(Peachtree Road) [Read] Â Anne Rivers Siddons
Attempt I tried to read Low Country about 10 ears ago and it just did me in with the verbal diarrhea Still people whose literary opinions I like and tend to agree kept telling me how great she is and how I should really read her novels So I made a valiant effort but oh my Lord have mercy why use one word when 2000 will do The first 150 pages could have probably been condensed down to 15 I am not above liking some florid descriptions of cities and homes and people but good gravy there s a time when Nijinsky And Romola you have to stop beating the reader over the head withour 50 adjectives and get on with the story I soldiered on to my self imposed halfway mark I surrender Anne Rivers Siddons and I are just never going to get along For anyone who lives or has ever lived in Atlanta this book is fascinating for its historical references alone It describes what people tend to refer to as the old money in Atlanta although Shep the main character is uick to note that no money in Atlanta is truly oldWhen evaluating a book I like to think about what my biggest take away is what did I learn This book made me a fiscal conservative and lifelong Republican realize that estate taxes are absolutely necessary to ensure the long term stability of society I kept thinking to myself that Shep would have taken a different turn in life pulled himself out of his decades long funk if only he had needed to get a job To be awash in trust fund money allowed him to live in an other worldly state ensconced in his summerhouse never doing much of anything except making coffee and writing another family s history That being said Siddons is masterful at creating characters that are truly differentiated and not one dimensional The only character I did find to be bit flat and hard to believe was Sarah but even the character Lucy commented on that aspect of Sarah s facade Siddons also makes the generation of my parents come alive she has way of making Lindsay and the Lifeguards you feel likeou are right there Suddenly things my mother has told me about growing up in Charleston SC in the 1950s feel relevant when I find myself transported to that time and place She also does a great job at showing how Buckhead was transformed from a bucolic paradise to a hustling skyscraper city over the last 50 The Wedding Ghost years Admittedly the first 75 pages of this book sound a bit like listening to an old lady prattle on about the times back in her day I was bored But then the book started to pick up speed and the pace during the second half got faster and faster with and OMG moments until I began to think What calamities can one woman pack in one book And then she did itWow Read the book You ll see This is a great summer read The first time I picked up this book I put it down after about 20 pages because I just couldn t get into it Some months later I picked it up again started reading it and was so sucked into the story that I was sad to see the book end I absolutely loved this book A must read for Atlantans I read it after I had moved here and it got me interested in Atlanta s rich and colorful history Everytime I drive Peachtree Road in Buckhead I glance over at the last mansion and think about this great book There s no other way to say itPeachtree Road is the written word at its finest 797 pages of evocative soul stirring wonder written in a first person voice that laughs in the face of lesser writers adhering to the widely overemphasized and uninspired writing rule of show don t tell This book tells and it does so fearlessly in a voice that could only come from a blue blooded insider coming of age in 1960 s Atlanta Without judgment or condescension and in the vein of an objective matter of course the reader is gifted with the voice of Shep Bondurant as he lays the backdrop of his riveting life shaping story a story so scathingly unusual as to psychologically scaret somehow the reader understands the crumbs offered along the way of this cause and effect sins of the father storyIn the opulence of aristocratic pre civil rights Atlanta when the city was but a Southern town divided by race and class partitioned into those who live in mansions and those who serve within Shep Bondurant is an only child rattling around his family mansion on Peachtree Road An unexpected knock on the front door sets the course of his life in motion when his parents unwittingly take in a poor relation and her two small children on sufferance Thus the. E is an only child never expecting that her reclusive oung cousin will become her lifelong confidant and the source of her greatest passion and most terrible ne.
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My own childhood is the presence of polio which kills Lucy s little baby brother The author says p 120 that in any family group there is a natural scapegoat The narrator goes to NFHS p 142 The terms Pinks and Jells is discussed on p 147 and the term Cocksman is used on p 148 The author uses the term Great American Nooky uest at the bottom of p 157 The Varsity s Flossie May is mentioned on p 183 I have heard him chantsing the Varsity menu many times The narrator graduated from Princeton in 1958 p 250 On p 254 is the emotional high point so far of the book Sarah says to Shep as she is boarding the plane from NY where she had been visiting him to Atlanta Don t come home If ou come home it will be to her meaning Lucy The author misjudges Kennedy vs Nixon debate on p 274 At the top of p 278 she refers to Army Rangers as murderous peers The narrator s mother is killed on a plane crash with a group of members of the Atlanta Art Association p397 who were touring the art galleries and museums of Europe The plane crashed while taking off from Orly This is the crash that killed the mother of my HS friend Ralph Barry who s picture is on p G 37 of my book Tragedies misfortune and early deaths strike the friends and relatives of the narrator Shep Bondurant seemingly far than the average person He tells his best friend and 1st cousin Lucy Bondurant to take the gun she is holding and with which she shot her husband and shoot herself and she does The ending of the book is written in such an obtuse to me manner that I had trouble interpreting what it meant Was he committing suicide merely jumping into the Chattahoochee or just having a dream or vision Pat Stacy thinks he was definitely killing himself I suspect that she is correct especially considering the negativity and pessimism inherent in the entire book This is mirrored in Shep s sadness about the transformation of Atlanta from an idyllic sleepy Southern town into a commercial big city Ms Siddons writes beautifully and with fine imagery in describing the personalities and psychologies of her characters She makes a huge gaff I didn t write down the page in referring to the county as North Fulton County unless of course it has been re districted since I lived there In giving this a rating I have trouble separating out the personal interest I have in the specific locale of the book Without that I would probably only give it a 5 given the unremittingly joyless sadness inherent in the work Since the rating is my own personal rating I will give it an 8 Having come off another Siddons book just previous to this one I had very high expectations Peachtree Road satisfied most of them I loved the main characters of Shep and Lucy from the first and their glittering world of privilege Shep s without lifting a finger and Lucy s only through sheer determination I loved the main supporting characters of Sarah Charlie Ben Jack Little Lady and even Jack s forbidding parents and Lucy s social climbing trash mother There are at least 50 additional supporting characters of various roles besides these creating a complex living story of interrelated lives and cause and effect sometimes with terrible results The story was utterly engrossing the events compelling on their own and especially alive with the history on the civil rights movement added seamlessly into them I spent the entire evening reading because I had to get to the end to see what happened And for the longest time I can remember I was glad that the book was near 600 pages because I wanted it to go on and on to know how all the characters ended upMy one real problem was the book is not linear It begins at the funeral of Lucy and I found most of the prologue incomprehensible as it mentions characters by the truckload with no background to go with them Having read the entire book I was able to go back and make sense of it all to see the heavy foreshadowing present within it but in retrospect I should have skipped right to chapter one and not tried to make sense of it until later There is also a deep morose uality to this book as there is with all tales of a golden era and its eventual end While I enjoyed this I will not reread itOverall opinion Not as good as some of the other Siddons books but definitely worth reading Oh my gosh all I am so sorry to everyone who has ever tried to get me to read this author but I can t I just can t This is my second. Ells the story of love and hate between a man and a woman When Lucy comes to live with her cousin Sheppard and his family in the great house on Peachtree Road sh.
