The Girls of August
by Anne Rivers Siddons
published by Grand Central Publishing
I received this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
This was a fun, very quick read (2 days max). I enjoy the flow of Siddons’ writing and usually like the work itself quite a bit, but I felt like this book was missing something. It takes place on a small Gullah island off of Charleston, SC. Three women who became friends years before when their husbands were in medical school together used to vacation every August together, but stopped a few years earlier after the sudden death of their fourth friend. They are now taking another vacation, with the new wife of their late friend’s husband, a 23 year old whom they all hate. Each of these women are struggling with their own personal demons. I liked the premise, but it seemed strange to me why these women would spend two whole weeks with a young girl they really dislike, and were pretty mean to. I almost wish the author would have given us the first half of these women’s story- how they met, their early friendship, and their yearly reunions. This was enjoyable, but it definitely left me wanting more from the story.
Every August, four women would gather together to spend a week at the beach, renting a new house each year. The ritual began when they were in their twenties and their husbands were in medical school, and became a mainstay of every summer thereafter. Their only criteria was oceanfront and isolation, their only desire to strengthen their far-flung friendships. They called themselves the Girls of August. But when one of the Girls dies tragically, the group slowly drifts apart and their vacations together are brought to a halt. Years later, a new marriage reunites them and they decide to come together once again on a remote barrier island off the South Carolina coast. There, far from civilization, the women make startling discoveries that will change them in ways they never expected.
About the Author
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 national attention. She later became a senior editor for Atlanta magazine. At the age of thirty she married Heyward Siddons, and she and her husband now live in Charleston, South Carolina, and spend summers in Maine.