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Low Country: A Novel
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Low Country: A Novel

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  16,110 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
Caroline Venable has everything her Southern heritage promised: money, prestige, a powerful husband --- and a predictable routine of country-club luncheons, cocktail parties, and dinners hosting her husband's wealthy friends, clients, and associates in his successful land-developing conglomerate.

To escape her stifling routine, Caro drinks a little too much. But her true s
...more
Paperback, 461 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 1998)
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Kshydog
Mar 18, 2013 Kshydog rated it it was ok
Reading this while on Kiawah Island which is off the coast of SC made the descriptions so right on about this island resort area and nearby Charleston. The main character, Caro, describes living in these surroundings in such a way that I felt like she could have been someone here. Unfortunately the way she dealt with the death of her daughter and her husband's attitude toward her love of her island became more unrealistic as the story progressed.
Kathy Ellner
Mar 06, 2014 Kathy Ellner rated it it was amazing
I love all of Anne River Siddons books. She has a way of drawing you right into the page you are reading. I see myself sitting on the porch looking out at the marshes, hearing all the sounds of the Lowcountry!
Alice
Aug 13, 2016 Alice rated it did not like it
Ugh. Dreadful book. The protagonist is boring, pretentious, spoiled, & self absorbed. made myself finish it just for completion's sake
Rachel Munson
Jan 10, 2017 Rachel Munson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
15% in, didn't finish
Saadia
Mar 18, 2013 Saadia rated it liked it
I read this after reading "Up Island" by Anne Rivers Siddons and I wanted to read another story by the same author.

ARS writes very expansively about an area's environmental setting: this one is a fictional "low country" island, Peacock Island, near the Charleston shores. Her "southern writer's voice" means a keen sense of dialogue and timing and setting in a South Carolina indigenous locale. Through the eyes of Caroline Venable, a young woman with blood and heart ties to the area, the author des
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deLille
Mar 12, 2012 deLille rated it liked it
Shelves: southern
A good summer read, particularly if you are visiting the low country of South Carolina. However, I have to admit that I would not have even looked twice at this book had I not enjoyed "Peachtree Road" so much. "Peachtree Road" is by far a deeper, more complex book, and overall, better literature. For me, "Low Country" does not sound like it was written by the same author; rather, it sounds more like it was written by an aspiring writer, someone who has not yet completely honed the art of descrip ...more
Teresa
May 10, 2012 Teresa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current-fiction
Caro and Clay Venable mostly have it all...a successful property development corporation with holdings all over the country, several homes in the beautiful Lowcountry area of South Carolina, a long and relatively happy marriage, and ownership of an entire island which has been in Caro's family for decades. Unfortunately they are still dealing with the grief and loss of their young daughter who died in a tragic accident five years ago.

While the majority of their island has been developed to inclu
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Dyana
Dec 12, 2013 Dyana rated it it was amazing
The author is amazing at painting pictures with words, and it is a good book for a snowy cold day (as opposed to a beach read). Caroline Venable and her husband, Clay, live in the low country of South Carolina on Peacock's Island. He makes his money as the owner of a property development corporation. His master plans include environmentally friendly practices in planned communities in a resort like atmosphere. His first, called Peacock Island Plantation, is where they live. Caro (Caroline) besid ...more
Virginia
Jan 05, 2014 Virginia rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-again, 2014
I have reviewed many novels by Anne Rivers Siddons. I have read many more. Ms. Siddons novels are, almost exclusively, about place - the pull of place, the safety that some places can provide and the comfort of familiar places. Indeed, the titles of her novels are places - Downtown, Colony, Burnt Mountain, Peachtree Road. This novel is also one about a place, a place which is home, provides security and must be saved from unscrupulous liars looking to profit. In that respect, it is no different ...more
Mary
Nov 29, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
Caroline Venable is the quintessential Southern Belle. Her southern heritage has also afforded her money, prestige, a powerful husband - and a predictable routine of country club luncheons, cocktail parties and dinners hosting her husband's wealthy friends, clients and associates in his successful land-developing conglomerate.

