Islands by Anne Rivers Siddons

Thirty-five-year old Anny is devoting her life to directing a welfare agency in Charleston, South Carolina when, during the course of herislands duties, she meets Lewis, a divorced physician.  With him, she finds the fun which her life has been missing.  However, she fears meeting Lewis’ group of close friends, who own a beach house together.  She says to Lewis, “I’m not one of you all. I’m not born to this.  I’m not really a Charlestonian; I just live here.  You’re really a family.”  However, to her surprise, the group members immediately accept her as one of their own.

The happy gatherings of close friends seem too good to last – and they are.  Relationships become troubled, someone dies, and several members find new interests or consider moving away.  Will the group stay together?  Which members will still be friends when the novel ends?  At the very end of the book, there is an amazing revelation about one group member – but I’ll never tell what it is!

The author lives in Charleston, and the novel’s setting is the Charleston area, including Sullivan’s Island, the location of the fictional beach cottage.  I’ve vacationed in Charleston and visited Sullivan’s Island, and I especially recommend Islands for those with some familiarity with that area – or those who want to read about the area before visiting it.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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