from
Reese Penn
Aug 01, 2014 Reese Penn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 19, 2013 Janice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction
I continue to return to Dorothea Benton Frank's books because I generally enjoy her writing style, her characters and locations, her wit and humor. I try to overlook little issues I have, such as this being a Low Country Tale, for no more Low Country names, places, details, it could have taken place anywhere. A big issue for me with this book was how casually the date rape was handled initially and specifically nineteen years later. What was the point of contacting the rapist thru his wife? Anna ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I liked the story, the progression through the characters lives, the very well described characters, and the descriptions of various settings. What bogged the book down for me was what felt like a forced attempt to write the southern dialect. It was successful in transporting me back to the Charleston area (a favorite region that I've been unable to visit for years), but the constant use of phonetically spelled accents took too large a presence in the story. This was particularly felt at ...more
Mar 04, 2010 Treasure rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grown-up-books
I was initially startled and repulsed by how the book begins, with a very folksy tone directly addressing the reader and it felt very forced. But then the actual story starts and I was sucked in to the daily life drama, both big and small, and all of the lovely characters.
The setting, a South Carolina island, was very foreign to me and therefore a fun aspect to the book (I learned a lot!). A great book about a woman in her 30s reclaiming her life along with dealing with her college age daughter
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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.” 13 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” 2 likes
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