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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,601 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne Rivers Siddons Narrator: Kate Burton Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780060879259
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Siddons…has drawn on memory to create a satisfying historical romance spiced with wry humor.” 

    Library Journal

  • “A rewarding and bound-to-be-popular page-turner.” 

    Booklist

  • “Siddons draws her ensemble cast with confidence and panache.” 

    Kirkus Reviews 

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/17/2014

    " pat conroy turned me on to the south east in some of my favorite novels, beach music and prince of tides. siddons writes in the same vein, if not as poetically, as conroy. i have read some of her books and enjoyed them, this book was by far the best one i've read so far. (granted, i am still searching for the house next door, which comes recommended as a great ghost story. . .two in one for me!!!!) if you have any interest in the trials of the late sixties in georgia, READ THIS BOOK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 2/17/2014

    " This book really gave me a sense of setting. It evoked the feelings of the 60's, so I felt in the moment, despite being born more than a decade later. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pweigum | 1/30/2014

    " Couldn't really get into this book. Moved slow. Still trying. Finally finished and it got better later in the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 1/29/2014

    " A nice coming of age story set in the 1960's Atlanta. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luckngrace | 1/28/2014

    " Great descriptions, perhaps a little bit too much description. It brought back a time in my life (the 1960s) that was as chaotic as those in this book, so surprisingly, I didn't enjoy it as I should have. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie Hilton | 1/26/2014

    " This is a fairly good Siddons, apparently loosely based on her experiences with Atlanta magazine in the late '60s. It is somewhat sappy, though, and the ending is odd. If you're a fan, you should read it; otherwise, move on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Loretta | 1/13/2014

    " This was a tough read for me. An interesting view of the 60's I only read and heard about. Did like the characters, though. Not my favorite Ann Rivers Siddons book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin37 | 1/9/2014

    " I love the descriptive Anne Rivers Siddons, but did not feel as incaptured in this book as I have with other works of her. I still enjoyed the story, especially since I am a transplant to Atlanta, it gave me some insight into that 1960s here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy Shipp | 1/8/2014

    " This was the first Anne Rivers Siddons book that I read. I have been hooked ever since! She is one of my all-time favorite authors. If you're into books set in the South, I highly recommend her. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Waldrip | 1/8/2014

    " Could hardly finish. Too much inaccuracies about the south in the 60's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Jo | 1/4/2014

    " LOVED IT!! Another Siddons' book that is based in Atlanta. This one centers around the civil rights movement of the 60s which is my era, giving the story even more plausibility for me. LOVED IT! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Joiner | 12/19/2013

    " I have read almost all of Anne Rivers Siddons' books. "Downtown" is probably my favorite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 12/12/2013

    " I enjoyed this book. Great characters and the story was from an interesting time that I didn't know much about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 11/5/2013

    " First half more interesting and ending predictable "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy Madden | 10/31/2013

    " LOVE it! Smokey O'Donnell is awesome and I definitely wanted to be her in this book. It's a great peek at history around the time of the Civil Rights Movement and you get a real feel for what was happening during that time. This is my favorite of all of Anne Rivers Siddons books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 10/22/2013

    " A surprisingly introspective read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 9/1/2013

    " Got too slow near the end, finished it only because I typically like this authors endings, but this one just didnt do it for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvette | 3/20/2013

    " I am almost finished with this book and will highly recommend it to my fellow readers! It is an absolute must read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherrey | 11/5/2012

    " Coming of age in the 60s in the South is very real to me -- it was where I was at that time in my life. Siddons does a careful and realistic view of the South in a time when life sat every day on the edge of tension. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicki | 10/4/2012

    " Even better the second time around! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 ag Berg | 8/30/2012

    " Not one of my favorite Siddons books. Still love her writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeanne | 5/28/2012

    " I just couldn't get into this book. Set in Atlanta in the 1960's, it tries to portray the time. Guess it just differs from how I saw the 1960's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 4/28/2012

    " I always like Siddons, some more than others, but I like the way she develops her characters, and her psychological insights into what molds and drives them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 4/13/2012

