Caroline Venable has everything her Southern heritage promised: money, prestige, a rich husband--and a predictable routine of country-club luncheons and cocktail parties. Caroline is the chatelaine of a magnificent home, hostess to her husband's wealthy friends and prospective clients, and the official "one-woman welcome wagon" for young, eager talent that her husband, Clay, imports to their corner of South Carolina to work for the family company--a vastly successful land-developing conglomerate.
If Caro drinks a little too much for Clay's liking, he knows the reason why, and he takes comfort in the fact that she can escape to the island in the Lowcountry that her beloved Granddaddy left her. Wild and seemingly timeless, the island is a place of incomparable, breathtaking beauty--and it is the one place where Caroline can lose herself and simply forget.
Roaming the island is a band of wild ponies, whose freedom and spirit have captivated Caro since she was a child. When she learns that her husband must either develop the island or lose the company that he spent his whole life building, she is devastated. The Lowcountry is Caroline's heritage--the one constant she believed would never change. A resort would not only tame (and therefore destroy) the island she loves--but what will happen to the wild ponies?
Spurred to action and inspired with new purpose, Caroline must confront the part of herself that she has numbed with alcohol and careful avoidance, and she must reconsider her priorities--what is important that she would die for it? In fighting to save the island--her island--Caroline draws on an inner strength that forces her to reconsider her role in society, her marriage, and, ultimately, herself.
Low Country is a story of personal renewal and transformation --one woman's proper Old South upbringing and expectations colliding with the new South's runaway prosperity. It is magnificently told, and it is Anne Rivers Siddons at her absolute best.
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.
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 Cassellsone of the islanders characterizes 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.
A delicate, compelling tale, full of real feeling and lush description. A treat for Siddons fans.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Frederick P. Van Winkle
I enjoyed reading Low Country because I have an intimate relationship with the area and can relate to all of the aspects in the book. I, however, found it to be crafted as a collage of segments of all of Pat Conroy's novels. Anne... Read More
Review (not rated)
by Anonymous Maureen Smith Just finished reading Low Country by Anne Rivers Siddons and must comment on how disappointing I found this book to be. I have read all of Miss Siddons books and found them to be most enjoyable but this latest book read like... Read More
Melinda Haynes weaves her characters lives and stories into an unforgettable tapestry of sorrow and salvation that confirms her place as one of our countrys most exciting and consistently brilliant new writers.
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