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Fault Lines

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  1,888 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews

Years of caring for her needy family have left Merritt Fowler exhausted and confused, uncertain of who she is or what she wants. When a family argument sends her lovely, fragile daughter, Glynn, running from her Atlanta home to her Aunt Laura in Hollywood, Merritt is compelled to follow.

On impulse, the trio takes off in Laura's red Mustang convertible, barreling up the

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published (first published September 1st 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 01, 2009 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intrigueing plot and character development. I think it speaks to our "wild side" -- that part of us that would sometimes like to throw off our responsibilities and our orderly lives and just experience something new, exciting, daring, romantic -- even though to do so puts our lives and our relationships at great risk.
Suzy Black
Jan 04, 2009 Suzy Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of romantic novels
I'm an Anne Rivers Siddons fan, and this book was my absolute favorite - I keep a copy of it on my Kindle so that I can refer back to a couple of my favorite passages - passages that still mean a lot to me on a personal level - and ones that make me cry every time I read them. I'm not sure it would be everyone's favorite (I'll have to admit that it's a bit sappy), but I loved it
Nov 28, 2009 Esther rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: some who likes a better class of chic-lit
Recommended to Esther by: no one - the fault is mine alone
I’m not quite sure why I picked up this book - blurbs like “circumstances that will forever change the lives of all three women” are kryptonite to me. People ‘finding themselves’ is not my thing especially when an affair is used to get a marriage back on track.

It started off better than expected and in the first few chapters I so wanted to smack Pom I found it upsetting.
By the time Pring was also turning out to be a total rat I was getting a little weary with the women tangling themselves in k
Claire Fullerton
I consider Anne Rivers Siddons one of the select few of masterful, contemporary Southern writers, and Fault Lines is the tenth novel of hers I've read. Fault Lines is another of Siddons' fine examples of a seamlessly crafted story, wherein palpably developed characters find themselves in a plausible predicament. Beginning in Atlanta, Merritt Fowler is the second wife of a doctor, whose mother, who lives with them, has a more advanced stage of Alzheimers than her husband is willing to acknowledge ...more
Apr 25, 2010 ☮Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 500-plus-pages
Even though I found it hard to really identify with any of the three main characters, I liked this book a lot. It is very much a book about women and the roles we play in our loved ones' lives. The story goes from Atlanta, where Merrick does nothing but take care of everyone -- her mother-in-law with Alzeimer's who almost sets the house on fire, her teenage daughter recovering from anorexia, and her often-absent doctor husband -- to Hollywood, where Merrick's younger sister is trying to become a ...more
Nov 01, 2014 Kw rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The beautiful prose drew me in, but the soap opera about 2/3 in was really a bit much. I suppose people behave that way, but ugh! (Integrity - doing the right thing even when no one is watching.) I liked the main character until all this mess. Skipped all the scientific earthquake info - too dull - and read the end, which was satisfying. But not a book I'd share or recommend.
No one was anything but skinny in this story. An anorexic and two perfect figures, one nearly 50. Really? Not a single fig
Starts out promisingly but soon descends into soap opera and bathos. When Siddons describes landscape, natural phenomena, or animals, she's at her best-- in fact, sometimes profound-- but her people are paper dolls, and the "dialogue" is straight out of Dr. Phil. The plot was interesting enough to keep me hooked, but by p. 250 the novel had devolved into an embarrassing bodice-ripper, unfit for grownups.
Mar 28, 2011 Deanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not my favorite Anne Rivers Siddons book. In fact, compared to other books I have read of ARS, it was a real disappointment. I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable and the plot itself was completely unbelieveable. Once it finally got to the part about the earthquakes, I found myself pretty much skimming the pages, so that I could be finished with it.
Mar 17, 2014 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book exploring relationships, Siddons always at her descriptive best.
May 03, 2014 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel of life reevaluation and finding a new path.
May 23, 2011 Virginia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have only just started reading this novel, one I have read before, but forgotten. It seems I am becoming more critical of Ms Siddons or perhaps, I am becoming less tolerant of characters who allow others to walk all over them.

