Customer Reviews for

Islands

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Deeply Satisfying and Revealing of Culture and Character

As a newcomer to the Southeastern U.S. from the Rocky Mountain West, I found Anne Rivers Siddons through her wonderful "Downtown" which gave me a better idea of the complexities that formed this part of the country. From there I explored Hill Town, Outer Banks, Low Coun...
As a newcomer to the Southeastern U.S. from the Rocky Mountain West, I found Anne Rivers Siddons through her wonderful "Downtown" which gave me a better idea of the complexities that formed this part of the country. From there I explored Hill Town, Outer Banks, Low Country and more. I identified strongly with and enjoyed Fault Lines having lived many years on the West Coast. When I read Islands I was hoping to better glimpse the Charleston SC area and direct my home-on-wheels that way if the novel encouraged me. It provided great travelogue but more important it looked deeply into human nature as do all of her wonderful novels. This story is about a woman and also her friends through the years and the changes that take place. It is also a story dealing with major issues: life, death, insanity, compassion, and circumstances related to ethnicity, sex, imagined or not. When a close-knit group forms over the years, one of the members becomes guilty of terrible atrocities and the main character Anny Butler is emotionally wave-tossed in her attempts to figure her life out and understand what is happening to those she loves and loses. I won't share the ending - but it's a great read!

posted by RMJReviews on March 10, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

fantastic

I lived in the Lowcounty for over 10 years in the 80's and Siddons hits it right on the head. After reading this book I miss Charleston even more. We return every year and stay out at Folly Beach. This book is one of the best I have ever read!!!!!

posted by Anonymous on September 2, 2004

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A let down

    I finished this book because the cover said "National Best Seller" and I thought - there has to be a reason this book is a best seller so I'm going to finish it!

    I closed the book when I was finished thinking - nope - there wasn't a reason. People must have bought it for the author's name.

    This is the send Siddons book I've read. I wasn't pleased with the first either. When the story started out in "Islands" I thought it had potential. I was in the world of Charleston and I learned a few things yet never quite felt I was "in" the lives. I liked the idea of the "Scrubs" - of a group of friends who became family and vowed to stay together and take care of each other. But the idea fell short. When the story began to unravel and the reader realizes that this group who seems untouchable and a bit unreal is in fact touchable and very much real - it was a let down. The way their threads unraveled all the more was even more of a let down. (There were several let downs for me in this book - the biggest of all the ending) I read another review where it spoke of little character detail. I agree with this very much. We really never got into the minds of the characters.


    Overall, the book was a struggle to read and a struggle to finish. I was quite disappointed by the "surprise" ending and the way it just popped up. For me, the book was a somber tail of could be friendship with very little substance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2004

    fantastic

    I lived in the Lowcounty for over 10 years in the 80's and Siddons hits it right on the head. After reading this book I miss Charleston even more. We return every year and stay out at Folly Beach. This book is one of the best I have ever read!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    Love all her books but this is my favorite, have retread it seve

    Love all her books but this is my favorite, have retread it several times. Charleston is an awesome place and she brings it and the low country alive in this book. The characters felt like old friends. Don't understand the negative reviews!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2013

    Deeply Satisfying and Revealing of Culture and Character

    As a newcomer to the Southeastern U.S. from the Rocky Mountain West, I found Anne Rivers Siddons through her wonderful "Downtown" which gave me a better idea of the complexities that formed this part of the country. From there I explored Hill Town, Outer Banks, Low Country and more. I identified strongly with and enjoyed Fault Lines having lived many years on the West Coast. When I read Islands I was hoping to better glimpse the Charleston SC area and direct my home-on-wheels that way if the novel encouraged me. It provided great travelogue but more important it looked deeply into human nature as do all of her wonderful novels. This story is about a woman and also her friends through the years and the changes that take place. It is also a story dealing with major issues: life, death, insanity, compassion, and circumstances related to ethnicity, sex, imagined or not. When a close-knit group forms over the years, one of the members becomes guilty of terrible atrocities and the main character Anny Butler is emotionally wave-tossed in her attempts to figure her life out and understand what is happening to those she loves and loses. I won't share the ending - but it's a great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2008

    Loved it!

    This was the first Anne Rivers Siddons book I read. At the time, I was in Charleston on vacation, and enjoyed reading of the streets and islands we had visited. I was completely caught up in the lives of the characters and didn't want to put it down each night.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    Everybody needs somebody....

    I think this book was a good read, filled with characters and places I would love to be part of. You will quickly feel part of the 'family' and the twist at the end was a huge surprise.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2004

    Carolina Dreams hide the Scrubs Shadows

    This was a well written book with solid description. Readers are quickly taken so far into the vivid places of Carolina that they will immediately pack their bags. Each character requires rapt attention. However, I got bogged down in the too drawn out storyline. The sweetness in tone changed rapidly to impending doom.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2004

    Sadly disappointed

    the characters are never fully developed in this novel. When the first of the 'Scrubs' died, I felt like I hardly knew him. The author tries too hard to force sympathy for the characters without showing her readers why they should care at all. Unlike the irrespressible Molly Redwine in 'UP ISLAND', Anny never develops as a character and the forced camaraderie of the 'Scrubs' is as puzzling as it is tiresome. Have always loved Siddons novels, but will be very cautious about picking up another one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2004

    Not one of her best...and she has so many!