    " When I first started reading Anne Rivers Siddons (a long time ago) this book stood out as my very favorite! The central character is wonderful! It is her "coming of age" story and I found it to be lovely and heartwarming. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Debra Walke | 3/31/2012

    " Never finished this book. I don't like her writing style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anissa | 10/10/2011

    " this book was really wordy. It did not need to be this long. The idea was good, but I spent too much time trying to break out what was unnecessary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pdiamond_1hotmail.com | 8/16/2011

    " A fun description of atlanta in the 1960's. An easy read!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arline | 7/18/2011

    " One of Anne Rivers Siddons best in my opinion! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 5/9/2011

    " This book was very good. I came to Atlanta during the years she writes about. I could relate to most of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 4/21/2011

    " This book was very good. I came to Atlanta during the years she writes about. I could relate to most of it.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 India | 1/25/2010

    " I really like this book. The characters are very likable and the story is interesting. It reminds one of the excitement of being young and it weaves in all of the excitement and changes of the sixties. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pweigum | 1/14/2010

    " Couldn't really get into this book. Moved slow. Still trying. Finally finished and it got better later in the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anissa | 9/19/2009

    " this book was really wordy. It did not need to be this long. The idea was good, but I spent too much time trying to break out what was unnecessary. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 8/20/2009

    " I always like Siddons, some more than others, but I like the way she develops her characters, and her psychological insights into what molds and drives them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 7/19/2009

    " Recommended by Ida Uscher, a 90+year-old, sharp, astute, kind-hearted social worker. It was a quick and engaging read and a historical tour through the civil rights awakening of the 60s. I've never read Siddons before and was delightfully surprised. It's light but strong. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicki | 6/3/2009

    " Even better the second time around! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherrey | 3/3/2009

    " Coming of age in the 60s in the South is very real to me -- it was where I was at that time in my life. Siddons does a careful and realistic view of the South in a time when life sat every day on the edge of tension. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 2/5/2009

    " A nice coming of age story set in the 1960's Atlanta. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 12/29/2008

    " She is one of my favorite authors.
    This book started off a little slow, but it was a great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alicia | 11/18/2008

    " I am a fool for emotive, coming-of-age, stand-next-to-greatness type stories. This is one of the best. Just hearing the song Downtown makes me choke up after reading this book. This is old fashioned chick lit--more like, woman lit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Jo | 11/14/2008

    " LOVED IT!! Another Siddons' book that is based in Atlanta. This one centers around the civil rights movement of the 60s which is my era, giving the story even more plausibility for me. LOVED IT! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 10/22/2008

    " When I first started reading Anne Rivers Siddons (a long time ago) this book stood out as my very favorite! The central character is wonderful! It is her "coming of age" story and I found it to be lovely and heartwarming. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arline | 8/26/2008

    " One of Anne Rivers Siddons best in my opinion! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 8/26/2008

    " LOVE it! Smokey O'Donnell is awesome and I definitely wanted to be her in this book. It's a great peek at history around the time of the Civil Rights Movement and you get a real feel for what was happening during that time. This is my favorite of all of Anne Rivers Siddons books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Loretta | 7/3/2008

    " This was a tough read for me. An interesting view of the 60's I only read and heard about. Did like the characters, though. Not my favorite Ann Rivers Siddons book. "

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About the Author
Author Anne Rivers Siddons

Anne Rivers Siddons is a New York Times bestselling author who she has written works such as Sweetwater Creek, Islands, Nora Nora, Low Country, Up Island, Fault Lines, Downtown, Hill Towns, Colony, Outer Banks, King’s Oak, Peachtree Road, Homeplace, Fox’s Earth, and Heartbreak Hotel. Her novel The House Next Door was made into a made-for-television movie starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Colin Ferguson, and Lara Flynn Boyle. She and her husband, Heyward, split their time between their homes in South Carolina and Maine.

About the Narrator

Kate Burton, winner of four Earphones Awards for narration, is best known for her work on Broadway in Hedda Gabler, The Elephant Man, The Constant Wife, and Spring Awakening as well as on television in Grey’s Anatomy and Empire Falls. Her films include Big Trouble in Little China, The Ice Storm, Unfaithful, and Remember Me.