Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Publisher/Format: Hachette Audio approx 9 hrs
Year of publication: 2011
Subject: Love lost and found
Setting:North Carolina mountains, Atlanta and environs
Genre: southern fiction
Source: Hachette Audio
Anne Rivers Siddons is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is some of the best in southern fiction today. Audio is one of my favorite formats for fiction, so when Hachette Audio offered me the chance to review this one in audio, I jumped at it.
The story took a while to develop. Reminiscent of some of her others, and of Pat Conroy's southern angst, Siddons defines her characters by their relationships to family, and by their adherence to that ancient Southern code of manners, high society, and propriety. We see our protagonist, Thayer Wentworth, as she struggles with tom-boy-ism to thwart her mother's attempts to turn her into the Southern Belle she (mom) never had the chance to be. And although it took awhile to get going, along the way we watch as Thayer finds her first love at summer camp, is betrayed by people she trusts, endures loneliness upon leaving home, and ultimately finds love in the arms of a charming Irishman.
Now here's the only part I personally had trouble with. If you're into Irish mythology and poetry, you will love this book. If dark handsome studs wallowing in magic spells is your cuppa tea, you will love this book. The rest of us have to suspend our disbelief a bit and continue on. In the end, Siddons gives us an exceptionally well-written character study with an ending that had two different paths she could have taken. Some will like the way it ends, others I'm sure would have preferred the second option. Either way, it's a good solid romance that will add to the author's stature.
Kate Reading does an outstanding job narrating. Hachette has another winner on its hands.
Thanks to Mitch at Hachette for the chance to review it.