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Peachtree Road

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  7,396 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Headstrong, exuberant, and independent, Lucy Bondurant is a devastating beauty who will never become the demure Southern lady her mother and society demand. Sheppard Gibbs Bondurant III, Lucy's older cousin, is too shy and bookish to become the classically suave and gregarious Southern gentleman his family expects. Growing up together in a sprawling home on Atlanta's Peach ...more
ebook, 816 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published November 13th 1989)
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For anyone who lives or has ever lived in Atlanta, this book is fascinating for its historical references alone. It describes what people tend to refer to as the "old money" in Atlanta, although Shep, the main character, is quick to note that no money in Atlanta is truly "old".

When evaluating a book I like to think about what my biggest take away is... what did I learn? This book made me, a fiscal conservative and lifelong Republican, realize that estate taxes are absolutely necessary to ensure
Peachtree Road is a sweeping Southern magnum opus, centering around Old Atlanta and Buckhead. It follows the lives of Lucy and Shep Bondurant, first cousins with an incredibly close bond. The synopsis on the back may lead you to believe that it’s about Lucy (even though the narration is done entirely by Shep), but in a sense it is really about neither; it’s about a time and place and a generation disintegrated by its own weight and glittering “perfection.” Ms. Siddons’ prose is rambling and exce ...more
This book was horribly disappointing, mostly because I thought it was going to be wonderful. I began reading it with the idea that it would be similar to Gone with the Wind, and of course, it was not at all. The plot was interesting at times, but the book was just too long, too drawn out; the last 200 hundred pages were not much more than painful. And unfortunately, by the end of the story I found myself hating (and despising in some cases) every single one of the characters. My other major comp ...more
Minty McBunny
Oh my gosh y'all, I am so sorry to everyone who has ever tried to get me to read this author, but I can't, I just can't. This is my second attempt, I tried to read Low Country about 10 years ago and it just did me in with the verbal diarrhea. Still, people whose literary opinions I like and tend to agree kept telling me how great she is and how I should really read her novels. So I made a valiant effort, but oh my Lord have mercy, why use one word when 2000 will do? The first 150 pages could hav ...more
It is a bit slow. Forget the first 150 pages, that could have been told in 15 pages....after that it is slowly becoming interesting. But it probably would help if you have an interest in Atlanta (which I don't). Alas, later it dies down again. The ending is mildly surprising, but all in all this book would have been better if it had only 20% of the pages. Too slow.
The first time I picked up this book, I put it down after about 20 pages because I just couldn't get into it. Some months later, I picked it up again, started reading it and was so sucked into the story that I was sad to see the book end. I absolutely loved this book.
A must-read for Atlantans. I read it after I had moved here and it got me interested in Atlanta's rich and colorful history. Everytime I drive Peachtree Road in Buckhead I glance over at the last mansion and think about this great book.
Writing this long after reading the book. I mainly recall it being too wordy. The plot was interesting, but it was a challenge to get through this book and quite depressing at times.
I first read this book when it was released in 1989. I have re-read it many times over the years, and just finished reading it again. Those first two hundred pages are just so redolent of a lost era; one that happened before I was born, but I heard about from my parents who grew up in the same time, just considerably further north. Siddons telling of Shep Bondurant's childhood is so nostalgic and evocative; I just love the first 200 pages of this book.

So it isn't really like Gone With the Wind a
Yes, I have to agree with The Baltimore Sun's report that Peachtree Road was a love story, a historical novel, a mystery, and a tragedy all wrapped into one. The love/hate relationship which existed between the two main characters, Shep and Lucy, can be compared to a plot found in a Shakespearean tragedy, because in the end they not only destroy themselves but almost everyone else who knew them. However, I do not agree that the book could be seen as another Gone With the Wind!
The love/hate rel
Dick Edwards
This book is largely set in Buckhead, where I used to live (1948-1956) and went to school (North Fulton HS 1948-1950). She defines (p.23) Buckhead as stretching from Peachtree Creek on the south to West Paces Ferry Road on the north, from Northside Drive on the west to Peachtree Road on the east. My sense was that it went further east than just Peachtree Road. She gives it an area of some 4 square miles. She mentions Crawford-Long Hospital, where my first child was born. In 1907 the first trolle ...more
Tara Hall
Having come off another Siddons book just previous to this one, I had very high expectations. Peachtree Road satisfied most of them. I loved the main characters of Shep and Lucy from the first, and their glittering world of privilege—Shep’s without lifting a finger, and Lucy’s only through sheer determination. I loved the main supporting characters of Sarah, Charlie, Ben, Jack, Little Lady and even Jack’s forbidding parents and Lucy’s social climbing trash mother. There are at least 50 additiona ...more
Told (not entirely successfully) from a male point of view, Sheppard Gibbs Bondurant, aka Gibby, recounts his relationship with his cousin Lucy. Lucy came to live in Atlanta with her mother and baby brother when she was 5 and Gibby was 7; even then Lucy was haunted by nightmares and was a demanding and clinging child. They grew up in Atlanta society through the 50's and 60's Shep graduated from Princeton and got a job in New York City, vowing he would never return to live in Atlanta in spite of ...more
Growing up in Atlanta off of Peachtree Road, a daughter of the book's generation of Southerners, I found this book compelling reading. Again and again it triggered stories about my grandfather. Although he came from the wrong side of the tracks and far too poor to be one of the "Buckhead boys" of the book, he pulled himself up by "his own bootstraps" to join the ranks of the powerful city aristocracy, especially in the political arena. The book helped me understand my own heritage in new ways, e ...more
Pattye Meagher
I can generally count on enjoying every ARS novel I encounter but must admit that this one took some time. It was slow developing from the start and took me a while to find a cadence to story that I could follow. The relationship between Shep and Lucy was disturbing on more levels than I can possibly count and the way her level of disfunction clashes with that of Shep's Mother are the dark cloud that will forever cast the shadow over his already doomed life. I had difficulty imagining how a five ...more
Apr 19, 2008 Johanna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Johanna by: Vicki Frantz
This is one I plan to read again. It's another of those grand southerns stories in the tradition of Pat Conroy or even Margaret Mitchell. The backdrop is beautiful and the story interesting (and just scandalous enough to be fun...but not to much!) It definitely reinforces the stereotype that those genteel southerners have a lot of skeletons in the closet.

