Islands by Anne Rivers Siddons, 2004, Audio Recording by Dana Ivey
On a recent visit to the library, I picked up two audio books by the same author, Anne Rivers Siddons. The books were titled “Off Season” and “Islands”.
“Islands” is a story that is centered in Charleston, South Carolina, the outlying coastal areas, and a group of friends that call that area home.
The story is narrated from the point of view of a newcomer to the group, Anny. She and Lewis, one of the original group of friends who are in the medical profession and call themselves “the Scrubs”, fall in love and get married. The group accepts Anny as one of their own and Anny finally has the feeling of close-knit family that she has always longed for.
The Scrubs have grown up together and are so comfortable with each other, that they now co-own an island beach house and try to spend as much time as possible there together, while still managing their careers.
Anny is 35 years old when she and Lewis, who is 50 years old, marry. On one of the weekends they are all together at the beach, they pledge that they will live together in their old age and care for one another.
The story takes the reader (or listener in this case) through the years with the group as they age and some of them even pass away. One of the deaths is the result of a hurricane that also destroys the beloved beach house. A new location is chosen which seems to be perfect, and actually includes three homes - even better for the purpose of staying together through their elder years.
While “Islands” may not be a thrilling page turner of a book, it has a few twists, turns, and surprises that keep you engaged.
Anne Rivers Siddons creates lively characters and Dana Ivey brings them to life. In my opinion Dana Ivey’s reading of the book gave it a life and spirit I doubt would have been there in the print form of the book. Still, I like Siddons’ work, if not for her complete novels, for the phrases and passages that make them up. Her descriptions of the ocean, islands, swamps, and creeks of South Carolina’s low country really “take you there”. I love a book that makes me feel that I’ve been traveling and enjoyed new and far away places. If you would like to travel from your couch to the low country of South Carolina, I recommend you read Anne Rivers Siddons’ “Islands”.