Cover image for Islands
Title:
Islands
Author:
Siddons, Anne Rivers.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Abridged.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper Audio, [2004]

℗2004
Physical Description:
5 audio discs (6 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780060554583
UPC:
9780060554583
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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Summary

Summary

Anne Rivers Siddons's insightful and deeply felt narrative takes us back into the place she knows best -- Carolina's Low Country.

Anny Butler is a caretaker, a nurturer, first for her own brothers and sisters, and then as a director of an agency devoted to the welfare of children. What she has never had is a real family. That changed when she met Lewis Aiken, an exuberant surgeon fifteen years older than Anny. When they marry, she finds her family. Not a traditional one, but a group of Charleston childhood friends who are inseparable, who are one another's surrogate family. They are called the Scrubs.

Instantly upon meeting them at the old beach house on Sullivans Island, which they co-own, Anny knows that she has found home and family.

Bad things begin to happen, but still the remaining Scrubs cling together, watched over and bolstered by Camilla Curry, the heart and core of their group. It is the first time Anny has felt this kind of love and support. But Anny must learn that everything is not as it seems, that some loves carry a secret and terrible price.


Summary

New from New York Times bestselling author Anne Rivers Siddons comes the story of a group of women who find a surrogate family in each other - bound by love and support, even in the face of terrible secrets.


Author Notes

Novelist Anne Rivers Siddons was born in Fairburn, Georgia in 1936. She studied at Auburn University in Alabama and Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.

Siddons was an editor and columnist for the Auburn Plainsman, senior editor for Atlanta magazine and worked in advertising.

Her treatment of the South in her novels often earns comparisons to Margaret Mitchell. One of her books, Peachtree Road, won her Georgia author of the year honors (1988). Her novels include: Sweetwater Creek, Off Season and Burnt Mountain. In 2014 her title, The Girls of August, made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Middle-aged readers especially will warm to Siddons's 15th novel, in which a group of old friends play together, age together and endure the vicissitudes of fate. Returning to the Carolina low country where she is most at home, Siddons explores the mystique of an elite social strata whose members are held together by bloodlines, loyalty and tradition, and by the love of their city, Charleston, and the offshore islands-Edisto and Sullivan's-where they spend their leisure time. Newcomer Anny Butler, the director of a Charleston philanthropic social services agency, is accepted into the close-knit group, who call themselves the Scrubs, when she marries surgeon Lewis Aiken. Thereafter, the novel records the idyllic lives of beautiful people who have wealth, intelligence, breeding and a passion for hunting dogs. Siddons dwells lovingly on details of landscape and atmosphere, flora and fauna, home decoration, and food specialties and the bistros where they are served. Everything is picturesque to the nth degree, somewhat like a Thomas Kincaid painting. Relentlessly chirpy dialogue moves the plot along, while various illnesses and accidents take their toll on once happy couples. Lush overwriting sets the tone: one character "shone like a beacon in the great gilded room, and people flocked around her as if to a fire"; later, she is perceived as "thrumming with a kind of palpable radiance... you could almost see the dancing particles of light around her." When Siddons shows that nothing is what it seems, the revelation is almost inevitable. Yet she cannot be surpassed in evoking a kind of life peculiar to the South, with its emphasis on grace, good manners and stoic endurance. Her fans will find Siddons's narrative charisma intact and blooming. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Booklist Review