My favorite of her books.
One of my favorite books of all time! I read this in HS, I think, and have loved the author ever since. Siddons' books tend to be about the collision of the New South with the Old South and she's great at creating heart-breaking and courageous characters that the reader cares about. Lucy, a damaged and frustrating woman, in Peachtree Road is an unforgettable character.
one of my alltime favorite books; written from the point of view of a man (unusual for this author), Shep, growing up in Buckhead in the 50's and 60's - follows his life and the life of his cousin, Lucy - really interesting since I live in Atlanta - one of my favorite authors and this is my favorite books of hers
Feb 20, 2010 Ashley rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ashley by:
I love this author, but this was the first book of her's that I could not finish. The main character's long trains of thought and observations were so mind-numbingly dull and tedious that I had to put the book down. A big disappointment from an otherwise great author.
Mary Jo
I have been a big fan of Siddons for many years. Peachtree Road is the first book of hers that I read, and I absolutely loved it. Maybe it's because most of her stories center around the Atlanta area and I love Atlanta. Who knows? Peachtree Road is a GREAT read!
This was her best novel, in my opinion. Richly drawn characters, and a setting that not only impacts, but drives the plot. It makes me want to visit Atlanta and see the homes, but I have a feeling they've probably all been razed to build office buildings by now!
Kitty Tomlinson
Haunting tale of first cousins Shep Bondurant and Lucy Bondurant Venable told against the backdrop of coming-of-age Atlanta. Excellent read.
Best first line I've ever read--"The south started killing Lucy Bondurant the day she was born. It does that to all it's women>"
I couldn't stop reading this book. I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning to finish it. It's great! Heart-wrenching but great!
A Southern novel in the vein of Pat Conroy. It was full of secrets - I liked it.
James Seawel
Friend Charlee recommended, no, insisted I read this book, but throughout the first half, well-written though it was, I had no idea why it was a must-read. Then it got good. What was a solid read became a page-turner as the story that Rivers Siddons had so carefully developed took a life of its own. This must be on the short-list of Southern fiction greats.

Set in Buckhead, a wealthy aristocratic suburb of Atlanta, Peachtree Road is as much a central figure as are Shep and Lucy Bondurant. Civil
Sarah Goodwin
Another novel on my first wander into southern lit. This was recommended by goodreads and I bought it from Amazon, hoping that it would impress me more than some of the other novels goodreads has thrown my way.

It is very long, over 800 pages, and there was a point at the start when I thought it would feel like 8000 pages. The first chapters are meandering stream of consciousness stuff, about places I'd never been to and people I'd never met. It took fifty pages for me to realize that the narrato
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Emily Markulis
This book tried to be the epic southern novel, and as such, it didn't really work. However, it is a compelling character drama. As someone who has known people with struggles similar to Lucy's, a lot of her problems and the dynamic of her relationship with Shepp ring true - at least until the overblown ending - and none of the major characters seemed one-dimensional, aside from perhaps Aunt Willa. But the author tries to do too much with this novel, trying to make the characters' struggles and p ...more
Peachtree Road is a story told by Sheppard Bondurant III. It begins on the day that his cousin, Lucy Bondurant, mother, sister and brother come to live with their family on Peachtree Road. A love-hate relationship ensues that keeps Shep jumping to keep Lucy in control. Lucy encounters many relationships in her life, some good and some not so good. Shep is always there it seems to get her out of a jam.

Shep is shy and bookish and is destined to be a failure in the eyes of his family. He does go of
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Born Sybil Anne Rivers in Atlanta, Georgia, she was raised in Fairburn, Georgia, and attended Auburn University, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority.
While at Auburn she wrote a column for the student newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman, that favored integration. The university administration attempted to suppress the column, and ultimately fired her, and the column garnered natio
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