To escape her stifling routine, Caro drinks a little too much. But her true solace is found in Peacock's Island - the Lowcountry island her beloved Grandaddy left her - an
...more
Judy
Apr 06, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
A little slow at beginning, but it paid off with wonderful characters. The ending was not what I was thinking, and may have been a bit of a cop out, but all in all a great read.

I needed to come back to this review after visiting Hilton Head. When I read the book I focused on the characters, but after visiting Hilton Head, I now can understand better the author's take on land development. It now is obvious to me that she was influenced by the development on Hilton Head (and I verified this with
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Pat
Jan 04, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed Siddons, although my last one,"The House Next Door," one of her first, was terrible.
Once again, we see the (autobiographical?) story of a lower-class Southern beauty "marrying up" to a professional-class man, and the resulting complications.
Caro is a complex character, conflicted by her twin desires to save Granddad's idyllic island, with its Gullah Never-neverland, and her husband. She is damaged by the death of her beloved daughter, and drinks to forget. Along comes the lik
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Emily
Jun 09, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it
Good storytelling wrapped up in prose that plopped me right in the middle of South Carolina's coastal marshlands. Granted, the plot stretched the bounds of credibility in more than one spot (*spoiler* any CEO/President/owner worth anything knows his company down to the detail, regardless of what the hourly employee might suppose - a bust in Puerto Rico should not surprise Clay Venable. And the ponies...that two small girls on separate occasions could fearlessly get astride a wild pony, let alone ...more
Tom
Dec 12, 2009 Tom rated it liked it
Caroline Venable has everything her Southern heritage promised: money, prestige, a powerful husband--and a predictable routine of country-club luncheons, cocktail parties, and dinners hosting her husband's wealthy friends, clients, and associates in his successful land-developing conglomerate.

To escape her stifling routine, Caro drinks a little too much. But her true solace is the Lowcountry island her beloved Granddaddy left her--an oasis of breathtaking beauty that is home to a band of wild po
...more
Joanne
Oct 17, 2011 Joanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first read by this popular author – not sure I would go out of my way to read something else by her. While the storyline outlined inside the book jacket sounded interested, I felt the story dragged on with descriptive language that really didn’t add to the narrative. Sometimes characters and situations just seemed to pop up without any prelude – like her and Luis being best friends after one encounter (I realize there was some interest there, but a woman of her standing normally would have be ...more
Margaret
From the back of the book: Caroline Venable has everything her Southern heritage promised: money, prestige, a powerful husband - and a predictable round of country club luncheons, cocktail parties and dinners. To escape her stifling routine, Caro drinks a little too much. But her true solace is the Lowcountry island her beloved granddaddy left her. When Caro learns that her husband must develop the island or lose the business, she is devastated. Saving the island could cost Caro more than she ev ...more
Mer929
Nov 04, 2011 Mer929 rated it really liked it
Ok, having now read two of Siddons books, I am beginning to think she is just not my new favorite author. Having read a half dozen books that are set in Charleston, I have become accustomed to some of the southern expressions found in many books. But some of her dialog was just cliche and repetitive.

