Hill Towns

Anne Rivers Siddons, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22 (356p) ISBN 978-0-06-017935-9
``Americans behave badly in Italy,'' observes a perspicacious character in Siddon's ( Colony ) latest, an evocative, gothic tale of the dark ties binding a long-married couple. Cat Gaillard's life was irrevocably marred at age five when a truck plowed into her hedonistic parents, who were making love on a bridge. Raised in a small, southern hill town at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains, Cat found safety within the rarified confines of its resident college and refused ever after to leave. Her agoraphobia entrances her husband Joe, a pedantic dean of English who revels in being Cat's strength and feels threatened when therapy frees her somewhat for a holiday abroad; they will roam across Italy as the unlikely companions of Joe's protege Colin and his new bride Maria. Other fellow travelers include Yolanda, a hilariously bitchy, oversexed Martha Stewart knockoff; Sam, a bluff, sweat-scented painter mesmerized by Cat; and his Machiavellian wife Ada, who will do anything to jumpstart Sam's creative motor. As a gritty, hot wind blows the group through Venice and into Tuscany, the hypocrisies cementing Cat's marriage are exposed. Siddons artfully conjures a violently seductive, sensual world peopled by characters boiling with elemental emotions: fear, lust, aching love. But the deliberately lyric cadences of her prose, though generally rich and enjoyable, are sometimes cloying and forced. $250,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1993
Release date: 07/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-088021-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 400 pages - 978-0-06-088019-4
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-174680-2
Paperback - 387 pages - 978-0-06-171573-0
Paperback - 481 pages - 978-0-8161-5849-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-087923-5
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-116019-6
Hardcover - 481 pages - 978-0-8161-5848-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55994-718-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-06-109969-4
Hardcover - 978-0-8317-7904-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-087922-8
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