Debbie's Reviews > Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank
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Sep 05, 11


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 narrator switches and the story is told by Miss Mavis instead of Anna. Really strange and sloppy writing in my opinion. I thought some of the characters were a little immature- Frannie in particular- who uses language of a young 20-something.

But probably my biggest complaint was the attitude Anna and others have about her rapist. Thankfully, at the end, Anna, finally delivers some normal rage towards her prom date who date-raped her and left her pregnant. But the whole scenario to treat the rapist's wife to a day at the salon and to send a photo of her daughter is rather far-fetched and not clear. She never indicates what her goal is in contacting this guy (Everett). She didn't prosecute, but still doesn't want his money nor intends to retaliate. In the end he comes for Thanksgiving dinner and after she smashes his car (finally something real!) she finds forgiveness on the spot?! I began to wonder if my thinking was off-base or if southern women handle things differently or why the author treated a date-rape resulting in a pregnancy so casually. Any why did she forgive her neighbor, Lucy, for gossiping about something so delicately? Anyway, hopefully, you get my point... I don't think this part of the story was addressed with the importance that it should have received. I suppose that's because the author intended the book to simply be a fun "beach novel." And it is just that. I enjoyed the fun characters, images of good backyard parties, and the atmosphere of the salon.

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