Wednesday, August 6, 2014


It was suggested to me to check out Anne Rivers Siddons because of my infatuation with the south, Dorothea Benton Frank and Pat Conroy.  I think Lisa suggested her, and if so, thank you! If not, whomever it was, thank you! I finally got around to checking out her book Downtown, one of two I checked out from the library in July.  Totally reminded me of Pat Conroy for sure.  There were bits of of pages where it got a tad wordy and a tad flowery about the south/Atlanta but the meat of the book was good!

Description:  The year is 1966, a time of innocence, possibility,and freedom. And for Atlanta, the country, and one woman making her way in a changing world, nothing will be the same . . .

After an airless childhood in Savannah, Smoky O'Donnell arrives in Atlanta, dazzled and chastened by this hectic young city on the rise. Her new job as a writer with the city's Downtown magazine introduces her to many unforgettable people and propels her into the center of momentous events that will irrevocably alter her heart, her career, and her world.

This book captured Irish Catholic Smoky O' Donnell's entrance into "liberal' Atlanta in 1966.  She comes from a small town with a drunk for a dad and a very religious mother and basically there is something wrong with her because she wants to move to Atlanta and not pop out babies.  I mean she is after all 26. 

I loved that Smoky was incredibly small town and had been raised extremely Catholic and how that shaped her actions in the beginning of her time in Atlanta.  Birth control? The HORROR.  And how awkward she was as a minority white face in a crowd full of black people whom she didn't want to think she was racist.  That scene was cracking me up with the awkward!

“I think that sometimes the great changes in our lives, the ones that divide time, happen so deep down and silently that we don't even know when they occur......It frequently happens that the seasons of the greatest change are the times that feel the most tranquil, the most suspended, the most...timeless.”  

This is a really interesting look at Atlanta in the late 1960s when civil rights and the Vietnam War are very controversial popular topics and the black panthers make an appearance and the old rich south intermingling with their more free thinking children.  Oh goodness.  It's a good one!  It also is loosely based upon her time as an editor for the Atlanta magazine. 

If you've enjoyed Pat Conroy, you will enjoy this. 

Have you read any books about the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s? Do you like books that read like realistic historical fiction? Have you experienced culture shock during a move/job change?

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