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Low Country
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About the Author

Anne Rivers Siddons's bestselling novels include Nora, Nora; Sweetwater Creek; Islands; and Fox's Earth. She is also the author of the nonfiction work John Chancellor Makes Me Cry. She and her husband divide their time between Charleston, South Carolina, and Brooklin, Maine.

Reviews

A Siddons heroine of a familiar stripe, Caroline Aubrey Venable battles adversity and despair to save her South Carolina island in a somewhat unwieldy novel that again shows us a woman maturing under pressure. The death of her daughter five years earlier still shadows Caroline's life, and her occasional overindulgence in alcohol is something neither she nor her husband of 25 years will discussÄso long as Caroline continues dutifully to play "mother superior" to the junior partners of her husband Clay's land-developing empire. When rumor comes to light that Clay's company plans to turn their low country home into a theme parkÄthreatening the wild ponies that Caroline loves, not to mention the Gullahs who have lived there for centuriesÄCaroline is roused from her stupor. The leisurely pace and evocative atmospheric background of Siddons's fiction are in evidence here, and the confiding tone of this first-person narrative of betrayal and redemption offers few surprises. Some readers, however, may find Caroline annoyingly self-absorbed; may question why she doesn't object more strenuously when Luis CassellsÄone of the islandersÄcharacterizes Clay as "Mengele"; may find Siddons's depiction of Luis as a Cuban-Jewish Don Quixote improbable; may take umbrage at Caroline's patronization of the Gullahs; and may agree that the climax, while surprising, makes for a pat denouement. $250,000 ad/promo; U.K. rights to Little, Brown; first serial and dramatic rights: Virginia Barber; audio rights: HarperAudio; translation rights: HarperCollins; author tour. (July)

Fans will find some familiar elements here: a sympathetic Southern heroine, an unlikely love interest, and a South Carolina low country setting fragrant with salt air. Caro Venable is a captivating mix of beauty queen, drunk, artist, dutiful corporate wife, and mother still grieving her daughter's drowning. Her love of Peacock's Island clashes with her developer husband's plans to subdivide her grandfather's land and turn its native tribal settlement into a "theme park." Caro is also tempted by a wild, rebellious Cuban botanist who shares her love for the unspoiled island. The novel ends with a circle of completeness: a corrupt husband returning to his decent self, a wife returning to her husband's love, an orphaned child filling the void left by a girl's death, and the island saved from development. Readers of Siddons's other books (Up Island, HarperCollins, 1997) will not be disappointed. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/98.]‘Carol J. Bissett, Dittlinger Memorial Lib., New Braunfels, TX

"A SKILLFUL STORYTELLER. . . .

Siddons does what she does best and delivers king-sized conflict in hypnotic surroundings".-- ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

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