I was a bit skeptical when starting this book. I am an ardent ARS fan but have been disappointed in her last 2 or 3 books. When I first started this book, I thought it would be another book similar to her book "Colony". There are similarities, but this book turned out very different. I loved the beautiful, detailed descriptions of the land and cottage, first love, the magic of childhood, Christmas. ARS's descriptions sent me there with Lilly. This book had so much going on, and the last 10 pages or so, there seemed to be a surprise on every page, with a total shock at the end. Some people may not like the surprises and shocking end, but I loved it. Bittersweet ending-have a box of Kleenex handy if you are a sap like me! :o) IMO this book is more like the way Siddons used to write. I absolutely loved this book and gobbled it up. Definite keeper for me.
I love Ann Rivers Siddons! Her books always, always, have an emotional hook that you never know is coming - until it hits you, and then you will have to catch your breath afterward. Even then, you will be so engrossed in the story you will have to go on, and you never know when another emotional hook will grab you again. If you have not read her books, you are missing out on one of the best authors ever.
This book is about Lilly and going through her life journey with her from 11 until death. It is a hard read to get into at first, and until page 80 or so it's a struggle, at least for me, to really feel out the characters.
Some you really never do.
Lilly lost her first love, Jon, when she was 11 due to his drastic suicide when he found out through a girl jealous of Lilly and Jon's relationship what Jon's father had hid from him all these years, he was part Jewish decent, which back in those times just a few years after WWII was I guess, reason for suicide.
You move with Lilly into the death of her mother from breast cancer, and through her marriage with Cam, which you come to find out something wretched about him, though not directly stated, was fairly obvious that he was guilty of the ultimate crime a spouse could commit against the other.
The character I fell in love with the most was Kitty, someone Cam had grown up with and grew to be Lilly's best friend after her and Cam were married. She's independent, wild, and plays by her own rules which this book severely lacked in other places, save for Lilly's mother.
If you enjoy a read blue-blooded society around the era of JFK, and a little before you'll get into this book, however, I just found it sort of an offbeat VC Andrews type read without the your husband is really your first cousin or brother type of feel to it.
This book was not what the back cover described - the very end, very little of the book was. The "secrets" were not elaborated on and were disappointing. I did not like the end either. The story was good until the last bit.
Not my favorite Anne Rivers Siddons, probably because it's set in Maine, not South Carolina. But, as usual, her descriptive passages are lovely-she has a way of talking about the light in particular and nature in general that I always enjoy. This novel spends a great deal of time on the "growing-up" of the main characters, instead of using the events of their adult lives to move the dramatic action along and I guess I missed the adult dialogue that is usually the focus of her stories. It was a good read and I'd recommend it for any ARS fan, but I'm going back to re-read some of the SC books and maybe a Pat Conroy or two!
Anne Rivers Siddons has been one of my favorite authors for many years, and this lastest book did not disappoint. I have to say that it took me awhile to get into the characters and the story, but once I did, I had a hard time putting it down. As a cat lover, I absolutely adored Silas! Another great read by Ms. Siddons.
I will be passing this book along to a couple of friends befor posting it. This is the type of book that book clubs were made for! I can just hear the discussions!The worst part was finishing the book. I did shed a tear quietly. My husband tends to look at me strange when I'm reading and crying!
Anne Rivers Siddons is one of my favorite authors of all time and this book doesn't disappoint. As with most of her books this is set primarily in Maine. The story weaves back and forth from present day to the past and is totally enthralling. If you like her other books you will also be a fan of Off Season.
Anne River Siddons is one of my favorite authors because, though she's written well over a dozen books (and I've read them all), she doesn't fall into a writing formula. Each book is different. The locations range up and down the eastern seaboard, take place in different time spans and have varying character relationships. I love them all.
This was the first work I've read of Siddons & I just could NOT get into it! I didn't even make through 10 chapters. I even back tracked, hoping I'd missed something.
Her books always have good ratings/reviews, but I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I'll try another one of her books.
I rated this book really liked because for most of it, I did. It had been a long time since I had read an Anne Rivers Siddons book but this one looked interesting - must have been because I read it mostly in one sitting today. However, as much as I like the imagery and characters of the story, I thought she was tired of it before she finished it and pushed the ending closed too fast. It sunk into the same old plot of girl loses childhood sweetheart, mother dies of breast cancer and at the end of his life, girl - now grown woman - finds out that the "love" of her life cheated on her with a rival from the past. Or maybe I was just pissed that I paid for the book instead of getting it on the swap and in the end - the ending was predicatable.
One woman's life and the loves that shaped her -- her mother, her first love, and her husband's love, in Virginia and coastal Maine where she grew up in the 1960's. The characters are vibrant, three-dimensional characters and the writing is beautiful. The ending is unexpected but fitting.