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Islands

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  4,703 Ratings  ·  266 Reviews

Anny Butler is a caretaker, a nurturer, first for her own brothers and sisters, and then as a director of an agency devoted to the welfare of children. What she has never had is a real family. That changes when she meets and marries Lewis Aiken, an exuberant surgeon fifteen years older than Anny. When they marry, she finds her family—not a traditional one, but a group of C

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Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2003)
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Gatlianne Gatlianne
May 12, 2010 Gatlianne Gatlianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
I finished this book because the cover said "National Best Seller" and I thought - there has to be a reason this book is a best seller so I'm going to finish it!

I closed the book when I was finished thinking - nope - there wasn't a reason. People must have bought it for the author's name.

This is the second Siddons book I've read. I wasn't pleased with the first either. When the story started out in "Islands" I thought it had potential. I was in the world of Charleston and I learned a few things
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Mike
Apr 18, 2009 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, how do you write a review for a book for whom you clearly weren’t the intended audience, but you read it anyway? I read it because I was curious about the genre, even though I can’t really say what the genre is. I’m not even sure I know what the theme of the book was. It seems, on the surface, to be about the very ordinary lives of members of Charleston’s privileged society. When I was growing up, one of the favorite jokes in my house was how unrealistic television families were. But, we’d a ...more
Tarah
Jul 24, 2012 Tarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


I have had this book for years now and kept reading the story synopsis then would put it back on the bookshelf, finally I was all out of other books so read this. Wow did I ever waste time waiting! This book was great, such a journey through life with all the characters. Never thought the ending would be so twisted but clever and it also answered questions u had throughout the story. What a wonderful book, tears and laughter, I really became invested in the characters! Loved it!
Dana
Jun 26, 2009 Dana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I didn't care much for this book. I didn't feel she went into detail enough about any of the characters. I felt more like the places were the main characters instead of the people. I didn't like the characters, I found them to be weird. A group of successful people with lots of money, several homes and families but they were all obsessed with an old dilapidated beach house and the crazy possessive Camilla. None of them seemed to have a connection with or cared much for their children or grand ch ...more
Peg
Nov 26, 2009 Peg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure the review I wrote went through, so I thought I would try again. This book seemed to go on and on with little real purpose. It is a story about a group of people, several of whom have known each other since childhood, who own a beach house together on Sullivan Island near Charleston, SC. The setting was interesting to me because we visited that area earlier this year.

The group vows that they will love and care for each other forever. Through the various tragedies and stages of their
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Susan
Jul 22, 2010 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-fiction
Islands is the second title I have read by ARS (Sweetwater Creek being the first). I did not enjoy this storyline and was disappointed with the ending. Islands follows the lives of the "Scrubs", 4 Charleston couples who are close friends and in my opinion - way too needy of each other. They all own antiqudated old homes, as well as other assorted houses, but find they are most happy at the beach house. The story follows them through the times that they spend together at the beach house and the L ...more
Cynthia Thomason
I am a true Anne Rivers Siddons fan. I love most everything of hers I read. This book fell a little flat for me. It is written in the typical Siddons lyrical style with wonderful phrasing, elegant descriptions and her usual passion for her low country setting. My problem was with the plot which seemed to drag. I read to page 150 and stopped. I just wasn't engaged in what was going on with these characters. The initial romance was under developed. The group dynamics of the "Scrubs" was too narrow ...more
Sarah
Nov 06, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While reading this book I found myself longing for a group of friends that is displayed here. I was drawn into the relationships between them and the seemingly sustaining force between them. I enjoyed the dynamics between characters and the descriptions of the settings. The ending was surprising (which does not happen too often in books for me), and I enjoyed that. This book also displayes the goods and bads of deep relationships and the way the relationships develop and unfold.
Mary
Oct 23, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Anny Butler has always been a caretaker, a nurturer, first for her own brothers and sisters, and then as the director of an agency devoted to the welfare of children. What she has never had is a family of her own to care for. That all changes when she meets and marries Lewis Aiken, an exuberant surgeon fifteen years Anny's senior.

When they marry, Anny finds her family - not a traditional one, but a group of childhood friends from Charleston who are inseparable; who are one another's surrogate fa
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Kw
Jul 15, 2014 Kw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. The prose is simply flawless as it soothes and sparkles and shines and just makes me feel good. I enjoyed the story, was astonished at the surprise ending, and feel as if I've OD'd on shellfish. The menus sound fattening, but the people never gain weight. And I really do hope that only imagined characters drink so much!
But still, its great. If you don't want to read it, at least read about Gladys' epiphany (page 233 in my copy) and the arrival of Gaynelle on the scene (p. 284). Wonde
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Diana
May 05, 2014 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was ridiculously well written! Wow! A bunch of friends, who call themselves the Scrubs due to all being in the medical field, make a promise to be there for each forever. They stay at the beach house each weekend and life happens all around them. Hurricanes, fires, deaths. Fabulously story of friendship and their chosen "family". But OMG, it has the surprise ending you will NOT see coming. Loved it, mixed feelings about the end but it reminded me of my friends and I since we always say ...more
Susan
Jul 13, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that is meant to be re-read, several times. It is a quiet, yet full read with unexpected turns. It is written with a love of land and architecture and explores themes of love, loss, friendship, masks, trust, aging... I think when I read it again, I will see new lessons and understand old ones more thoroughly. A gem!
Beth
Sep 11, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
I enjoyed this. Some of the reviews said this was not Siddons best work. A story of long time friends enjoying their lives together and discovering one of them is a psychopath. The ending was and wasn't a surprise. Look forward to other works by Siddons.
Laurie
Jun 10, 2017 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled getting through the prologue and almost gave up a couple of times. Now that I've finished the book, I still think the prologue was a miss. I'm glad I stuck with the story, because after a few chapters I did enjoy the story.
Nancy
May 27, 2017 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! It kept my interest! The writing was very descriptive. I look forward to reading more of Anne Rivers Siddons' books.
Cindy Wagner
Feb 15, 2017 Cindy Wagner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. I became a part of the group of characters and looked forward to spending time with them every morning and evening. Now that I finished the book I miss them. I have to wait a day before I start another book as I am still thinking of the people from this book. It is a wonderful journey of a group of friends and you are with them through ups and downs. There is also an unexpected twist at the end.
Helene
Jun 04, 2017 Helene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Siddons never disappoints. Easy read about couples living in Charleston and low country and their escapades
Happiness mixed with sadness as they grow old together
Amanda
Mar 01, 2017 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing. Beautiful words. You can see the places.
Leslie  Golden
Jul 07, 2013 Leslie Golden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some authors find a formula and stick to it come hell or high water. I think the publishing world encourages this. After all, if the first five books dealt with ABC culture and yielded a reasonable amount of sales, then five more books on the same culture should bring about the same amount of profit, right? Never mind that the formula stifles the author's creativity and muffles the reader's imagination, at least the book world isn't taking as big a risk. Well, for all of its flaws, I like Island ...more
Emily
May 13, 2015 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on audio in the car and wonder if I'd have felt differently about it if I'd simply read it on my own. Kate Flemming with her southern drawl and inflections brings the scenes and characters of Charleston and its nearby islands to life in a way that might be missing if I myself were reading it. I very much enjoyed just being read to with this one.

