SULLIVANS ISLAND REVISITED takes place on the island of that name‚ in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and is focused on the next generation of Hamiltons and Hayes who are now in various stages of coming of age. The protagonist‚ Beth Hayes has just graduated from college in Boston. Her mother‚ Susan is leaving for Paris for one year to be the writer in residence for the American University there. Her Aunt Maggie‚ Uncle Grant and Simon‚ Beth's step father are all relocating to southern California for a period of time to work on a medical research project. Who's going to watch the house‚ the family's most important possession - the Island Gamble - which none of the older members of the family would entrust to anyone who was not of their blood?
Beth is elected and has to defer her scholarship to Iowa's writing program. Beth is pissed off in purple‚ plaid‚ paisley and lavender but manages only small outbursts instead of full blown hysteria over this because she wants her mother to live her dream.
The story opens with Beth's arrival and a weekend house party to bid Susan bon voyage. The entire family gathers from all over the country and we get to see them again‚ ten years later. They are the classic sprawling Irish Catholic family‚ good natured‚ loyal and likable. Other characters of note are Livvie Singleton's granddaughter‚ Cecily Singleton‚ whose connection to the Gullah culture brings out the ghosts in the house as well as a lot of solid advice to liberate Beth from the various pickles in which she finds herself all year long‚ Max Mitchell the architect who swindles her out of her trust account and nearly causes her to lose the house‚ her Aunt Sophie‚ who disappears‚ Woody Simmons who helps her solve that mystery and her Uncle Henry who saves the day. Throughout this fast paced year‚ Beth learns what it really means to grow up‚ to fall in love and have your heart broken and to be truly responsible.