Christina Grande's Reviews > Burnt Mountain

Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons
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Aug 28, 11

Read in August, 2011

I haven't read an Anne Rivers Siddons book since "Outer Banks," but upon realizing she wrote a new book, I picked this one up from my local library. I found the beginning to be quite slow, but by the middle I was definitely attached to Thayer's camp experience and her relationships with her grandmother (Grand) and her mother. I was drawn to Thayer, her wild personality, her red hair and exquisite eyes, and her uniqueness in the midst of "The Wentworths:- her mother and sister Lily.

My confusion with this text was when Thayer gets an abortion (which seems very bloody and old fashioned) without her knowledge and later when her husband has an "affair" that is never explained with Camp Forever. Siddons quickly brushes over details and seems to forget the time period of the text (sometimes I felt like I was in the year 1910, i.e. the abortion scenario and lack of air conditioning and sometimes I felt like I was in present day, i.e. the mention of Harry Potter.) I know that she attempts to focus on magic as a major theme in this novel with the magic of Nick Abrams and the Irish magic of Aegnus, but it doesn't work. We never really understand the magic of her husband and it seems all too convenient that Thayer "runs into" Nick exactly when she and her husband are having problems.

I thought that the motif of camp was a bit too obvious. Thayer meets Nick at camp and loses her husband at a camp. But, I can't find any other significance and again, I felt like Siddons was placing the story very far into the past. Where are we and what is the text trying to tell us? Unfortunately, we never find out.

The book begins slowly and picks up the pace so much that by the end of the text I was flipping back pages wondering if I had missed something. The answer- I had not. I think other readers would feel as surprised as me after reading the book.
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