Again, Siddons characters are deep and well developed, but just a bit dark for my taste. Her descriptions of the wildlife and scenery are wonderfully crafted, but just not enough to make me fall in
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Jennifer
Mar 31, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I loved this book - and I cheated. I didn't actually read it, I listened to it on tape. I listen to this every spring, when the sun is warmer and I start dreaming of the future. ARS does a wonderful job describing the south with an amazing vocabulary that engages the reader. Her characters are people you want to grab and hold close to you and invite to dinners you don't have to throw but want to because the company is so wonderful. You can almost smell the salty marshes and the ponies and the na ...more
Patti from Charlotte
What began as just a simple 'beach read' (What better place to read about South Carolina's Low Country than while vacationing on the Coast?) turned into much more than just that. Anne Rivers Siddons' tale of the opulence of resort-life contrasted magnificently with the historically-based Gullah life on the fictitious Peacock Island over the span of these quick-paced 460 pages. More than just relying on colorful descriptions of the land and the culture of the South, Siddons drew her reader in wit ...more
Teresa
Nov 27, 2015 Teresa rated it really liked it
This book was wonderful. A very descriptive story that wrapped you into a lovely island with amazing characters. A story about harsh realities and moving forward through it all. My only issue with it was that it was too wordy, I found my self skimming near the end because I found a lot of the writing redundant and not relevant. I believe the author wanted us to truly connect with the main character so she kept diving deep into her thoughts, but after a while that was distracting. Otherwise thoug ...more
Nicole Estes
Oct 02, 2016 Nicole Estes rated it liked it
I was back and forth I liked it, didn't like it, liked it again and then didn't. I ended up in the middle with a slightly better than ok rating I guess. I was thinking the character Sophia was going to be a bigger part of the story.
Muriel McLemore
Sep 19, 2011 Muriel McLemore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderfully written and interesting novel about the islands off the South Carolina coast, not far from Charleston. We have travelled there often and love that part of the country. The characters are so believable and the storyline so relevant with the constant attacks on unspoiled land. The heroine is a woman who has had hard knocks in life and the assault on her island and the native gullahs who occupy part of island and have for a hundred years by someone she loves is just too much. We ...more
Martha
Oct 27, 2011 Martha rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I didn't want it to end. I haven't read anything else for a couple of days so I can still think about this one. The couple in the story has a very strong bond despite the very real possibility of splitting up. She is trying to help an indigenous group of people on their island, he wants to develop it. There are some very wonderful friendships that develop throughout the story. And even some interesting literary references like part of an Emily Dickenson poem. (I knew the whole ...more
Susan Coster
Jul 21, 2014 Susan Coster rated it it was ok
Shelves: could-not-read
Caroline Venable is a socialite living in a wealthy development near Charleston. Her husband, Clay, an elitist, is about to build a new housing/resort development in Gullah country (Dayclear) much to Caroline's dismay. This land is precious to her because her grandfather gifted it to her many years ago and the land still has wild horses.....Low Country is a story of personal renewal and transformation, an Old South upbringing vs. the new South's prosperity.
Carolyn
Feb 01, 2011 Carolyn rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because it is about a woman named Caroline, called Caro, and my name is Carolyn and sometimes my friends call me Caro. Also, it is set on an island off the southeastern coastline, and much of the description reminds me of St. Simons Island, off the coast of GA, where my grandmother lives and where I have visited since I was little. At first I thought the descriptions were a bit much, but the more I read the more I really got into the book and liked it.
Marvin Soroos
Siddons is one of my favorite novelists and this one was not a disappointment. She is a master at developing characters and engaging plots. This novel tells the story of a woman who tries to save a favorite island once owned by her grandfather (and a long-standing community of African Americans that resides there) from her husband's desperate development plans. Siddons does a marvelous job of describing the environment and climate of the low country off the coast of South Carolina.
Lorrie
This book was so very good. Caroline and Clay owned a house/Peacock Island which was largely uncommercialized and hosted an actual Gullah community and sunbathing alligators. The author is such a magnificent storyteller, that I could see the landscape, hear the chanting and waves, smell the marsh, and feel the mist. I would recommend the audio. It was wonderful and the reader really did justice to all of the dialects.
Diane C.
Apr 17, 2009 Diane C. rated it really liked it
This is a bit of a soap opera, however I loved the prose and the descriptions of the low country itself.

I found myself annoyed with the lead character quite often, a rather spoiled, sheltered, self absorbed woman. Her being drawn out as much as she is to change and becoming a more caring, outwardly involved person is pretty believable, and there's a cast of colorful characters. I listened to this as a book on cd, and really enjoyed the readers voice.
Deborah
Aug 05, 2013 Deborah rated it liked it
I read LOW COUNTRY quite a while ago, and I remember thinking when I finished, that it was a worthy read, a good summer read, but not the best Anne Rivers Siddons I had read. Look at some of her very first books, and you will find some shining examples of excellent, well-written, well-crafted stories.
Candace Calvert
Sep 03, 2016 Candace Calvert rated it liked it
One of my favorite authors, but not my favorite book.
It did concern me that horses were an important part of this story, and yet there were at least two obvious errors concerning behavior/equipment related to these animals--a research problem.
Still, a touching story overall.
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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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