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Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1)
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Sullivan's Island

(Lowcountry Tales #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  15,903 ratings  ·  700 reviews
The New York Times bestseller—in paperback for the first time!Set in the steamy, stormy landscape of South Carolina, Sullivan's Island tells the unforgettable story of one woman's courageous journey toward truth.

Born and raised on idyllic Sullivan's Island, Susan Hayes navigated through her turbulent childhood with humor, spunk, and characteristic Southern sass. But years
Paperback, 464 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by Berkley (first published January 1st 1999)
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Melanie I came here to ask this too. i'm not really into this book, and I've definitely been skimming and thought I must have missed something, but…moreI came here to ask this too. i'm not really into this book, and I've definitely been skimming and thought I must have missed something, but yeah...what happened to the twins as adults????(less)

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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,903 ratings  ·  700 reviews

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Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Another unfortunate book club selection. This is pretty standard Lifetime movie fare. The good wife lets herself go frumpy. Husband trades her in for a newer model. Journey of self discovery, interspersed with poignant childhood recollections, ensues. I just don't find this kind of thing compelling. The flashbacks were well written, however, and the tidbits of Gullah culture interspersed throughout kept it from being completely forgettable. I found myself wanting more of that, and less in the wa ...more
This is one of those books I often share with folks who want to know more about the lowcountry of SC. Franks is one of my favorite authors for catching a flavor of the area, and as she is a popular writer, I have about eleventy billion of her books on my BookCrossing shelf.

Sullivan's Island is a one of our sea islands surrounding the Charleston peninsula. I live on one across the harbor from it (James Island). It is a beautiful beach, setting for Poe's The Gold Bug, and also the location of For
Feb 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I have committed myself to quite a bit of reading lately…I don’t usually do that, as I’m one who prefers to just pick up and read whatever strikes my fancy at that particular moment in time. But, as a result of a round-robin I’m involved with, I recently received some titles that I probably wouldn’t have picked up if left to my own devices.

“Sullivan’s Island” by Dorthea Benton Frank is one of those. While it was a New York Times Bestseller, the pastel artwork (wh
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading about steamy and stormy Sullivan's Island off the coast of South Carolina, so different from our beautiful mountainous desert. My favorite character was Livvie, a descendant of African slaves, who lovingly worked for and cared for a dysfuntional Southern family. Here are some sentences from the book that suggest Livvie's sage and spiritual views:

"Her passion for righteousness was stronger than our frenzy."

Livvie said, "When folks around you do crazy things, it's the devil tryin
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
Phenomenal family saga. I was hooked from the very beginning, could not put this book down and I did not want it to end. Dorothea Benton Frank is a very gifted storyteller!! It's rare, for me at least, to read a book and resonate with characters, feel connected with the story and to feel with the characters so that I laugh, shed a tear or stop to ponder some bit of wisdom that was said. I highly recommend Sullivan's Island.

While reading Sullivan's Island, I was reminded of what could be conside
Book Concierge
From the jacket: Born and raised on idyllic Sullivan’s Island, Susan Hayes navigated through her turbulent childhood with humor, spunk, and characteristic Southern sass. But years later, she is a conflicted woman with an unfaithful husband, a sometimes resentful teenage daughter, and a heart that aches with painful, poignant memories. And as Susan faces her uncertain future, she realizes that she must go back to her past. To the beachfront house where her sister welcomes her with open arms.

My r
A truly immensely enjoyable read. This is Dorothea Benton Frank’s first successful book and I can see why it launched her career. She writes from the heart and from what she knows, having grown up right where the story’s set: South Carolina’s low country, where this story follows Susan Hamilton Hayes on her life’s journey, as she faces an uncertain future and comes to terms with an often-stirred up past. The chapters of the book alternate between 1963 (Susan’s 13th year) and the present day (199 ...more
Andrea Guy
I've read one other book by Dorothea Benton Frank, and I really enjoyed it. I picked up Sullivan's Island at the YMCA lending library and I felt like I was reading the same book, or at least a variation on that book.

Strong middle aged female gets dumped by her husband of many years for a sweet young thing. There's a lot of rehashing of the past, which is the only thing that made the book worth reading. The 1960's south always makes for good reading. I adored Livvie and the fact that Susan's fami
Jul 10, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was a gift from my stepmother who lives in Charleston and it took me a few years to finally pick it up and read it- As a Charleston native I am always a little skeptical of books that are about Charleston. The fact that the author is from Charleston too and went to my high school, Bishop England, made me want to read the book. Frank definitely understands the lay of the land in Charleston and what it's like to grow up in the Lowcountry - I could relate perfectly to this era and element ...more
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If I didn't live in South Carolina, I don't know if I would get into the setting and book as much as I did, but I LOVED this book. The character development is so good that I wanted to be best friends with the main character! She is so witty and funny that I found myself laughing out loud while reading. I loved the drama and emotion of her childhood story and I LOVED Livvie. It was just a great to read and I can't wait to read the sequel.
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! I love the low country and southern history, the good and the bad. This story was so rich in low country history, I thought I was there. I could feel the beach under my feet, smell the salt air, vision the beautiful marshes, the warmth of Livvie's love..... I'm going to make a point of visiting Sullivan's Island during my next trip to South Carolina.
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a great read!! Looking forward to the rest in this series!!
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book!! I will be going to get the sequel after work!
Judy Churchill
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The setting is Sullivan Island in South Carolina’s low country. I’m fascinated with this part of the country and the tough, scrappy folks it fosters. The story is told with a sharp, cutting humor and blunt truths. I laughed out loud and cried with the characters. Can’t wait to start the next book in the series.
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover and cannot say enough about it! I understand that there is a sequel, Return to Sullivan's Island, and I will definitely be reading that one. I loved the characters and the setting in Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, which I learned is a place that really exists! There is nothing like a setting on the Atlantic Ocean, too!
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. Good summer read but not just fluff. Good story and well written. Makes you really interested in the characters. What to know what happens me to them. Looking forward to reading her other books.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pretty dated, but it’s an enjoyable beach read if you’re looking for that.
Anne Woodbury
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Read the book while vacationing at pawleys island South Carolina. It was easy to get into the scene since that is the area around which it is located. It was a good beach read and had some fun humor and good dialogue in it about a women coming to grips in middle age and finding herself. It was not super deep but it had moments. Good beach read.
Judy Collins
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank, SC Lowcountry and queen of the south, I have read a few of her newer releases and missed some of the oldies but goodies, so playing catch up. I love the reprints and new e-books, with the new high resolution attractive front covers, which are nice to display on your reading list instead of the old outdated covers. (Nice job with Sullivan’s Island-Lowcountry Tales #1 and Plantation – Lowcountry Tales #2), as read them back to back.

