2016: 70. Outerbanks


“On the Outer Banks of North Carolina there is a legend about the ships that have come to grief in the great autumn storm off those hungry shoals.”

Outerbanks, Anne Rivers Siddons

AKA, nostalgia for early ‘90s mom books.  When I was in junior high, I read a ton of these big sweeping mass market paperback that my mom and grandma had around.  And re-read them over and over too.  They told stories (usually with some tragic/shocking twist) about grown up ladies and their man and friend problems.  I didn’t love them, per se, but they were always around.  Maeve Binchy, Colleen McCullough, Rosamind Pilcher (oh my lord I read the sequel to the Shell Seekers so many times, and I only remember that 1) someone lost her virginity and 2) the man of the Scottish house who had lost his leg from the IRA was made to feel the laird again because someone bought him a pair of tartan pants since he was too shamed to wear his kilt.), and Anne Rivers Siddons.  Do they even write books like this anymore? My grandmothers are no longer with us, and my mom reads books now about women in foreign countries growing up in troubled times.  Who knows.

Anyway, in the “S” section of the library I saw this and was struck with a nostalgic urge to re-read.  It was better than I had expected - the plot is pretty far fetched, but the characters and their sorrow are pretty well done, and the atmosphere of college and young friendship, remembered as an adult rang emotionally true.  And ooooh, I had remembered the part where Katie gets dumped by her lover for her rich friend and it was just as nasty as I had remembered.  So, no, don’t expect to much more Siddons (indeed, it makes me feel like I’ve been selling Thirkell with her acid pen a bit short), but it was a fun nostalgic trip.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017