Briefly, Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons is the story of Lilly who returns to her family's cottage on the
shore after the death of her husband. Alone, she revisits her memories of summers spent there as a child and young adolescent and reevaluates her life. Maine
This book is a beautiful read. By that, I mean that in addition to believable characters and a compelling plot that kept me entertained, the book contains beautiful, almost poetic descriptions throughout. For example:
Summer bicycle rides: "We rode everywhere. We spent hours on the twisting dirt tracks off Reach Road toward the west, most of which ended in ramshackle, unpainted, falling-down houses with high-piled firewood and corpses of long-dead cars and abandoned lobster traps and buoys. Only occasionally did we see anyone around them, and the ones we did see were dark and almost feral looking, not offering the one-lifted-finger wave that is the traditional acknowledgement of another in
. We did not linger around these houses." Maine
First impression of a girl nicknamed Peaches: "The first thing you noticed was her hair. It looked like a fire on her head, a conflagration of strawberry blond—dark gold in the morning sun."
Setting: "We got to Edgewater after dark, just as the huge blind eye of the Harvest Moon slid from behind Mr. Carl Forshee's towering promontory and flooded the bay and surrounding islands with molten silver, as far out as
. It was as if someone had thrown a switch and turned the world on; …." Great Owls Head Island
I've enjoyed other novels by Siddons, all of them set in the South, but I believe this novel is my favorite. In it the author explores a girl's coming of age, first love, the effects of illness and death on families, and marriage. All in all, this was a satisfying book and one I'd definitely recommend.