Hill Towns: A Novel

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9780061715730: Hill Towns: A Novel

Hill Towns is a classic novel of remarkable emotional power, insight, and sensitivity from Anne Rivers Siddons, whose books live on the New York Times bestseller list and in the hearts of millions of her adoring fans. One of the acknowledged masters of contemporary Southern fiction—the author of such phenomenally popular works as Nora, Nora; Outer Banks, Islands; and Sweetwater Creek—Siddons carries the reader from the mountains of Tennessee to the breathtaking Tuscany countryside as she brilliantly chronicles the unraveling of a marriage. Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides) says, “She ranks among the best of us,” and Hill Towns is the proof.

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Review:

Although Hill Towns is a coming-of-age story, it's no Romeo and Juliet. There are no young lovers flirting and bedding each other, thinking they've invented the act--this novel centers around adults. The main characters have been married for more than 20 years and believe they know each other absolutely. A trip to Italy shows them there is still much to learn.

Catherine "Cat" Gaillard narrates her own story, beginning with a gothic childhood of the sort that inspires folk ballads and tasteless jokes. Orphaned at age 5 when her parents are killed in a freakish accident, Cat chooses to live on Morgan's Mountain as the ward of chilly, crazy grandparents, though saner family members are willing to take her in. She reasons that, "From there I would always know what was coming. From there I would see it long before it saw me."

The rest of the story follows Cat and her husband, Joe, on their journey of midlife discovery. They both flirt with the possibility of an affair, they bicker, challenge assumptions, make new friends, drink too much, eat fabulous food, and tour Rome, Florence, and Venice. It's like being there. Siddons lets you inhabit Cat's mind and experience her struggle to overcome agoraphobia, her uncertainties about Joe, and, most of all, her neophyte-traveler's view of Italy. Hill Towns is an exploration of a mature relationship, but it's also an effective travelogue. Read it and see if you don't start to crave caffé granita on the piazza. --Brenda Pittsley

From the Back Cover:

A single traumatic event in her childhood irrevocably marked Catherine Gaillard, leaving her stranded in her cloistered mountaintop Tennessee town for thirty years. But now she is embarking upon a life-changing trip to Italy with her husband, Joe, hoping to put the incident behind her forever. As they make their way across the breathtaking countryside of Tuscany with two other couples, Cat and Joe soon feel themselves being pulled in separate directions, and the fabric of their marriage begins to unravel. And a journey that began as a carefree tour crosses unexpected boundaries, carrying them deep into the heart of their relationship, becoming the ultimate test of their love.

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Book Description Avon A, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 203 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A single traumatic event in her childhood irrevocably marked Catherine Gaillard, leaving her stranded in her cloistered mountaintop Tennessee town for thirty years. But now she is embarking upon a life-changing trip to Italy with her husband, Joe, hoping to put the incident behind her forever. As they make their way across the breathtaking countryside of Tuscany with two other couples, Cat and Joe soon feel themselves being pulled in separate directions, and the fabric of their marriage begins to unravel. And a journey that began as a carefree tour crosses unexpected boundaries, carrying them deep into the heart of their relationship, becoming the ultimate test of their love. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780061715730

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