UP ISLAND by Anne Rivers Siddons


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 Siddons has her formula down to a science (Fault Lines, 1995, etc.), as this latest once again demonstrates. Molly Bell Redwine is a woman who's never had a chance to discover herself. As a child, she lived under the shadow of her glamorous mother. As a young adult, she met and married Tee, a Coca-Cola executive who fathered her two children, Teddy and Caroline, and kept her comfortable in the manner to which she'd become accustomed. When Tee announces out of the blue that he's met a younger woman, a Coke attorney, and wants a divorce, and Molly's mother up and dies without any notice, Molly's stable if painfully dull Atlanta existence is thrown into disarray. On the advice of her transplanted northern friend Liv, she heads to Liv's house in Martha's Vineyard for the rest of the summer, and to everyone's surprise decides to stay once Liv heads back south at the end of the season. On the island, Molly finds herself in an unusual position as house-sitter, nurse, and friend to two elderly, ill women, and as part-time caretaker to one of the women's sons, who's suffering from cancer and has recently had his leg amputated. On top of it all, Molly's depressed, mourning father joins her, hoping to find solace in this place where he and his daughter are anonymous. But as is often the case--at least in a good Siddons novel--alone doesn't last for long, and love comes when it's least expected. What has seemed at first an unbearable burden transforms Molly in ways she couldn't have imagined. Far-fetched but oddly compelling, this beaten-down housewife's journey to self-reliance and happiness has surprising quirks, lively characters, and actual feeling. (First printing of 250,000; Literary Guild selection; $200,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-06-017615-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1997


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