    I have read all of Siddons books and unlike most of her other's this one does not measure up. The characters are not likeable and one ends up not caring how it ends as it gets slow around the middle of the book. Her writing is very colorful and I've always gained much pleasure from it, this one has much of that as well, however, the story just wasn't the caliber of her past endeavors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2004

    Not Siddons Usual Captivating Book

    I have read all of Siddons books (she's one of my favorite authors) so I was thrilled to buy her new book 'Islands' at the hardback price. It was disappointing to me: I was not moved emotionally as I usually am with her novels and lost interest about half way through (even though I finished the book). A few times I wondered 'who wrote this?'; it is just not Siddons usual style in my opinion. Won't give up on her yet, though, as her other books are some of my all time favorites.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2004

    A Good Summer Treat

    I was so happy when I found Ms. Siddons back on the shelves after such a long time. I did love Islands and could not put it down. I really became involved with the charachters, although I didn't like them much. Not being from the South, I was not aware of such a snobby class system. And it would be that statement that was at the heart of my disapointment. I think it is a great summer read and I know so many Siddons fans that will overlook some of its faults.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    Disappointing

    I rush to get every new Anne Rivers Siddons novel because I love the way she writes and her ability to make a reader live 'in' the characters and 'in' the setting. She has an ability to make a reader feel, taste and smell everything that her characters experience. I felt the same way with this book until about 3/4 of the way through. Then I felt like Ms. Siddons just gave up and wasn't sure how to end it. The introduction of new characters who had no depth and the unbelievable explanation of what 'really happened' made me feel as though I was finishing a beach romance novel. Although I would recommend Ms. Siddon's books, this is not one I would put on my list.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    i made some new friends

    just finished the book and was to see it end. i enjoyed being a part of anny and lewis and their stuffy and a bit snobby friends... they were appealing in their devotion to each other and their fellow Scrubs... i live on the coast of oregon so i could really relate to all the beachy things.. i could smell, taste, and touch all of the things she described... this will be an old friend that i will reread many times

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2004

    Not up to her usual standards...

    I was really looking forward to this book, as I have enjoyed all her stories in the past, but... I found the characters remarkably unlikable, and this story is just one bad thing after another. I know her stories usually are dramatic and bad things happen in all of them, but come on, give them a little happiness, too, won't you? Also, the book skips around a lot. You get to the next chapter and find that years have passed. Other characters are suddenly friends, now, with no explanation of how they got that way. I finished reading it because it is a book by Anne Rivers Siddons, but when I was done, I wished I hadn't bothered, sad to say. BUT! I will continue to read any other books she writes, because I *know* that she can do better!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2004

    anne siddons delivers yet another wonderful book.

    i enjoy reading books by southern writers, especially anne rivers siddons, and I've waited a long time for a new book by her. nobody does it better!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2004

    The first time I've read Siddons...

    This was my first visit with Anne Rivers Siddons, although I have heard a lot about her from members of my reading group. I can say I¿m glad I read this book, although I do have some qualms about the story itself and the characters. I found the characters to be a bit snobbish. While I cared what happened with these characters, it was difficult to feel ¿with¿ them. Anny, who is the narrator of this story, finds herself quickly accepted into what was a tight and closed group; I¿m not quite sure it would happen this way. Siddons writes beautifully and uses the English language in a way I don¿t see enough in new books. Another interesting point to Siddons¿ writing is her ability to make location (Charleston and surrounding areas of South Carolina) a character within the story. Very interesting indeed. The title of the book alone is very symbolic. We learn that we are all islands in and of ourselves and different actual islands play major roles in the story as well. The story that surrounds these characters was beautiful, poignant, and true, but their contact (or lack thereof) with the ¿outside world¿ was a bit, in my opinion, unbelievable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2004

    ISLANDS FOR ISLANDERS

    Been there, done that. Awesome area! Could live out my life there. I love the way Siddons writes, she hits home. I'm a New Yorker who can't get enough of Atlanta and Charleston.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2014

    Very entertaining if you are interested in beach settings and its habitants.

    Islands was my first Anne Rivers Siddons novel and although i wasnt sure at first if i could get into it, I'm so glad I stayed with it. Loved the charactersand the friendships shared. Many nights I felt I was sitting with thembaround their campfire. I purchased several other books by Ms Rivers Siddons and am enjoying them as well. Hail to the scrubs/good wine/laughter/love and friendships. I would most definitely recommend this read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    Recommended

    Great read like all her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    I received this book on tape from my future mother in law. I enj

    I received this book on tape from my future mother in law. I enjoyed it until the first friend dies. The book semmed to do downhill from there.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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