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Peachtree Road

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  9,770 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
Tenth anniversary edition! Set amidst the grandeur of Old Southern aristocracy, here is a novel that chronicles the turbulent changes of a great city--Atlanta--and tells the story of love and hate between a man and a woman. When Lucy comes to live with her cousin, Sheppard, and his family in the great house on Peachtree Road, she is an only child, never expecting that her ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 832 pages
Published August 5th 1998 by HarperTorch (first published November 13th 1989)
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Minty McBunny
Sep 10, 2014 Minty McBunny rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014, september-2014
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
Jun 20, 2011 deLille rated it really liked it
For anyone who lives or has ever lived in Atlanta, this book is fascinating for its historical references alone.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
Jul 03, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 04, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok
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
Jan 16, 2009 Marsha rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Aug 09, 2012 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-fried, owned
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
Jul 22, 2011 Kim rated it it was ok
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.
Dick Edwards
Jan 27, 2011 Dick Edwards rated it really liked it
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
Sep 06, 2010 Dorothy rated it liked it
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
May 18, 2017 Deb rated it it was amazing
Some books are just banquets. This is one of them.
Claire Fullerton
May 26, 2015 Claire Fullerton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
There's no other way to say it,"Peachtree Road" is the written word at its finest; 797 pages of evocative, soul-stirring wonder written in a first person voice that laughs in the face of lesser writers adhering to the widely, overemphasized and uninspired writing rule of "show, don't tell." This book tells, and it does so fearlessly in a voice that could only come from a blue-blooded insider coming of age in 1960's Atlanta. Without judgment or condescension, and more in the vein of an objective ...more
Tara Hall
Oct 20, 2012 Tara Hall rated it really liked it
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
Sep 01, 2009 Linda rated it it was ok
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
Jul 20, 2008 Lois rated it really liked it
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
Natasja Holben Handy
Nov 21, 2015 Natasja Holben Handy rated it really liked it
I reserve 5 stars only for my absolute all-time favorites, so 4 stars is still pretty great. This is nuanced classic southern literature, a la Pat Conroy and it both troubled and captivated me. It felt unusual that Rivers' narrator was male, and perhaps why the book is so compelling. It delves deep into his psyche and pulls things out that are unfamiliar though a females voice and downright unexpected by a man. I really appreciate what this book brought to the table.
Jan 24, 2011 dreamer rated it really liked it
Delicious, but disturbing.

I've been sitting here trying to come up with something that would do this novel justice, and honestly, I think that's about right. What else can you say about a book that shocks the hell out of you many times (and not always --or ever-- in a good way) but you devour it?
Jun 24, 2009 Tori rated it really liked it
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
Apr 19, 2008 Johanna rated it it was amazing
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.
Mary Jo
Nov 14, 2008 Mary Jo rated it it was amazing
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!
Feb 16, 2010 Ashley rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 16, 2007 Julz rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reads
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!
Jul 14, 2008 Higgins148 rated it it was amazing
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>"
Mar 06, 2009 Tina rated it really liked it
A Southern novel in the vein of Pat Conroy. It was full of secrets - I liked it.
Kitty Tomlinson
Dec 30, 2008 Kitty Tomlinson rated it really liked it
Haunting tale of first cousins Shep Bondurant and Lucy Bondurant Venable told against the backdrop of coming-of-age Atlanta. Excellent read.
Jan 09, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
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!
Stacy Genobles
There's lots to dislike about this book. Main characters Shep (male cousin, narrator) and Lucy (repeatedly stated to be 2 years younger than Shep, moves in with Shep's wealthy family when her shiftless dad runs away)are selfish, incestuous, callous, co-dependent snobs. Lucy in particular is a delinquent.

Because Shep wuvs her so, he repeatedly defends Lucy's decisions. He describes Lucy as NEVER deliberately cruel, on a day when pre-teen Lucy sneers that their friend with a leg brace* (from chil
Dec 28, 2016 Kristen rated it really liked it
In Anne Rivers Siddon's Peachtree Road, a long saga and coming-of-age historical woman's fiction novel that takes place from the 1950s to the 1970s in Atlanta, Georgia. Told from the narrator, Shephard Bondurant, he told the story about the arrival of his cousin Lucy and the life they lived on Peachtree Road with his aunt and two other cousins all in one roof. Throughout the years, these two cousins were inseparable as siblings, he told how Lucy came into their lives and how she became a hellion ...more
I'd read this one years and years ago and decided to reread it. Maybe at the time I first read it, I didn't notice the overly pretentious wording and seriously overdone purple prose, but I sure noticed it this time around. I'd also not noticed in the first reading that the Lucy character was basically a huge MarySue...oh, she had a few flaws, but otherwise the MC kept reminding us of her awesome beauty and great intellect and the fact she farted rainbows and pooped butterflies. I decided not to ...more
Frida Hultgren
Jul 03, 2017 Frida Hultgren rated it liked it
I remember this one had way to little dialog in the beginning. So little that I counted the pages until they actually started talking to each other. Not a favorite. Don't remember why I gave it such a high grade. Maybe the ending was better then the beginning. I read 55 other books before I could pick this up and finish. Ugh!
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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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