Siddons is the best-selling author of 14 novels, and her work is often lauded as moving and powerful. How about smarmy and lame? How else to describe her latest, set in the Carolina Low Country. Head of an agency devoted to helping handicapped children, Anny Butler, long resigned to being single, meets Lewis Aiken when she brings one of her clients to the free clinic he operates. A longtime womanizer with a notorious reputation, Lewis is instantly reformed upon meeting Anny, sweeps her off her feet, and immediately introduces her to his stalwart inner circle, dubbed the Scrubs. Although they profess disdain for the avarice and materialism of contemporary culture, they are forever putting away cases of high-end champagne, in between dining on goose and caviar, all of which is consumed in any number of fabulous homes. Let's see, there's the ocean-front beach house, the country manor, and the perfectly decorated in-town residence. Nonetheless, Anny considers herself a world-class bohemian because she is given to riding motorcycles (meticulously restored, of course) while bellowing, Aiyee, which is what a few readers might yell about halfway through this novel. However, many other readers, including Siddons' legion of fans, will no doubt find her trademark mixture of high-mindedness and rampant consumerism a powerful draw. --Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2003 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Siddons's latest (after Nora, Nora) is steeped in the Carolina Low Country atmosphere for which she's famous: ocean breezes, marshes, pluff mud, and alligators. When Charleston protagonist Anny Butler marries Dr. Lewis Aiken, she becomes a member of the "Scrubs," a longtime group of friends who all have medical connections. For years, they share their free time together at a communal beach house. Then misfortune begins to plague the group, resulting in three deaths. When the story gets top-heavy with disaster, into it roars an unlikely but intriguing new character. Gaynelle Toomer, a Harley-riding, freckle-faced, enormous-breasted librarian, is hired to do odd jobs for the Scrubs. She and her seven-year-old daughter, Britney, a beauty pageant contestant regular, become constant companions to Anny's frail friend, Camilla. Camilla, the stabilizing force of this group, turns out to be not at all what she appears, making the story's end a shocker. This book is a pleasure to read and a required purchase for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/03.]-Carol J. Bissett, Dittlinger Memorial Lib., New Braunfels, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Islands Chapter One I met Lewis Aiken when I was thirty-five and resigned to the fact that I would not marry for love, only, perhaps, for convenience, and he was fifty and had long been married, until fairly recently, for no reason other than love. For a long time after our relationship began, I thought we had turned ourselves about; that I was the one who loved, clumsily and foolishly, with the passion of one who has never really felt passion before, and Lewis was the one who found in me comfort and convenience. By that time I did not care. He could name the terms. I would be whatever he wanted and needed me to be. We met on an afternoon in April, humid and punishing as spring can often be in the Carolina Low Country, when the air felt like thick, wet steam and the smell of the pluff mud from the marshes around Charleston stung in nostrils and permeated clothes and hair. I was bringing a frightened, clubfooted child to the free clinic Lewis operated on Saturdays, and we were running late. My old Toyota was coughing and gagging in the heat, and I had turned off the air conditioner to spare its strength, and was running sweat. In the backseat, buckled into her car seat, the child howled steadily and dismally. I did not blame her. I wanted to howl myself. Her feckless mother had dropped her off in my office the afternoon before and faded away for the second time running, leaving me to scramble around for a place for her daughter to spend Friday night and then pick her up the next day and take her to the clinic myself. Back in my office the paperwork that was the effluvia of desperate need mounted steadily. "Sweetie, please stop crying," I said desperately, over my shoulder. "We're going to see the nice man who's going to help get your foot fixed, and then you can run around and jump and ... oh, play soccer." I had no idea what movement would tempt a five-year-old, but it obviously was not soccer. The howls mounted. I pulled into the lot next to the beautiful old house on Rutledge Avenue that housed Dr. Lewis Aiken's Low Country Pediatric Orthopedic Clinic. I knew that Dr. Aiken had long done free diagnostic and referral work with handicapped -- physically challenged, I could not keep up -- children from all around the region. He was regarded in my agency as one of the city's greatest child resources, one of our constant angels. The agency I managed was a part federally, part privately funded sort of clearinghouse for services for needy children and adolescents, and by that time I knew where all the angels were located. I had come to work at the agency just out of the College of Charleston when I was twenty-two, when my duties consisted of manning telephones and running out for emergency meals and diapers for our clients, and somehow had never left. I was head now, and my duties were more often those of an administrator and fund-raiser and public relations director, but I had not lost my primary passion for the children we served; indeed, I had come to think that that was where all my scant supply of passion went. I had not yet met Dr. Aiken or many of our other care providers, though I knew all their office people on the phone. My small staff of cynically idealistic young men and women did most of the hands-on work now. But it was Saturday, and when the child's silly mother did not appear at the foster home that had taken in her daughter, the foster parents called me and I had no recourse but to go. Oh, well, I had no plans except the stack of books that had been piling up beside my bed and maybe a Sunday-afternoon movie with Marcy, my deputy. Marcy and I spent some time together on weekends, not so much out of deep friendship, but more out of simple expediency. We liked each other, and it was nice to have someone else to go places with, but we came nowhere near being best friends, and certainly not the settled lesbian couple that I knew some of the junior staff thought us to be. Marcy had a sometimes-boyfriend in Columbia who came over every third weekend, whom she assumed, rather lackadaisically, I thought, that she would eventually marry. I had some men friends, all from the ranks of the vast medical complex that bloomed like kudzu in the center of Charleston, though none were doctors. I seemed to attract the administrator type. My mother could have told me so, and had: I could hear her voice as I struggled with the straps of the wriggling child's car seat: "If you don't fix yourself up some and get your nose out of those books, no interesting kind of man will have you. You don't know anything about anything but wiping noses and doing wash. How sexy do you think that is?" And whose fault is that? I would think, but it would have been futile to say it aloud. She was usually drunk when she started in on me -- she was usually drunk, period -- and would not have remembered. I could never quite fathom what kind of man my mother thought was interesting; it seemed to me that all of them filled the bill. She'd certainly had a diverse stable. By the time alcohol became her constant lover, I was regularly taking care of my two younger sisters and brother, and overseeing housework and meals, too. Oddly enough, I rather liked it. It made me feel important, needed, and I had a talent for nurturing that was perhaps my strongest gift. And I did and do love my sisters and brother. My mother has been dead for many years now. "Okay, toots, here we go," I said to little white-blond Shawna Sperry, who was mucus streaked and fretful but had stopped crying ... Islands . Copyright © by Anne Rivers Siddons. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Islands by Anne Rivers Siddons All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.