Merritt Fowler is married to a doctor who gives all his time and attention to his clinic. He leaves Merritt to dispose of the rats that have infested their home, a home she did not want to buy. He leaves her to care for his mother who has dementia, going so far as to refu
Nov 19, 2012 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2012
At one time Anne Rivers Siddons was one of my favorite authors; I devoured her books. This book was on my shelf and when I first started the book, it seemed familiar. Perhaps I started it previously, but I know I didn't get far. The book was just ok; I was expecting more and was disappointed, though I am not sure if I can articulate why. Is ARS different or am I?

Merritt Fowler is a wife, mom and big sister. She takes care of everyone, including her mother-in-law with Alzheimers. After her anorex
Nov 15, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was well-written, to be sure (although I think Siddons uses the word "presently" too much), but entirely unrealistic to me -- both the journey that Merritt takes, how quickly she falls in "love" (lust is more like it), and the ending -- which I won't spoil here. All that said, I thoroughly enjoyed entering a fantasy world for awhile and traveling along with her on an emotional and sensual journey, even while my practical side was saying "this could never ...more
Jun 30, 2011 Louise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Siddons has always been one of my favorite authors. She creates charaters that are believable. I usually find that I can identify with aspects of all her characters...not this one. I could not wait to get it over with. This was the worst book by Siddons I have ever read and I have read quite a few of them. Perhaps it is because it is an earlier book but the characters seemed shallow and completely self-involved. While there was a bid at the end to change this attitude it did not ring true. It wa ...more
May 03, 2012 Nina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm, well here's the good: It is a good book to read on vacation or if you want something mindless to do. I think the author develops the main characters pretty well and you are rooting for them in a way.

But here's the not so good: Too wordy. Analogies got on my nerves. Tended to the melodramatic especially towards the end. A bit campy in places. Some characters especially the Hollywood directors/producers were cliche. The end was a bit unbelievable. For instance, (Spoiler alert) When the "big
Feb 02, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe because I've read almost everything Siddons has written, I liked this book because of my familiarity with the author and her style. There were a few things said about motherhood that spoke to me and I always like when a female character recognizes the need for change and stands up for it. Otherwise, I wanted the book to end about 2/3 of the way through, the remainder was predictable and trite, disappointing. When I started reading Siddons' books about 12 years ago, I ate them up, I loved t ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Another $1 clearance from the library. I'm going to send it to Beth so she can listen to the first two tapes and see what it might be like to have our mother living with one of her children. She doesn't have to bother with the rest of the book and since she doesn't live in CA or the Ring of Fire like my daughter and I she can even skip the last side of the last of 11 tapes which is when the earth quake finally happens and neatly resolves all the other tensions in the story (infidelity, Hollywood ...more
Dec 28, 2013 Joanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read by this author and I wasn't going to bother with it after I read several reviews of it. Most were only two stars, many reviewers saying this the least favorite of this author's work, naming other titles they liked much better. I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did. The story does have a fairly predictable plot line, but I found it interesting nonetheless, and I liked the characters. I would definitely check out her other titles.
Becky Schulman
Mar 28, 2015 Becky Schulman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Merritt Fowler is the kind of person who is always putting others first, caring for everyone - her husband, daughter, mother-in-law, and sister. Several events lead her to the breaking point and after a major family quarrel, she takes off after her daughter who has run away to spend time with Merritt's sister in California. Merritt meets an earthquake scientist who helps her learn how to live for herself with courage and strength.
May 01, 2016 Jacky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book dealt more with mother-daughter-wife-sister relationships...basically the roles of a woman. There were some not so moral decisions made in this book, but it was a book about self-discovery. I read it in one 6 hours. My only small complaint would be the factual tangents about fault lines/earthquakes because even though it was short (less than 5 pages total), I just have 0 interest.
Southern Belles who run away to Southern CA who then find themselves (and find themselves in a therapeutic way) in the Santa Cruz redwoods and Palo Alto. A highly improbably love affair that actually causes the earth to move, yup an earthquake! and more than one earthquake, too.

