Apprently "Off Season" is Anne Rivers Siddons 17th novel- I could tell. Although this is the first novel that I have read by her, I was absolutely immersed with both the beautiful story and the thoughtful writing a few chapters in.
The premise of the book is this: Lilly's husband Cam has just passed away and in order to come to terms with the death of her best friend and lover Lilly decides to spend some time alone at her family's cabin in Maine. What I was expecting is that this book would center around Lilly and Cam's relationship, but in reality it focused on Lilly and the events that have most shaped her life and her love. In the first part of the book Lilly remembers her summers in Maine at the family house; she remembers the laughter and the sailing and the late nights as well as the tragedy the occurs there one summer. Shortly after that fateful summer another tragedy happens at home which contributes to how Lilly's future will turn out.
The second part of the book does focus on Lilly and Cam's relationship; it focuses on their first meeting and how their relationship changed and grew. It reflects on the birth of their two daughters and then it shifts to the present as Lilly tries to decide how best to honour her husband's memory. Then comes the ending. It's a little confusing, but in a great way. It allows the reader to form their own conclusions about what exactly happened, and it definitely left me wanting more. The ending had to be my favourite part of the book.
"Off Season" was excellent and I would highly recommend it. Lilly's story was told beautifully and with compassion and emotion. As I mentioned the ending was beyond clever, but I really enjoyed Lilly's story as well. Anne Rivers Siddons explained Lilly's life without leaving anything important out, and without boring the reader with unnecessary details. I felt as if I had come to know Lilly by the time that I reached the end.
A big thank-you to the Hachette Book Group for this review copy. I hosted a giveaway for this book last month and I would love to know: what did you think of this book? Did you love it as much as I did? Any and all comments are welcome here!