Anne Rivers Siddons

We all have “guilty pleasure” authors – Anne Rivers Siddons is one of mine.

I’ve just finished her most recent novel, Islands, and while I have to agree that it’s not her best work, it was still an enjoyable read. She’s returned to the South Carolina Low Country she loves so much, which means that even when you hate the characters, you love the houses they live in, and even when the plot gets rather cheesey, you can still feel the sea breezes and smell the sand, and feel the humidity.

People are often surprised that I read Siddons’ work, because her target demographic is really my mother’s generations, but there’s something compelling about her tragic heroines in their weathered beach houses. Though, admittedly, my favorite of her novels didn’t take place anywhere near a beach.

This novel tells the story of a group of friends – doctors and their wives – who own a Low Country beach house together. It’s fairly typical beach reading: entangled relationships, personal tragedy, a dash of romance. It’s not as meaty as, say, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but I’d still recommended it.

Ladies with Prospects

Ladies With Prospects

Cynthia Hartwick

I picked this up about a week ago in Barnes and Noble, not because it grabbed me, but because the woman standing next to me said, “That was a really great read. I always wonder if things are any good, so I’ve decided to tell people when I see them looking for new things to read.”

I thought that was delightful, and I recommended The Red Tentin return, since it was sitting on the same table.

In any case, Ladies With Prospects is the second book to feature the Larksdale Ladies Investment Club, a group on Minnesota women who formed an investement club back in book one, and since then have made it big, and are now controlling stockholders of a company in the midst of the tech boom from a few years back.

It was a fast novel, well written, and funny in spots, and the characters were believable, especially if you’ve ever spent time in the midwest. I definitely recommend it as a summer novel, because it’s light without being stupid. And I liked it enough to go back and find the first book.