Downtown

Anne Rivers Siddons, Author HarperCollins Publishers $24 (374p) ISBN 978-0-06-017934-2
Her latest novel exhibits Siddons's ( Hill Towns ) strengths and weaknesses in equal measure and may leave her fans underwhelmed, disappointed in her uninspired and often pretentious story line. The background, Atlanta in the heady '60s, is well done, but Siddons's penchant for excessive prose and hokey nostalgia often gets out of hand. Maureen ``Stormy'' O'Donnell is a naive young woman from a working-class Irish-Catholic family who moves to Atlanta in the mid-'60s to write for a local magazine. (Her ease in getting the job and her overjoyed welcome by her new colleagues is the stuff of fairy tales.) She's romanced by socially prominent, old-money swain Brad Hunt but has conflicting feelings about crusading photojournalist Luke Geary . During the course of the narrative, Stormy tackles Atlanta high society, triumphs over a bigoted lieutenant governor and becomes involved in the civil rights movement--and with one of its charismatic stars, John Howard. All this is rendered with a cloying, wide-eyed enthusiasm that hobbles Siddons's attempts to explore the South's prejudice and racism. Her language, which in past books has sometimes teetered toward the overblown, now positively gushes. Atlanta has ``a sliver of Brigadoon through its heart,'' and Brad is so handsome Stormy ``almost laughed aloud.'' Still, readers may welcome Siddons's attempt to grapple with moral and social issues. 300,000 first printing; $325,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; first serial to Cosmopolitan; audio rights to Harper Audio; author tour . (July)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-06-109968-7
Ebook - 512 pages - 978-0-06-174347-4
Hardcover - 619 pages - 978-0-8161-7410-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-8293-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-087924-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 512 pages - 978-0-06-112936-0
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-0-06-112939-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-087925-9
Ebook - 512 pages - 978-0-06-117775-0
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-06-017602-0
Paperback - 619 pages - 978-0-8161-7411-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55994-732-9
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