Summary and book reviews of Low Country by Anne River Siddons

Low Country

A Novel

by Anne River Siddons

Low Country
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 1998, 290 pages
    Paperback:
    May 1999, 480 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A story of personal renewal and transformation - one woman's proper Old South upbringing and expectations colliding with the new South's runaway prosperity.

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.



I think I'll go over to the island for a few days," I said to my husband at breakfast, and then, when he did not respond, I said, "The light's beautiful. It can't last. I hate to waste it. We won't get this pure gold again until this time next year."

Clay smiled, but he did not put down his newspaper, and he did not speak. The smile made my stomach dip and rise again, as it has for the past twenty-five years. Clay's smile is wonderful, slow and unstinting and a bit crooked, and gains much of its power from the surrounding austerity of his sharp, thin face. Over the years I have seen it disarm a legion of people, from two-year-olds in mid-tantrum to Arab sheiks in same. Even though I knew that this smile was little more than a twitch, and with no more perception behind it, I felt my own mouth smiling back. I wondered, as I often do, how he could do that, smile as though you had absolutely delighted him when he had not heard a word you said.


"There is a rabid ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Plot Summary

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 the young, eager talent that her husband, Clay, imports to their corner of South Carolina to work for the family company, a vastly-successful land-development conglomerate, Peacock Island Plantation. But ever since her ten-year-old daughter, Kylie, drowned in the nearby ocean, Caro hasn't been able to fully cope with her hostess role, and she hasn't been able to stop drinking. ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Library Journal

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.

Publishers Weekly

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.

Kirkus Reviews

A delicate, compelling tale, full of real feeling and lush description. A treat for Siddons fans.

Reader Reviews

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 Rivers ...   Read More

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 it had been ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Low Country, try these:

  • Down River jacket

    Down River

    by John Hart

    Published 2008

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    After being narrowly acquitted of a murder charge, Adam Chase is hounded out of the only home he’s ever known, exiled for a sin he did not commit. For five long years he disappears. Now he’s back and nobody knows why, not his family or the cops, not the enemies he left behind.

  • The Mermaid Chair jacket

    The Mermaid Chair

    by Sue Monk Kidd

    Published 2006

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Few writers have explored, as Kidd does, the lush, unknown region of the feminine soul where the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic exists.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...
  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secret Language of Stones
    by M. J. Rose

    "A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss and intrigue."
    – Melanie Benjamin

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!