A native of the Carolinas and h
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
Today we are taking a trip to Sullivan’s Island. Dorothea Benton Frank will present her story. But where did it begin? Let’s meet the family who resides in the Island Gamble. She is also a big breast cancer awareness supporter.
Susan is late for a meeting when she realizes that she has left a chart at the house for her presentation. She quickly drives back to pick it up only to make a discovery. Susan hears noises coming from the master bedroom. She opens the door to find her husband i
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, woman-s-fiction
In Dorothea Benton Frank's Sullivan's Island, the first installment in the Lowcountry Tales woman's fiction series, this debut will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride from the 1960s to 1999. It all started for Susan Hayes, when she discovered her husband was cheating on her with a younger woman. And that started the catalyst for a trip down Memory Lane for her, as she took her daughter Beth to Sullivan's Island, her hometown which brought up memories of her adolescent youth. As she pre ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The setting of Sullivan’s Island alone would be enough to carry a book, but Ms. Frank enhances the natural beauty of the Lowcountry with her characters and humor. Susan Hayes tells two stories – one in the present, as an adult who is dealing with a failed marriage and raising a teenaged daughter, and one in 1963, as a child who tries to protect herself and her siblings from a dysfunctional home life. While both ‘Susans’ are funny and likable, by far the more intriguing story is that of 13 year-o ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
As in so many audiobooks, the narrator makes or breaks the story, thus the two stars. Might have been three if I had read a print copy. It was irritating to me because the southern accent was inconsistent. I realize that sometimes they were mimicking Livey, but sometimes it was hard to tell who was talking. It was not necessary to have the narrator sound like she was leaving the sound booth when the characters said, "Hello!" or "I'll be down in a minute."
Moving between the two eras, 1963 and 199
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women, fiction
I have discovered that I love Dorothea Benton Frank's books. I love that her sense of place is so very complete it is almost another character. I love her female protagonists. The one in Sullivan's Island is about my age (maybe younger), smart, funny, battered by life, and resilient as hell. There are two parallel stories going on in the book, one of growing up on Sullivan's Island in the early 1960's as she sorts through her conflicted memories of growing up in a family of extremely dysfunction ...more
Sullivan's Island is the first book I have read by Dorothea Benton Frank, and it was not what I was expecting: think merry-go-round that turns into a roller coaster!!!

I just loved the main character Susan Hamilton Hayes. The story shifts back and forth in time between 1963 and 1999, two of the most turbulent years of Susan's life. The plot has it all: angst, civil rights, abuse, sibling rivalry, just to name a few. I just loved this story and look forward to reading more by DBF!

Go Cards! L1C4!
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Set in the Low Country on the shores of South Carolina, this tale recounts the life of Susan Haley, her family, and growing up in Gulah country. Haley tells tales of her family, long time residents of one of the islands and their black housekeeper Livvie. Alternating between the present (1999) and the days of her childhood (1963), Susan recounts fun, mischief, love, and loss in her family. Parts of the book were heart wrenching in their sadness, other chapters were light and full of humor. The f ...more
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: southern fiction, chick lit
Another great read from Dorothea Benton Frank. Written with southern charm that I've come to expect from Frank. Her stories always revolve around family and the Lowcountry. And, they always make me want to call a realtor, pack my bags and head for the eastern coast of South Carolina. Great book about a family that overcomes obstacles, despite the many odds against them.

Sullivan's Island can be followed up with Return to Sullivan's Island. Going read that now. Can't wait to read how this tale con
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Loved it the 2nd time reading it! It had been a while since my first read and I decided I want to read all the Low Country Tale (series) so it was a great place to begin! I definitely have a South Carolina sea islands "thing' going on in my reading! Great southern family drama! Strong woman, great friends and family, cheating husband that adds to the drama! Looking forward to the 7 following chapters of the Low Country Tales!
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love Dorothea Benton Frank's stories and writing style. I have jumped around in this series and now I'm reading the rest in order. My first journey with DBF was because I liked the cover at the library one day and I was hooked from there. I'm in love with beach books and this one goes through the fall and winter seasons. so it was perfect for this time of year. On to the next in the series.
Chris Porter
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I thought I might be walking into a love story, but instead got a well rounded story of living, remembering and accepting your past. A tale of being able to live with your past so you can make your present fuller.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Lowcountry SC setting, speaks Gullah [s] 4 60 Jun 15, 2009 04:56PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Lowcountry Tales (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Plantation (Lowcountry Tales, #2)
  • Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales, #3)
  • 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)
  • The Hurricane Sisters
  • All the Single Ladies
  • Same Beach, Next Year
“The first indication of menopause is a broken thermostat. It's either that or your weight. In any case, if you don't do something, you could be dead by August.

God, middle age is an unending insult.”
“The people you love never leave you ...” 5 likes
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