The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Girls of August

The Girls of August

2.7 74
by Anne Rivers Siddons
     
 

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Every August, four women would gather together to spend a week at the beach, renting a new house each year. The ritual began when they were in their twenties and their husbands were in medical school, and became a mainstay of every summer thereafter. Their only criteria was oceanfront and isolation, their only desire to strengthen their far-flung friendships. They

Overview

Every August, four women would gather together to spend a week at the beach, renting a new house each year. The ritual began when they were in their twenties and their husbands were in medical school, and became a mainstay of every summer thereafter. Their only criteria was oceanfront and isolation, their only desire to strengthen their far-flung friendships. They called themselves the Girls of August. But when one of the Girls dies tragically, the group slowly drifts apart and their vacations together are brought to a halt. Years later, a new marriage reunites them and they decide to come together once again on a remote barrier island off the South Carolina coast. There, far from civilization, the women make startling discoveries that will change them in ways they never expected.

Editorial Reviews

Charlotte Observer
"The lyrical beauty of Siddons's writing shines...an elegant portrait of love, loss, longing; memories and mystery line the path to self-discovery in OFF SEASON....Siddons's fans will savor the story long after the last page has turned."
Stephen King (on Off Season)
Bravura writing...This is Siddons's best, maybe the book she was born to write."
Pat Conroy
"Anne Rivers Siddons's body of work is one of the most impressive in contemporary fiction. And, in her beautifully crafted and dazzling new novel OFF SEASON, Ms. Siddons delivers the goods more powerfully than ever. All her books are terrific, but this one is the best yet."
The Associated Press (on BURNT MOUNTAIN)
"Siddons masterfully portrays growing up in a small town outside Atlanta...Even as they age, Siddons' characters focus on their sensations and needs and aspirations, but that single-mindedness coaxes readers to side with her central character. Anyone who appreciates the instant gratification of romance novels - 'Burnt Mountain' seems designed for a few days of beach reading - will be quickly taken in by the quiet and beautiful tomboy...When Thayer Wentworth figures out young that life's nastiest snarls may not all be loosened and smoothed and retied in neat bows, we fret with her. And when everything inevitably does start to work out, we are as relieved as she is."
Booklist (on BURNT MOUNTAIN)
"Siddons mixes in a touch of the supernatural to bring the novel to an exciting climax, but what's most appealing here is the layered family drama and the lush world Thayer inhabits...A master storyteller with a remarkable track record, bestselling Siddons returns to her signature Southern setting in her newest blend of emotional realism and a sliver of magic."
From the Publisher
"One doesn't read Anne Rivers Siddons's books, one dwells in them."—Chicago Tribune

Bravura writing...This is Siddons's best, maybe the book she was born to write."—Stephen King (on Off Season)"

Anne Rivers Siddons's body of work is one of the most impressive in contemporary fiction. And, in her beautifully crafted and dazzling new novel OFF SEASON, Ms. Siddons delivers the goods more powerfully than ever. All her books are terrific, but this one is the best yet."—Pat Conroy"

The lyrical beauty of Siddons's writing shines...an elegant portrait of love, loss, longing; memories and mystery line the path to self-discovery in OFF SEASON....Siddons's fans will savor the story long after the last page has turned."—Charlotte Observer"

Siddons masterfully portrays growing up in a small town outside Atlanta...Even as they age, Siddons' characters focus on their sensations and needs and aspirations, but that single-mindedness coaxes readers to side with her central character. Anyone who appreciates the instant gratification of romance novels - 'Burnt Mountain' seems designed for a few days of beach reading - will be quickly taken in by the quiet and beautiful tomboy...When Thayer Wentworth figures out young that life's nastiest snarls may not all be loosened and smoothed and retied in neat bows, we fret with her. And when everything inevitably does start to work out, we are as relieved as she is."—The Associated Press (on BURNT MOUNTAIN)"

Siddons mixes in a touch of the supernatural to bring the novel to an exciting climax, but what's most appealing here is the layered family drama and the lush world Thayer inhabits...A master storyteller with a remarkable track record, bestselling Siddons returns to her signature Southern setting in her newest blend of emotional realism and a sliver of magic."—Booklist (on BURNT MOUNTAIN)

