ISLE OF PALMS by Dorothea Benton Frank


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Hardcover debut about a hairdresser who hears more juicy confessions than a priest.

Divorced single mom Anna Lutz Abbot can retouch roots and soothe a troubled soul si-mul-taneously, and, honey, she’s been doin’ it for more than twenty years. Not that she doesn’t have a few secrets of her own, and they are every bit as juicy, Lucy. That would be the hussified Lucy who’s trying to get up close and personal with Anna’s daddy. Well, her mama died of a heart attack when Anna was a young girl, and her daddy must be feeling lonely since she moved out of his place and bought herself a little beach house in her personal paradise, a Gullah-speaking island off the North Carolina coast. Crotchety Miss Mavis, her elderly neighbor on the island, has a few things to say about that, but she mostly confides in Miss Angel, her tart-tongued, Gullah-speaking companion of many years. Anyway—oh, Anna’s mind does wander—really interesting secrets have a way of coming to light, and she can’t just talk about nothing for the entire book, can she? Her teenage daughter Emily is coming home from college with facial piercings, a bad dye job, and a nasty attitude. What if the child finally figures out that her supposed daddy is not only gay but also not her biological father? Should Anna tell Emily that she is the result of a rape? Hell and damnation, she just found out that her long-ago rapist is coming to the Isle of Palms in person! To sell motorboats to snowbirds and Yankees! Speaking of Yankees, Anna just met a sexy one: Arthur, a Harrison Ford type from Connecticut. Oh, Lawd, Anna’s just going to have to sit on the porch and guzzle sweet tea and talk some more. And she’s not the only one in this plot crowded with problems.

Good-natured, just-us-girls babblefest.

Pub Date: June 24th, 2003
ISBN: 0-425-19136-2
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2003


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