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Return To Sullivan's Island    by Dorothea Benton Frank order for
Return To Sullivan's Island
by Dorothea Benton Frank
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Beth Hayes is returning to her family home, Island Gamble, on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. At twenty-four and just having graduated, Beth has dreams of traveling and writing a novel. Her plans are put aside however, as her mother Susan has asked Beth to return home and house sit for one year after she accepts a teaching position in Paris. Beth feels some apprehension about returning to the small island and slower pace of life.

Beth has many good memories of her childhood, growing up with a houseful of cousins and aunts and uncles. They always joked and insisted Island Gamble was haunted by the spirit of Livvie Singleton, a Gullah woman who worked for them for generations. They claimed rooms grew cold, furniture moved, doors slammed, and mirrors fogged over with visions of the woman who tended to their every need. Now Livvie's granddaughter Cecily has stepped in to carry on the tradition.

Accepting a job at Island Eye News, Beth is asked to write an article on the demolition of an old island establishment, Bert's Bar. The locals are upset to see progress take over the island and do not want a new strip mall in place of the bar. Max Mitchell, the architect and builder, is attracted to Beth when she interviews him. He seems pleased to learn that her family is from old money. Seduced by his charm, Beth falls for this handsome newcomer to the island, even though back at Island Gamble, Livvie is trying to tell her something.

Against her mother's advice and her own better judgment, Beth decides to help Max out and invest in his new project. It doesn't take long for Max to show his true colors and for Beth to learn just how naive she really is. With her inheritance at stake, and the respect of her family, Beth learns who she can count on in times of trouble. Her family members, good friend Cecily, and her investment banker and friend Woody all come to the rescue.

Return To Sullivan's Island is a story of family, friends, and the bonds that tie us together. Returning home can be an amazing life lesson. This is another great read from Dorothea Benton Frank. Enjoy.

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