Chicago Tribune
"One doesn't read Anne Rivers Siddons's books, one dwells in them."
Library Journal
06/01/2014
Each summer four women gather for their ritual week of relaxation at a beach house, every year choosing a new location. All are wives of medical students when they begin vacationing together. The annual trip is suspended when one of the friends dies in a tragic accident. Stunned, the group slowly drifts apart, allowing time and their differences to create a rift. When plucky "Baby," who is half the age of the other ladies, marries into the crew, she attempts to reestablish the August ritual. A remote beach house on a barrier island off South Carolina's coast brings adventures of all sorts, and fresh emotions surface. The friends must come to terms with their differences and find a sense of unity in the midst of health issues, marital conflict, and infertility. VERDICT Southern fiction fans who love a solid beach read will find much to enjoy in Siddons's latest, which mixes a fun vacation tale with well-drawn characters and emotional depth. [See Prepub Alert, 1/26/14.]—Julia M. Reffner, Fairport, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-05
Three old friends and one newbie try to revive a vacation tradition, with mixed results.The self-styled Girls of August are an intrepid band of doctors’ wives who have gotten together for annual summer sprees ever since Cornelia—the rich, blonde consort of party-animal physician Teddy—invited them to share her beach retreat. None of the other “girls”—Rachel, Barbara and narrator Maddy—actually liked Cornelia, but no matter; Teddy soon replaced her with the more copacetic Melinda. For the past three years, ever since Melinda’s tragic accidental death—Teddy was drunk at the wheel—the girls have stayed home, but then this summer, Baby, Teddy’s 20-something third wife, entices them to familiar Siddons territory, the South Carolina barrier islands. Baby’s opulent home is located on the deserted and fictional Tiger Island, virtually unpopulated except for a resident enclave of Gullah people. Gloriously incommunicado (the only cellphone having met its demise), the women drink, cook delicious meals and swim. But problems soon surface: Maddy suffers from intermittent nausea, Rachel almost drowns, and Barbara seems to be sliding into serious alcoholism. Baby is the source of much humor and rue among the 40-ish women: Not only is she blonde and independently wealthy like her predecessor, Cornelia, she enjoys flaunting her nubile figure by skinny-dipping. Perhaps to escape all the perimenopausal sarcasm, Baby disappears for long stretches. Is she having an affair with handsome Gullah fisherman Earl or merely plotting revenge? Someone removes the screen from Barbara’s window, letting in stinging bugs, and Maddy’s bed collapses one night. Has it all devolved into the middle-aged Southern version of summer camp farce? Nothing unpredictable or challenging can survive the many clichés—the wise and vaguely mystical Gullahs, the stereotypically airheaded trophy wife and the other characters who somehow lack the mettle of Steel Magnolias but who might qualify as copper or tin.A slight bagatelle in which even the weightiest topics are sloughed off like suntan lotion in a tropical rainstorm.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446698313
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
07/14/2015
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
136,333
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Pat Conroy
Anne Rivers Siddons's body of work is one of the most impressive in contemporary fiction. And, in her beautifully crafted and dazzling new novel OFF SEASON, Ms. Siddons delivers the goods more powerfully than ever. All her books are terrific, but this one is the best yet.

Meet the Author

THE GIRLS OF AUGUST is Anne Rivers Siddons's 19th novel. Her previous bestselling novels include Burnt Mountain, Off Season, Sweetwater Creek, Islands, Nora Nora, Low Country, Up Island, Fault Lines, Downtown, Hill Towns, Colony, Outer Banks, King's Oak, Peachtree Road, Homeplace, Fox's Earth, The House Next Door, and Heartbreak Hotel. She is also the author of a work of nonfiction, John Chancellor Makes Me Cry. She and her husband, Heyward, split their time between their home in Charleston, SC and Brooklin, ME. For more information, visit www.anneriverssiddons.net.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Charleston, South Carolina and a summer home in Maine overlooking Penobscot Bay
Date of Birth:
January 9, 1936
Place of Birth:
Atlanta, Georgia
Education:
B.A., Auburn University, 1958; Atlanta School of Art, 1958

