Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Audiobook Review: Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons

Title:  Burnt Mountain

Author:  Anne Rivers Siddons

Narrator:  Kate Reading

Unabridged Length:  9hrs, 13mn.

Here is a summary of the book from the Hachette website:
From one of our most acclaimed writers comes this dramatic tale of a well-born Southern woman whose life is forever changed by the betrayal of her mother and by the man she loves

Growing up, the only place tomboy Thayer Wentworth felt at home was at her summer camp - Camp Sherwood Forest in the North Carolina Mountains. It was there that she came alive and where she met Nick Abrams, her first love...and first heartbreak.

Years later, Thayer marries Aengus, an Irish professor, and they move into her deceased grandmother's house in Atlanta, only miles from Camp Edgewood on Burnt Mountain where her father died years ago in a car accident. There, Aengus and Thayer lead quiet and happy lives until Aengus is invited up to the camp to tell old Irish tales to the campers. As Aengus spends less time at home and becomes more distant, Thayer must confront dark secrets-about her mother, her first love, and, most devastating of all, her husband.

My Review:
This novel made an interesting audiobook that takes us through the life journey of Thayer.  We see the inside workings of her relationship with her parents and are able to watch her blossom into a young lady.  Thayer hasn't had much romance in her life, but we get an up close look into her heart as she becomes emotionally captured by young Nick.

The beginning of this novel was very confusing for me as I thought I was listening to Thayer's story.  The story begins by Thayer giving a detailed account of how her parents met and fell in love.  This did not make sense to me since Thayer obviously was not even alive at this point.  This was my main complaint about the novel and once the story got to the point of focusing on Thayer, I found it enjoyable.

Thayer was closer with her father than she was with her mother.  So when her father passed away suddenly in a car accident on Burnt Mountain, life changes too quickly for her.  Solace is found quickly for her when her grandmother moves into their home, helping to fill some of the absence left by her father.  Thayer has an honest and heartfelt relationship with her grandmother and this woman probably provides realistic guidance when her mother wouldn't.

The summer that Thayer is a counselor at Camp Sherwood Forest is a life-changing summer for her.  This is where she meets and falls in love with Nick Abrams.  One would think that this would create fond memories of young and innocent love, but when Thayer thinks on those days she only recalls heartbreak and deceit.

After dealing with the events of that summer Thayer finds her life on a new path.  She goes to a college that she wasn't even considering and starts a relationship with an Irish professor.  Their relationship grows and blossoms, leading up to their marriage.  But will Thayer be happy married to Aengus for the rest of her life, rather than Nick? 

This book was full of a few surprises, once I got past the beginning with the confusing narration.  I found myself being quite angry at one point, so obviously the novel and reader were able to keep my attention.  With themes of true love, deceit, and life changes, you may be interested in this book also.

My Rating:  3/5

Disclosure:  This audiobook was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


bermudaonion said...

I have this on audio and will have to remember the beginning is about the parents and not the main character.

stacybuckeye said...

Hmm. This is an author I've always been curious about. One day I'll give here a try, but I'm not sure this will be the one.