Saturday, April 18, 2009

Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank

From the dust jacket: Anna Lutz Abbot thinks she has her independence, and therefore her happiness, intact. She is a capable woman, a sensible woman, not someone given to risky living.

This all seems to be true enough until her lovely daughter returns from college for the summer a very different person, her wild and wonderful ex-husband arrives, and her flamboyant new best friend takes up with her daddy, turning a hot summer into a steaming one—only to be cranked up another ten degrees by Anna's own fling with Arthur, who is, heaven help us, a Yankee. All the action unfolds under the watchful eyes of Miss Mavis and Miss Angel, her next-door neighbors of a certain age, who have plenty to say about Anna's past, present, and future.

I love Lowcountry books - my home is beautiful and to read about it makes me happy. But the setting wasn't enough to make me like this book. After the Ya-Ya's and Steel Magnolias, all these other books that have come to print with eccentric Southern women just seemed forced and don't ring true. I am able to suspend reality and enjoy a good story (think Twilight!) but this was a bit much. One or two of these over the top characters may have been manageable but for almost every person to be odd was exhausting.

And I won't give away any details but the way she chose to wrap up a major story line within the span of a few pages with everyone living happily ever after was just wrong. It felt like she just ran out of steam to actually finish working out that part of the drama and just threw in the towel with an "Okay, so everything is alright now!".

I had three possible books to get my "I" finished for the A-Z Reading challenge - Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and this one, Isle of Palms. I chose what I thought would be the light hearted easy book because I was ready for a fluffy read but even with those low expectations going in, this book was not satisfying.

This book is my "I" for the A-Z Reading Challenge! Click on the logo to see my progress.

This is one of the books on my list for the Spring Reading Thing 2009. Click on the logo to see the rest of my list.

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