Peachtree Road is a sweeping Southern magnum opus centering around Old Atlanta and Buckhead It follows the lives of Lucy and Shep Bondurant first cousins with an incredibly close bond The This wasn t terrible it was just terribly long winded It was my first Anne Rivers Siddons book and I think she s uite a good writer but I just didn t connect to this novel The flourishing over written style she employed here didn t help while it was easy to breeze through pages of writing in one sitting because the writing flowed very well it was difficult to want to pick up the book again 350 pages in I neither like the characters nor the direction in which the story is going nor the melodramatic Georgian soap opera it s becoming and I m calling it uits I first read this book when it was released in 1989 I have re read it many times over the ears and just finished reading it again Those first two hundred pages are just so redolent of a lost era one that happened before I was born but I heard about from my parents who grew up in the same time just considerably further north Siddons telling of Shep Bondurant s childhood is so nostalgic and evocative I just love the first 200 pages of this bookSo it isn t really like Gone With the Wind at all except in the broadest sense that the world the main characters loved so well has disappeared Yes most of the action does take place in Atlanta but Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World, you can t compare A Tree Grows In Brooklyn with Bonfire of the Vanities simply because the action takes place in the 5 boroughs of NYCLucy Bondurant has nothing in common with Scarlett O Harain fact she is the polar opposite of Scarlett Lucy can t save her own self let alone be responsible for anyone else Scarlett was strong manipulative and a realist Lucy too is manipulative but she manipulates from the position of weakness neediness and extreme idealismFew of the characters are noble they are all flawed in some way the reader doesn t have to like or admire any of them it is interesting enough just to observe themAfter reading many reviews it seems as though many readers didn t understand the ending The bridge in uestion is the same bridge that Shep and Lucy s group of friends all jumped off from during their swimming excursions of the Chattahoochee River In high school Shep was too afraid of heights to jump from the bridge and he was mocked for his inability When Shep stands on the railing of the bridge and Sarah calls out to him he is not attempting suicide and she is not encouraging him With Lucy dead he is finally free his burden has been lifted and he is no longer responsible for his crazy wonderful troubled cousin I kind of think that he and Sarah finally got together after the last scene of this bookOh and for the people who complained that the book starts out with Lucy s funeral creating a spoilerbullshit At the beginning of the book the reader has no idea who Lucy isou know nothing about her so the fact that she is being buried is immaterial You have to read the book find out who Lucy was and what her life was like You need to know the details of her relationship with her cousin Shep Something tells me that these people who complained about knowing how it ended are probably the same people who loved the movie Titaniceven though they knew it sank with hundreds of people on board I wouldn t recommend this to anyone who is seeking a great romance because it isn t a romance novel at all More tragic than anything else as many of Siddons novels seem to be I would recommend it to any open minded person who enjoys a good epic slice of life novel This book is largely set in Buckhead where I used to live 1948 1956 and went to school North Fulton HS 1948 1950 She defines p23 Buckhead as stretching from Peachtree Creek on the south to West Paces Ferry Road on the north from Northside Drive on the west to Peachtree Road on the east My sense was that it went further east than just Peachtree Road She gives it an area of some 4 suare miles She mentions Crawford Long Hospital where my first child was born In 1907 the first trolley line was laid down from downtown Atlanta to Buckhead Jim Dickey wrote a poem about The Buckhead Boys p32 and was supposedly one himself Buckhead is called Buckhead because in 1838 a man named Hardy Ivy mounted the head of a buck on a tree over his tavern and crossroads store p34 E Rivers School is first mentioned on page 57 Another link to. Tenth anniversary edition Set amidst the grandeur of Old Southern aristocracy here is a novel that chronicles the turbulent changes of a great city Atlanta and
(Peachtree Road) Read Â Anne Rivers Siddons
Born Sybil Anne Rivers in Atlanta Georgia she was raised in Fairburn Georgia and attended Auburn University where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority While at Auburn she wrote a column for the student newspaper The Auburn Plainsman that favored integration The university administration attempted to suppress the column and ultimately fired her and the column garnered natio