Book Review: Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons


This book is so far outside of my normal reading realm it’s not even funny.  Never in a million years would I have picked up this book if I’d just strolled into a bookstore.  Again, I can’t say enough about buying random books at garage sale.  I just love it!  I find some of the most obscure, wonderful hidden gems out there. 

Here’s a quote that totally sums up this book for me:  This is an example of how a good novel can become magnificent when it is beautifully told.  (Publishers Weekly, as found on the Barnes & Noble website)

The reviewer at Publishers Weekly is right.  Siddons has an amazing gift for imagery.  I’ve never been to Maine, or anywhere on the Northeast coast at all, and yet I felt as though I was right there.  She beautifully describes the scene without making you feel as though you’re reading a thesaurus.  It’s just amazing.  I’m not sure if I wanted to visit Maine in the summer before I read this book but I absolutely want to now. 

There’s also a personal draw to me in this book.  Lilly (the main character) finds peace in the water through competitive swimming.  Seeing as how I spent the better part of sixteen years in the water I can completely relate.  There’s a sense of peace there for me.  In fact, there’s nothing more relaxing to me than going for a swim.  Also, Lilly talks to her cat.  I talk to our pup all the time so I’m glad to know I’m not the only crazy person out there. 

This is a perfect summer read in my opinion.  It’s beautiful and you’ll just want to get completely lost in the pages. 

Here’s the synopsis from Barnes & Noble:

For as long as she can remember, they were Cam and Lilly—happily married, totally in love with each other, parents of a beautiful family, and partners in life. Then, after decades of marriage, it ended as every great love story does…in loss. After Cam’s death, Lilly takes a lone road trip to her and Cam’s favorite spot on the remote coast of Maine, the place where they fell in love over and over again, where their ghosts still dance. There, she looks hard to her past—to a first love that ended in tragedy; to falling in love with Cam; to a marriage filled with exuberance, sheer life, and safety— to try to figure out her future.

It is a journey begun with tender memories and culminating in a revelation that will make Lilly re-evaluate everything she thought was true about her husband and her marriage.