Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Book Review: Sullivan's Island
Sullivan's Island is set (clearly) in the low country of South Carolina. Susan Hamilton Hayes has a wayward husband, a teenage daughter, and a family history of abuse, suffering, and unmatched love. The story alternates between 1999 and 1963. In 1999 Susan lives historic Charleston, is in the sticky process of divorcing her husband, learning to date again, navigating single parenthood of a teenager, and investigating her father's death. In 1963, Susan is a 13-year-old living on Sullivan's Island with an abusive father, a mother with too many children, and a new housekeeper, Livvie, who makes all the difference in the lives of the Hamilton children.
I loved everything about this book. Susan is as real as a character can get--famously flawed and on a search to find out who she really wants to be. The characters are funny and engaging. The scenery is gorgeous, and if you've ever visited the low country, you can easily find yourself back there in the pages of this book (and yes, it helped that I was in the low country when I read it, but still!). Dorothea Benton Frank won a convert in this story. I really loved it!