ABOUT THE BOOK:
Newly graduated from college and an aspiring writer, Beth Hayes craves independence and has a world to conquer. But her notions of travel, graduate study, and writing the great American novel will have to be postponed. With her mother, Susan, leaving to fulfill her own dreams in Paris and her Aunt Maggie, Uncle Grant, and stepfather, Simon, moving to California, Beth is elected by her elders to house-sit the Island Gamble. Surrounded by the shimmering blue waters of the Atlantic, the white clapboards, silver tin roof, and confessional porch have seen and heard the stories of generations of Hamiltons. But will the ghosts of the Island Gamble be watching over Beth?
Buoyed by sentimental memories of growing up on this tiny sandbar that seems to be untouched by time, Beth vows to give herself over to the Lowcountry force and discover the wisdom it holds. She will rest, rejuvenate, and then reenter the outside world. Just as she vows she will never give into the delusional world of white picket fences, minivans, and eternal love, she meets Max Mitchell. And all her convictions and plans begin to unravel with lightning speed.
There is so much about life and her family's past that she does not know. Her ignorance and naiveté nearly cost her both her inheritance and her family's respect. But Beth finds unexpected friends to help her through the disaster she faces: her wise and charming Aunt Sophie; Cecily Singleton, the granddaughter of Livvie Singleton; and Woody Morrison, the solid young investment banker.
This wonderful ensemble of characters could be your own family, but watch what unfolds as they succumb to the island's spell. If everything happens for a reason, then Beth's return to Sullivans Island teaches her that betrayal and tragedy are most easily handled when you surround yourself with loyal family and friends in a magical place that loves you so much that it wants to claim you as its own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dorothea Benton Frank is the New York Times bestselling author of Bulls Island (William Morrow, 2008), The Christmas Pearl (William Morrow 2007), The Land of Mango Sunsets (William Morrow 2007), Full of Grace (William Morrow 2006), Pawleys Island (Berkley 2005), Shem Creek (Berkley 2004), Isle of Palms (Berkley 2003), Plantation (Jove 2001), and Sullivan's Island (Jove 2000). Her newest book, Return to Sullivans Island, will be released by William Morrow June 30, 2009.
Ms. Frank has appeared on NBC's Today show, Parker Ladd's Book Talk, and many local network-affiliated television stations. She is a frequent speaker on creative writing and the creative process for students of all ages and in private venues, such as the National Arts Club, the Junior League of New York, Friends of the Library, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She has also been a guest speaker at the South Carolina Book Festival; Novello, North Carolina's Festival of Books; and the Book and Author annual event in Charleston, South Carolina, sponsored by the Post & Courier.
Before she began her writing career, Ms. Frank was involved extensively in the arts and education, and in raising awareness and funding for various nonprofits in New Jersey and New York. At the present time she serves on the boards of The South Carolina Historical Society and The South Carolina Coastal Conservation League.
The author, who was born and raised on Sullivan's Island in South Carolina, currently divides her time between New Jersey and South Carolina.
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