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Off Season [Kindle Edition]

Anne Rivers Siddons
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $6.83
You Save: $1.16 (15%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description




Acclaimed novelist Anne Rivers Siddons's new novel is a stunning tale of love and loss.


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.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In Siddons's stirring novel, the recently widowed Lily Constable returns to her childhood summer home in Maine to sift through formative memories of her parents and her first love. Its difficult to imagine a more marvelous performance than Jane Alexanders. Alexander captures the strength and vulnerability of Lily from childhood to late middle age, and perfectly renders the physical weight of Lilys grief at her losses. She skillfully navigates the novels cast of characters, from the slow, deep and thoughtful drawl of Lilys father to the high-pitched, false charm of the vicious young neighbor whose poison darts put tragic events in motion. Alexander also brings to life the great unnamed character in the book—the natural world, giving voice to birds and even a talking cat, and intuitively understanding the life-giving power of the sea. This is an example of how a good novel can become magnificent when it is beautifully told. A Grand Central hardcover (reviewed online). (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Her family’s cottage on the coast of Maine is haunted, and that suits Lilly Constable just fine. Returning to Edgewater after the death of her beloved husband, Cam, Lilly takes comfort in carrying on detailed conversations with the spirit that she feels pervades the site of so much joy, and yet so much tragedy, in her life. Revisiting the happy times of her marriage and their unconventional courtship also propels Lilly further down memory lane, however, forcing her to recall the years spent living in isolation with her widowed father after her mother’s death from breast cancer, and the summer she turned 11 and her first love, Jon, died in a tragic boating accident. As Lilly works through her grief for her husband, mother, and old friend, she uncovers startling revelations about the very people she thought she knew best. With a powerhouse ending dazzling in its stealth and ambiguity, master storyteller Siddons delivers a dramatically evocative tale that magically summons a bygone time of innocence and intrigue. --Carol Haggas

Product Details

  • File Size: 1280 KB
  • Print Length: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (August 13, 2008)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DTUYI
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,645 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return of a good novelist with "Off Season" August 4, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
While I do not agree that "Off Season" is Ms. Siddons best book, I will say it is her best since "Colony". I was disappointed in her more recent novels and feel that she has certainly redeemed herself with this haunting story of a widow revisting her childhood and her summers spent on the Maine coast where she met her husband. In many ways it is a coming of age story and in others a love story. Her character development is excellent and one feels they are actually at Edgewater watching Lilly as a tomboy and then a developing young woman. The author brings alive Lily's parents, brother and those who make up her world.

I, personally, was not happy with the ending which I thought could have been developed better which is the reason I did not rate this novel 5 stars. However, all in all it is a fine novel and a credit to Ms. Siddons.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh, please! August 24, 2008
Format:Hardcover
While I have been a great fan of Anne Rivers Siddons since her first novel and have read everything, I found "Off Season" very disappointing. Her dialogue of children is so adultlike that I can't imagine any child under the age of 25 speaking those lines...or articulating the emotions. They were like miniature adults, not children, and therefore seemed ludicrous to me. There were story arcs I wanted finished that didn't get done and explanations for those innuendoes that blanketed the latter one quarter of the book. What exactly was the relationship with Peaches Davenport and Cam? And why in the world would Cam -- whom we are led to believe had impeccable taste, be drawn to the nasty, shrieking Peaches?

On the other hand, I read the book on my Kindle in two days, not able to put it down, which says something for Siddons and her compelling writing.
But this is no "Peachtree Road," which to me is by far her best work.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's the mystery? August 31, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
SPOILER ALERT -- come on, folks! It's pretty plain what happened at the end of this book. Hubby had an ongoing affair with Wifey's spiteful girlhood Nemesis, whom he had met while alone -- off season -- at the couple's summer place in Maine. The sight of the lookalike son his mistress bore him so shocks Wifey when she meets him years later -- also off-season -- that she drops dead on the spot. She then wakes on the other side in the arms of her true love -- who is NOT her cheating dog of a husband but a boy who drowned when she eleven years old and has been her guardian spirit ever since. The end.

It's a nicely written book overall. But I agree with some reviewers that the kitty was a bit much.

Also, writerly tics are setting in -- why does every ARS book seem to have a white-blond dreamboat and scads of redheads? An irrepressibly, pointlessly evil woman? A supposedly loving but unfaithful husband? Blacks who talk like Mammy in "Gone With The Wind"? Down-Easters who sound as though they just crawled out of some Stephen King trailer park but nonetheless say "you-all" like Southerners? Endless references to BO and other malodorous emissions? And why does the present lead character have a name straight out of "Colony" but seems unrelated to those particular Potters and Constables?