That being said...this was my first experience with Anne Siddons and so I didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed her descriptions of th
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Cathleen
I picked up "Islands' by Anne Rivers Siddons to try a new author unknown. While I enjoyed reading parts of "Islands" because it brought back memories of the time I lived in the Carolinas, the book was not that great of a read.

The main character, Anny Butler is the director of a Charleston children's welfare agency. While bringing a child to the clinic she meets her future husband. The author in introducing Lewis Aiken, described him as a womanizer. Anny and Lewis start dating and eventually get
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Kathy
Jul 30, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quotable:
It takes a lot to ruffle Henry. She can do it, though. I always wondered, in a way, why he married her, aside from the fact that he’s crazy about her, of course. Henry needs a safe, sheltered harbor more than anybody else I know. He hasn’t had a whole lot of that with Fairlie. Of course, he’d never say so, but I’ve known him all my life. I know when he needs his home port.

And as the slow days burned toward October, Henry seemed to me to have achieved a fragile peace that I thought might
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Claire Fullerton
This is a beautiful, moving story of the bonds of friendship that change, adjust and accommodate the changing tides throughout decades, set in the low country in and around Charleston,South Carolina. Anny Butler is an outsider to a group of friends born to privilege. When she marries one of them, Lewis Aiken, her life shifts and her world opens up as she becomes one of them. Told in first person narrative through the scrim of an observer of Charleston's societal nuances, Anny catches everything, ...more
Janie
Jul 21, 2014 Janie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xxx-2014
Oh. My. As I read this book, my first by Siddons, I kept thinking how I would scribble my thoughts about the book. At first, the book was okay and nicely written. Kind of hummmm. But then Siddons evidently was working her magic prose and pulled me in. I was so eager to finish tasks so I could grab a few extra minutes and pick the book up. Her character development is extraordinary. Her descriptions are realistic. Her vocabulary usage is smile-worthy; she's not a typical Southern fiction writer l ...more
Brandy
Feb 22, 2017 Brandy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-audio
It was an "ok" book. Very MEH. characters and story were both blah. It wasn't BAD, but very forgettable.
Dee
Jul 09, 2016 Dee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I used to consider myself an Anne Rivers Siddons fan, but this novel and the last one I read were merely okay, and I don't know if it's me changing or her.

This novel had lots of beautiful imagery in it. The downside was that the first 250 pages was basically backstory for the last 100 or so pages. I think she could have edited a lot more, retained the feeling of it, without having to tell us what happened over the past 20 years in slow progression. I kept waiting for "something" to happen, even
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Kellie
Aug 23, 2008 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the best but pretty good. There is always an interesting twist in her books. This is no exception. A bunch of friends all associated with medicine somehow, go thru the winter of their lives and try and help each other deal with aging and tragedy. The setting is the South Carolina coast. Anny Butler is a caretaker, a nurturer, first for her own brothers and sisters, and then as a director of an agency devoted to the welfare of children. What she has never had is a real family. That changes wh ...more
Beth
Sep 13, 2016 Beth rated it liked it
I like Anne Rivers Siddons' books but this one meandered quite a bit and seemed to take a long time to get to the point of the book. It seemed an obvious plot point that was to be the surprise ending. I have enjoyed her other books much more.
Brown
Sep 22, 2011 Brown rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Anny Butler is a caretaker, a nurturer, first for her brothers and sisters, and then as a director of an agency devoted to the welfare of children. What she has never had is a real family. That changes when she meets and marries Lewis Aiken, an exuberant surgeon fifteen years older than Anny. When they marry, she finds her family-not a traditional one, but a group of Charleston childhood friends who are inseparable, who are one another's surrogate family. They are called the Scrubs, and they all ...more
Joanne
Jan 10, 2012 Joanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Audiobook – received a MP3 player for Christmas and I wanted to check it out!
Thanks to my librarian sister who helped me download this debut.

This was an enjoyable story. Reminded me of a long beach vacation with
friends. Everything seemed perfect on the outside. The descriptions of
the beach area and Charlestown were very poetic and could have been overly
busy if I “read” this book.

The Scrubs– a group of Charlestown acquaintances mostly doctors who have
been friends forever and share a beach cottage
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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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