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The most recent novel by Anne River Siddons is The Girls of August. Girlfriends get together that happens once a year for a great time had by all. What could go wrong? Let’s visit Tiger Island and find out. Synopsis: Maddy is making preparations to meet her friends. They have known one another for years. There is just one change to this year’s get together. A new woman comes to the group, a new wife. These women know each other’s from in the past. Their husbands did their residencies together in the same hospital. The couples had remained friends over the years. So each August the ladies would get away to various locations for one week. The change this year is one of the doctors has married again after his wife died in a car accident. The new wife Baby is the baby of the group. She is younger by twenty years than the other women. How could she possibly get along with the others? So they make their journey to Tiger Island where Baby owns a beach house. What other troubles could possibly follow these other ladies to the island? My Thoughts: I liked this novel. I am not a huge fan of Anne River Siddons. This novel appealed to me because of course the beach setting. It is entertaining! The characters are well developed with real conflict. The one part of the story that was a disappointment to me was the climax. A huge storm comes to the island and then the story ends. It leaves the reader wondering if they are rescued and what happens next? What how was their conflict resolved? I would have like a little more to the story.
I am a long time fan of this author, and was looking forward to this book in the hopes that it would cleanse my memory of the debacle that was her last novel, Burnt Mountain. I have read many of the negative reviews, and I cant say that I totally disagree with them. The foul language used so frequently in this book seems uncharacteristic of the authors previous work. Two of the characters are not terribly well developed and often portrayed in a negative way- I would have liked more of them. The premise was good and I think this book would have made an excellent first draft. What the book really needed was an epilougue - it needed to not just end. The characters got closer with each other, but as a reader, I would liked to have known a bit more beyond the two seconds after they all reconcile.
Is there a sequel? I was very disappointed with the ending. It was abrupt, leaving so many questions unanswered. This was a different book by this author and definitely not one of her best. It was a quick summer read but a book lacked depth to its characters. I wanted to like/dislike each of the 'girls of August' however there wasn't enough known about who they are to even do that. A few times toward the end the characters were somewhat engaging. Is it worth the price of this book? Definitely not. I do not recommend this book.
I purchased this for my mother-in-law whose book club selected it. She said it was okay but it wasn't a favorite. She is 86 and I expect that based on the review it might have been a bit "much" for her. I have borrowed it to read on an upcoming trip. I have read several reviews and the subject matter seems intriguing. I am hoping it will be worth 5 stars but if not, at least I didn't have to pay for it. PS I have read other books by this author and liked them pretty well, so am hopeful.
First, let me say I LOVE Anne Rivers Siddons books and have read many of them. This one, however, just did not have the same charm and intrigue I usually find in her stories. It was okay, a fine "beach read" - but fell far short of what I expected. I didn't really relate to the characters and found them unbelievable. The story was okay.
I really wanted to love this book. I adore novels about strong women whose friendship has endured. The hateful pettiness of the three main characters, their jealousy and distrust of a young woman obviously trying to be one of their group, was frankly revolting. There was nothing to redeem their mean-spirited attacks on a young woman were painful to read. They were small- minded and vicious and only Baby ended up being generous, mature and gracious.
Anne Siddons sure knows how to tell stories through her female protagonists. I would love to have seen Tiger's Eye - the old beach house was a character as much as the 4 women. Baby's character was a distraction in my opinion, taking the juice away from the life that the other 3 friends had shared for so long. I would have enjoyed it if the Gullahs had been a bigger part of the story too.
I've read every novel by Anne Rivers Siddons over 30+ years. This is the weakest, both in plot, timing and character development. I had trouble relating to the dilemma in this novel and to the characters. Pacing is slow, but still, this is ARS. Loyal readers will on to hear her voice once more.
Prior to this novel. Siddons was one of my favorite authors. I found this book lacking in comparison to her precious works of which I have read fifteen. This book was shallow by comparison: the characters were shallow, the storyline was lackluster, and the brevity of the novel left no opportunity for the in depth delving into the psyche of the characters. There were numerous situations I anticipated going in one direction when the author chose a more facile result for the scene. Overall I was disappointed.
Was so looking forward to this read as I have enjoyed so many other Siddons writings. This did not catch me from the start. It was at times laborious to finish a chapter. Very disappointed. Just me perhaps, but naming a grown character Baby was very irritating. Onto my next read. Grateful I can put this aside.