These are the things that mystify me. Too bad because otherwise, the lady can certainly write!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jarring ending August 21, 2008
Format:Hardcover
I pre-ordered this book months ago and was so looking forward to receiving it. In the back of my mind I remembered the author's previous novel Islands, and I hoped that she would not finish with a similar ending, which I found jarring and out of place. While I consider this book light reading, I enjoyed reading about Lilly's childhood, her parents, and her first love. Also, the descriptions of Maine, the ocean, and the local wildlife were interesting and often lush. I felt the spiritual/mystical dimension worked well, at least until the end of the book when it became predominant and overbearing. When in the book Lilly leaped from age 13 to 18 and subseqently met Cam, the storyline did not work as well for me. I felt that the instantaneous adoration between Lilly and Cam was strained and unbelievable, as was their courtship. Lilly's father's character at this stage also became unrealistic to me. He too easily changed his positions on what Lilly's future should hold. This is not to say that his first position was correct; but I find it hard to believe that for someone so adamant, he gave way so easily. Then we leap to 20 years later, and even 40 years later. While I searched for connections between Lilly the girl to Lilly the young woman, and then middle-aged wife at the end, I could not find a common thread, or at least until her and Cam's separate secrets were discovered. Especially with Cam, I felt blindsided. Not knowing the fundmamental basis of his childhood, how could I know him at all, or understand how he thought about and felt things? Even knowing his secret at the end didn't help me understand how it played out and the repercussions it caused. There are just too many loose ends to understand cause and effect. Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Editor? There was an editor? August 25, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Two points:
If Mrs. Siddons had taken the time to develop the storyline and the rest of the characters as much as she did Lilly's in childhood, the book would have been excellent. Almost as though the author was rushed to print rather than finish the book properly.

Editing was abysmal! There are lots and lots and lots of mistakes. "She puts the cat and his sweater on the sofa. Then only 2 or 3 sentences later, the cat glares at her until she puts the sweater on the sofa. The urn looks well on the mantle. That urn should be looking good...All this on the first couple of pages - very distracting. Plot mistakes and character errors very evident throughout the book. Intro to Jon has him older than 12, but the ending has him 12.

Even through all that, my reaction to the book as a whole was the same as when I read As I Lay Dying at the age of 15. WHAT??? They went through all that for this ending??? Siddens is still a great read. And I am still thinking and talking about this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Easy fast read. Entertaining
Published 13 days ago by Lauretta Riggs
3.0 out of 5 stars not her best work
I have read her earlier works and just don't enjoy the direction she is going in now. The character was not as interesting; too quirky, and the ending was poor.
Published 1 month ago by sue reader
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the book but I've loved all of them
I loved this one but I've enjoyed all of her books. Each one gets better and better. Lovely story would recommend it to all of my friends.
Published 1 month ago by Melinda Peabody
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip This One.
Years since I read this book, but I am writing this now because it has stayed with me as hands down one of the most depressing reads of my life. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ishop123
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read. Love her books
Good read. Love her books!
Published 2 months ago by snowed in
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for a summer weekend
An excellent book for a summer weekend. Ann Rivers Siddons has been one of my favorite writers for years. Read more
Published 3 months ago by KW
2.0 out of 5 stars FAR from Being Her Best
SYNOPSIS:

Lilly McCall's husband, Cameron ("Cam"), has just died at their summer cottage on the coast of Maine. Read more
Published 3 months ago by SFReader
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This was my first Siddons book and will probably be my last. The beginning of the book held my interest but it got more improbable as Lilly grew up. Read more
Published 4 months ago by savy buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Anne Rivers Siddons
ARS's novels that take place in the South are better than the Maine setting novels. IMHO. People in the South say y'all and still do. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MaryAnn Dodd
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved every bit of this book
I wonder if the other reviewers read the same book I did. I loved every bit of this book. The book is hauntingly powerful and immensely readable. I did not want it to end.
Published 4 months ago by Holly W. Schwartztol
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Topic From this Discussion
Ending
*Spoilers*

I am pretty confused too. I am a fast reader- I like to skim new books to find out what happens and then reread them at my leisure, so I could be WAY off base here.

I *think* Cam cheated on Lilly w/ Peaches when he was at Edgewater without her, hence his "I'm sorry, can't be... Read More
Aug 13, 2008 by M. D. Mulhern |  See all 25 posts
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