Hill Towns is a classic novel of remarkable emotional power, insight, and sensitivity from Anne Rivers Siddons, whose books live on the New York Times bestseller list and in the hearts of millions of her adoring fans. One of the acknowledged masters of contemporary Southern fiction—the author of such phenomenally popular works as Nora, Nora; Outer Banks, Islands; and Sweetwater Creek—Siddons carries the reader from the mountains of Tennessee to the breathtaking Tuscany countryside as she brilliantly chronicles the unraveling of a marriage. Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides) says, “She ranks among the best of us,” and Hill Towns is the proof.
``Americans behave badly in Italy,'' observes a perspicacious character in Siddon's ( Colony ) latest, an evocative, gothic tale of the dark ties binding a long-married couple. Cat Gaillard's life was irrevocably marred at age five when a truck plowed into her hedonistic parents, who were making love on a bridge. Raised in a small, southern hill town at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains, Cat found safety within the rarified confines of its resident college and refused ever after to leave. Her agoraphobia entrances her husband Joe, a pedantic dean of English who revels in being Cat's strength and feels threatened when therapy frees her somewhat for a holiday abroad; they will roam across Italy as the unlikely companions of Joe's protege Colin and his new bride Maria. Other fellow travelers include Yolanda, a hilariously bitchy, oversexed Martha Stewart knockoff; Sam, a bluff, sweat-scented painter mesmerized by Cat; and his Machiavellian wife Ada, who will do anything to jumpstart Sam's creative motor. As a gritty, hot wind blows the group through Venice and into Tuscany, the hypocrisies cementing Cat's marriage are exposed. Siddons artfully conjures a violently seductive, sensual world peopled by characters boiling with elemental emotions: fear, lust, aching love. But the deliberately lyric cadences of her prose, though generally rich and enjoyable, are sometimes cloying and forced. $250,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Strength of a Woman
The main character, Cat Gallard, spends a portion of the novel explaining why she has to permanently stay "on her mountain." Later in life, she agrees to a trip to Italy, which examines her strength to grow & become her own self as she is able. Inspiring book showing how Cat "pushed through" her fears & grew from them.....
I have always enjoyed Anne River Siddons books so eagerly purchased her new book Hill Town. I have to admit I REALLY did not enjoy this book. None of the characters were likable. Every character was dysfunctional and I found it very painful up till the end. And seriously, can anyone drink that much and remain alive? Hard to give it even one star.