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The Girls of August 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Actually, I want my money back! This was formula, trite, and felt like little or no effort was put into it. Seriously, what do I do to get a refund. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was more like a charming short story. Characters were were trite and not developed. Not up to her usual standards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited about this new book, but after the first chapter, I thought this was a joke! I wonder if Anne Rivers Siddons is ill, and perhaps had someone else ghostwrite this? The writing is poor, the story is formulaic, and the characters have about as much dimension as a piece of cardboard!
Fredreeca2001 More than 1 year ago
This is a novel about women. How women interact and react. This is a novel about loss, about family and about friends. I enjoyed many parts of this story. The characters are very strong and suit each other well. The strong feelings each one experience due to issues in their lives really keep you enthralled. I love the setting of the remote island and the Gullah people. I wish the author had offered more details about the island. I would’ve loved to hear more about the wildlife and the surroundings. This is a very enjoyable read. I received this novel for an honest review from Netgalley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reads more like a bad short story; superficial stereotypical characters, very weak plot and no resolution at the end. I have read all of Ms. Siddon's previous books and loved them. No love for this one. I feel cheated having paid for this.
deacon1 More than 1 year ago
What a disappointment!! Do not waste your money on this . I give it 0 stars
AHHP More than 1 year ago
Not up to her usual wonderful writing.  Predictable plot. Very disappointed 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked the book, but wanted to read more. It was like the author wanted to end the story so stopped writing. The characters needed more development & the story ended too soon. Is part 2 coming next? It coukd be The Girls of September.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greatly disappointing! Longtime Siddons fan- read all her work, and greatly anticipated for years her next new publication, and this was sadly disappointing. 160 pgs not worthy of a short story. Sad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I should have known this was going to be a stinker when they pushed the publication date back. A true waste of time and money ....and Iam a fan. Releasing this was a disservice to her readers. No stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was just a long story. The story lines were not finished.
lnsmall 16 days ago
I wanted to like this book. It started off with potential, but then it just ended. There was no real plot and no resolution for any of the characters.
LynnLD More than 1 year ago
The Girls of August takes place off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina where three middle-aged women have a reunion. They are all doctors’ wives and have not met since their fourth friend, also a Girl of August, died tragically. They are coming together to meet the widower’s new young bride who calls herself Baby. The old friends, Maddy, Barbara and Rachel, give their new hostess a very hard time though they are staying in her family mansion on an island where some Gullah people live. A series of mishaps take place and they accuse Baby of sabotaging their weeklong vacation. As it turns out, she is innocent yet each of them is harboring personal challenges, such an upcoming divorce, a diagnosis of cancer and an unexpected pregnancy. This was a page-turner, but the ending was shocking and unexpected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Quick read was over before I was ready for it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So excited to see something new from Anne, very disappointed tho and had similar thoughts as other readers, who really wrote this book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anne Rivers Siddons is the master of great stories involving women in the Atlantic coastal south. This one was no exception, and it was particularly poignant for women "of a certain age". I only wish she would write more books!
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed this book, and I am sad that it's over. Another wonderful story by Anne Rivers Siddons. I felt like I knew the characters, to the point that I became emotionally invested in what happened to them. It's so refreshing to read high-qualilty writing that is not predictable. I am already eager for Siddons' next book. How about a sequel?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ilovemister More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. I don't know what else to say except to read it. It was very entertaining. Great Read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE her books but this one was a huge disappointment !! It was a year late and was just a complete mess. i wonder if they just fluffed up the outline and published it . There was really no point to it . I'm going to check on a refund, but not holding my breath.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has been several years since I have read a book by Anne Rivers Siddons. When I first discovered her, I went to the library and read everything she had written and loved them all. Then I forgot about her and came across this book and realized she had written several more since the last time I had read any of her books. I looked forward to reading this book. Either I have changed in my reading taste or her writing has changed. I didn't like the way it was written, (whatever that means) or the way the characters came across. I just could not get connected to any of them. I could not feel anything for them or about them. I thought about stopping to read the book but I kept hoping it would get better but it didn't. I was hoping I would have a whole bunch more of her books to read but I don't think I will waste my time there are just too many good authors out there!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago