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Peachtree Road Paperback – March 18, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
As in the bestselling Homeplace , Siddons again depicts the demise of genteel Atlanta and its submergence in the Sunbelt culture while keeping the reader engrossed in a suspenseful tale featuring vividly portrayed characters. If sometimes her prose acquires melodramatic excess, Siddons is generally a gifted raconteur in the style of Pat Conroy, and her imaginative plot twists make this hefty novel an absorbing page-turner. From the sad vantage point of middle age, narrator Shepard Gibbs Bondurant III tells the story of his bewitchingly beautiful but manipulative, destructive cousin Lucy Bondurant Chastain Venable. Abandoned by her father and ignored by her cold, social-climbing mother, Lucy has an insatiable need for love and protection. She commands Shep's devotion and loyalty through her two doomed marriages even as her volatile behavior accelerates into madness. Meanwhile, she has destroyed Shep's relationship with Sarah Cameron, daughter of another socially prominent Atlanta family. Central to the novel is Siddons's portrayal of Atlanta's social elite, who live in the exclusive suburb called Buckland, epitomized by Peachtree Road. Her depiction of the young set, called Pinks and Jells, "the golden elect of an entire generation," is a cameo of social history. She is equally adroit in interpolating civil rights and other germane social issues into the plot. But it is as an accomplished story teller that Siddons makes her mark, pulling out all the emotional stops in a compulsively readable narrative. 50,000 first printing; $55,000 ad/promo; Troll Book Club main selection; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Compulsively readable". -- Washington Post
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Top Customer Reviews
Young Lucy Bondurant comes to live in the home of her cousin, Sheppard Gibbs Bondurant III, and takes him and everyone she knows, including the reader, on a roller coaster ride through life. "Gibby" is torn between his love and duty for his cousin and his romantic love for another woman. The results are tragic for him ... or is he fulfilling his destiny? You, as the reader, must decide.
This book is very long (over 800 pages), but worth the time. Revel in the character development. Savor the relationship you will build with the characters for you will be with them from childhood until death. Speed through the streets on bikes behind Lucy, whoop it up with the Pinks and Jells, march with the Civil Rights Movement and cry through the tragedies that no one is immune from -- not even the very rich.
This is one of the best books I've ever read. Though I desperately wanted to see how it concluded, I felt like I had lost my best friend when I was done.
Siddons writes with a style of her own, beautiful, rambling, expressive prose that leaves you feeling the heat and charm of Atlanta and it's nobility. Her characters are not always likable but they are intensely human, making them more than just cardboard cut heroes and heroines. I enjoy the incredible way this author puts the reader in the scene.
I have enjoyed several of this authors book's. My favorite, and the jewel in her crown, as my friend Rachel once put it, is COLONY a book that will warm your heart for years to come. Kelsana 5/26/02
Lucy and her mother, brother, and sister are seemingly abandoned by Lucy's father and this fact haunts her for her entire life as she searches for a father figure everywhere. When her family takes up residence with wealthy relatives, she forms a bond of love and hate with her cousin Shep. The fact that she ruins his life while destroying every chance at happiness he ever has, the fact that she is amoral, self-centered, and totally without real love for anyone cannot be blamed so easily on the fact that Atlanta emerged from a sleepy Southern hamlet to become one of the country's greatest metropolitan areas. There were too many other abandoned children (and worse) who turned into fine, upstanding adults in spite of early misfortunes.
In addition to Lucy being totally unlikeable as a heroine, it was the narrator Shep who made me sick with his pushover personality. He enables Lucy every page of the novel and, amazingly, never sees her for the troublesome, demented woman she becomes. Poor Shep the doormat.
Despite two highly unlikeable characters taking center stage in this novel, the story might be interesting since it is set in a pivotal time-frame of American history and one which today's aging baby boomers are very familiar with---Camelot, the assassination of JFK, the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King's dream, etc. However, it slogs painfully along for about 400 pages before things really begin to happen. Where were the editors on this one?Read more ›
In 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 stage is set when Shep, a sensitive, lonely boy, has his cloistered life blown open up by the entrance of his cousin, Lucy Bondurant, who is damaged and captivatingly feral as an alley cat. The two form an immediate bond that deepens as the pair mature, but it is its repercussions that play throughout this episodic story, wreaking havoc beneath the surface of a setting where all that glitters is not gold. "Peachtree Road" unapologetically captures a way of life in an era long gone by.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For book 5 stars. It was an intense, totally absorbing & wonderful read. Only problem is that I wished the cover had been in better condition. It was rather sunbleached.Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
A female wrote the book from a male perspective. She seems to have copied and pasted some segments, because her description of one of the female characters is too redundant. Read morePublished 16 days ago by J. D. Wright
Can't rate yet. Not far enough into it yet. I find it very confusing. Maybe I don't know enough about the history of the area to understand what is going on as yet.Published 2 months ago by Susan W. Hall
I thought if I saw the word "shimmering" one more time, I would close the book. It is poorly written. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Betty Luce
Peachtree Road is about a group of young people trying to grow up in a magical time, in a still magical place, where being a deb meant everything, and the places that you expect to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Heather Jenkins
The only reason I gave it one star is because I couldn't give it none! Very verbose. This author takes 12 words to say something that can be said in three. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Vicki M