I like the setting of the story. I am from SC and know first hand the magic and beauty of the low country, Charleston/Sullivan's Island area. The author is witty and talented but the characters are flat and dull. I just didn't ever care what happened to them. They seem unreal and the drama in their lives seems somewhat histrionic like they make a bigger deal out of stuff than it really is and that really bothers me. Pat Conroy's review says the book has the funniest sex scene he's ever read and I do agree with that! It is hilarious! but overall I am not a fan of the book.
Frank's debut novel is a story of redemption set in South Carolina's steamy low country. Susan Hamilton Hayes's comfortable Charleston existence is shattered when she finds her husband in bed with another woman. Faced with a failed marriage, a confused teenage daughter and a mediocre job, she sets about the business of healing. Slowly, supported by visits to her sister in their childhood home on sleepy Sullivan's Island, Susan becomes a successful newspaper columnist, regains her confidence as a woman (despite a hilariously deflating date) and finally explores the death of her complex, abusive father decades before. Chapters alternate between the present and 1963, the year her father died, as Susan faces both the strength and the damaging effects of her family legacy. The ending - complete with a perfect suitor reemerging from Susan's youth - is almost too picture perfect to ring true but both 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.
This is a well-told story of a woman who grew up on Sullivan's Island, S.C. in the 60s, and who reviews her past in the course of coming to terms with her divorce from her unfaithful husband and with her relationship with her teenage daughter and her supportive (but almost perfect) sister. It is the first novel by Dorothea Benton Frank I have read, and I plan to read others. I especially like the humor, the sassiness, and the humanity.
Good reading. A great story.
This is a great book! It's about a disfunctional catholic family growing up in South Carolina in 1963 and their lives (2 sisters' in particular)today. Very Funny! Easy Read - couldn't put it down.