Saturday, July 19, 2008

Off Season-Anne Rivers Siddons

Off Season
Anne Rivers Siddons
Grand Central, Aug 2008, $24.99
ISBN: 0446527874

Fifty three years old Lilly Constable McCall knows she has lived a most fortunate life as she married her beloved soulmate Cam and raised together fine children. He was a highly regarded architect while she was a popular sculptor. They are decades into a loving marriage that both expect would last for many more years. Then their love story ended when Cam died in Edgewater, Maine.

Feeling more than just grief, Lilly feels she has no reason to live. However, she obsesses over going to the family cottage in Edgewater; a place she spent a lot of her childhood there. She muses about the summer of 1962 where Peaches Davenport is jealous of Lilly. not so much because of the material possessions or even the interest Jon Lowell seemed to have with then eleven years old Lilly. It was her parents she coveted. Peaches wanted to be the daughter of a GW professor and the feminist rights activist and artist mother; whereas Lilly hated her father’s total control of her and her mom’s disdain for a tomboyish daughter, preferring cute Caroline Kennedy. However, the middle age Lilly will soon learn you can’t go home even when it feels like déjà vu especially betrayal.

This is an entertaining family drama starring an interesting middle age woman overwhelmed by grief who hopes to recapture her passion for life by returning to a place she cherished at one time although that summer ended in betrayal. Lilly does not handle loss well and soon will have to deal with another death; preferring to cocoon herself into isolation. Readers will root for her to overcome her understandable depression, but will feel blitzed by a climax that seems off key. In spite of the ending, fans of Anne Rivers Siddons will enjoy the deep poignant OFF SEASON.

Harriet Klausner

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