Book Review: Return to Sullivans Island by Dorothea Benton Frank

Title: Return to Sullivans Island: A Novel

Author: Dorothea Benton Frank

Publication Date: 2009

Book Description (from

Beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank returns to the enchanted landscape of South Carolina’s Lowcountry to tell the story of the next generation of Hamiltons and Hayeses.

Newly graduated from college, Beth Hayes must put all her grand ambitions on hold when the family elders elect her to house-sit the Island Gamble, ghosts and all. Instead of conquering new worlds, Beth will rest and rejuvenate while basking in memory and the magic of white clapboards and shimmering blue waters. But there is much about life and her family’s past that she does not yet understand—and her simple plans begin unraveling with the intrusion of developer Max Mitchell. Still, everything here happens for a reason—and disappointment, betrayal, even tragedy are more easily handled when surrounded by loving family and loyal friends.

The same afternoon that I wrote my book review of Sullivan’s Island by Dorothea Benton Frank, my copy of Return to Sullivan’s Island became available at the library. I stopped on the way home and picked it up so I could start reading it the next day. Boy was I glad I picked up that book!

I loved Beth Hayes’ character in the first book, and I loved her even more in this one. In this book Beth had just graduated from college and was picked to “babysit” the family house on Sullivan’s Island for a year while her mother went to teach in Paris and her aunt and uncle, who usually live in the house, where in California for a year. As you can imagine, as a 23 year old recent college graduate she was NOT happy about putting her life on hold to watch the family’s haunted house on her own for a year. Her character for naive and grown up all at the same time. I connected with the character a lot in this book. I knew that if I had been put in that situation that I’d feel the same. Happy that I was helping my mother live out her dreams, but irritated that this decision to put my life on hold was just MADE for me.

During her time on Sullivan’s Island Beth became friends with Cecily who was the grand daughter of Livvie, the housekeeper her mother’s family had when she was growing up. It was so interesting to see the difference between the relationship Beth and Cecily had versus the one her mother and Livvie had. It is amazing what a different 40+ years makes on an interracial friendship.

There was love stories, there were haunts, there was family drama, and there was death. It had everything you could want in a weekend read. I’m in love with these books and can’t wait to read all the rest of them!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.