Pages

Book Review: BURNT MOUNTAIN
(Anne Rivers Siddons)

Having read and enjoyed bestselling author Anne Rivers Siddons' novels for decades, I looked forward to "Burnt Mountain" like a good visit with an old friend.

It's a story that starts with a wealthy Southern family and its secrets and heartaches. Younger daughter Thayer Wentworth grows into her adulthood with scars and an early maturity, and marries a beguiling Irishman. Then her beloved grandmother and lifelong ally dies, leaving her a generous inheritance.  So far, so good.

I was enjoying the humid setting, the rich characterizations and rocky relationship dramas right along until well past halfway in the book, when it started to take an unexpected curve into dodgy territory.

But I kept at it, hoping for  the best, until the story became too contrived and unbelievable.  It felt like the author lost interest or lost control, gave up and drove the thing into the woods to stop it against a tree.

My initial reaction was concern for the writer.  The ending was unfathomable, and I'm terribly sorry to say I can't recommend the book. I will be interested to know what other readers think.

"Burnt Mountain," Grand Central Publishing. Available July 19, 2011.

10 comments:

  1. Well, that's disappointing. I too have read my way through ARS, and her 'Fault Lines,' though not her best work, was instrumental in my decision to move to California. I'll give this one a try, though, and let you know. Thanks for posting your review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Beth. (I've enjoyed reading your blog for a while now. Thanks for that too.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I so agree. I was an Anne Rivers Siddons fan early on....Peachtree Road being one of my favorite novels of all time. Colony was also a wonderful read...both of these being in her earlier days of authorship. I too was hooked by the first 3/4 of the book and then, WHAM! The bizarre turn of events seemed like a bad dream that I kept waiting for Thayer to awaken from....sorry....just way too weird for me....I also will not recommend this book. Any readers out there remember her book, King's Oak? Kinda the same crazy storyline.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Way too weird" is just what I thought, too. I'm a big fan of weirdness, but this was weird-without-warning, weird-without-setup, weird-just-to-get-out-of-this-plot. Thanks for popping in!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just finished the book and vomited at the conclusion!! A senseless, fragmented book of the ridiculous!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I felt just like you did. The ending was "unfathomable." I kept asking myself, "Why?"

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous - Don't sugarcoat it. Tell us how you really feel. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Literary Corner - Exactly. WHY?? Thanks for commenting. Love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree - I just finished it and don't understand the connection between the beginning and middle of the book to the bizarre ending.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Did anyone notice the timeline sequence made no sense? She is talking about going to one of the Harry Potter movies and the Olympics in Atlanta as if they happened close to each other. Didn't the Olympics pre-date the Potter movies by five years?

    ReplyDelete