As a Northern Californian, I like the local references but I'm glad I borrowed this one from the library because I wouldn't want it in my collection.
Evi Sinisalo
Jan 18, 2015 Evi Sinisalo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
what a tedious book, but I can proudly say I finished it. Not sure why... But I admit I did scan a lot of pages towards the end.

It started sort of okay, but the characters were built in such a way that I liked none of them as I could not understand them, their decisions or actions. And once the ladies got to California it all turned into rubbish.

Straight into the Goodwill bag this one went, not to my beloved book shelves.
Feb 10, 2008 Sabra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Oh, good enough if you need a vacation read, I guess. Though, my god! What an emphasis the narration has on beauty! Each female character more beautiful and lithe and etc. than the last. It's disturbingly materialistic in a visual sort of way. Beauty = value. As for the plot, oh, it's just silly and the big "special effects" crisis at the end just seemed like a bad movie that would probably make me change the channel...
Sep 17, 2013 Lis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, single-reads
It was a very quick, and light, read. It tipped far too much into the romance genre for my tastes. The closer to the end of the book, the more predictable it became. I don't know if the characters were suppose to use double negatives when speaking or if the editor missed them but they were both annoying and grating.
Feb 08, 2014 Zoë rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having purchased this book at a library sale for a mere quarter, I really had high hopes of loving this book. The blurb on the back enticed me yet the actual book lost me one time too many. Unless you're an earthquake buff (or crave to know more) and/or a fan of clichéd Hollywood endings, I highly recommend staying clear of this book.
Jun 09, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anne Rivers Siddons writes the best stories ever. I always get so much out of her novels personally. She helps you see how things should be when sometimes things are so muddled. I believe my Terry talks to me, I get lost & think it's me talking, then I hear him so clearly again. I hope other people have this too
Joy H.
Added 4/3/11 but read a while ago.
Quote from book:
"The very fact that he was a stranger and would remain one was both license and armor. I realized suddenly how very liberating anonymity was... The very lack of any history between you is like a shot of Demerol."
-p. 388, _Fault Lines_ by Anne Rivers Siddons, 1995
Sep 13, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting off this book was a bit difficult to hold my attention. The chapters are also so jammed pack that they read like run on sentences with no breaks. That lost a star in my rating. But if you can hold on till chapter 5 things change. Yes the chapters are still run on but they will definitely hold your attention. I cried through the last two chapters. It is well worth the read.
Robert Keefer
Mar 03, 2016 Robert Keefer rated it it was amazing
Good Read

I love Ms. Siddons books. They are an easy, relaxing read but not "fluff". She writes for women, not using vocabulary for a teen. This book has its share of sadness, but the love between the characters spoke to me. I wish she would write more...I own everything except this one and I'll be adding it to my collection soon.
Carolyn S
Sep 19, 2012 Carolyn S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took a long time, mostly because of me, but did enjoy the book. Lots of twists and good surprising ending make me enjoy this book. Lots of information about earthquakes and I had a 4.6 earthquake while I was reading this book. So power to the mind and may the good earth keep us safe.
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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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“Didn't I say I'd always be your same stars? If you get to missing me, just look up.” 117 likes
“Whenever you see redwoods in the National Geographic, or fog, or watch Shamu on TV, you'll be seeing me. Whenever you smell pine and spruce and day-old socks, that's me. Whenever you hear wind in the tops of trees, that's me, and whenever you taste crab and wine and Brie, that's me, and whenever the wind blows your hat off or you get under a cold shower, that's me. Whenever you read about an earthquake, that's me, sure as gun's iron. Whenever you smell wet dog, that's Curtis and me, and whenever you see a Rattus rattus, that's Forrest, and I'm right behind him. Never see me again? You'll never not see me. And I'll never not see you . . .Didn't I say I'd always be your same stars? If you get to missing me, just look up.” 6 likes
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