by Anne Rivers Siddons
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I’m not sure if I introduced Anne Rivers Siddons’ work to my mother, or if she introduced it to me, but when you want something a little bit beachy and a little bit romantic, with vibrant women characters, no one beats her. This is especially true of her most recent book, Off Season.
In this novel, we are once again on the coast of New England, this time in Maine, in Carters Cove, following the life of a feisty girl named Lilly as she meets her first love (at the tender age of eleven), keeps tabs on the local osprey population, and does gymnastics in the basement gym built by her father.
As she grows up, we see her relationship with her artist-mother, her marriage to the devoted Cam, an architect, and the birth of her children, but her dog, Wilma, and the summer home in Maine are Lilly’s two touchstones, and at time function as additional characters.
Siddons excels at these gentle, dreamy stories of individual women, most of whom are somehow artistic, and the strong, complicated men they marry, and even when her tales veer into implausibility, they still leave you with the sense that you’ve read a really satisfying story.
Goes well with: Ice cold lemonade, a porch swing, and a cotton throw rug.