Heartbreak Hotel Author:Anne Rivers Siddons Anne Rivers Siddons "cannot be surpassed in evoking a kind of life peculiar to the South," says Publishers Weekly. Her classic novel Heartbreak Hotel, praised as "anything but nostalgic" by The New York Times, excels with an insightful, troubling tale of the coming of age of a privileged young Southern woman during the turbu... more »lent Civil Rights era.In Montgomery, Alabama, Martin Luther King has organized a bus boycott. In Tuscaloosa, outrage surrounds the entrance of the state university's first black student. But at little Randolph University, sweltering in the summer heat, life remains dreamily the same. At Kappa House, the sorority sisters talk of who has pinned whom, and whether they can sneak past their housemother so they can party at an out-of-town bar. Even among this privileged group, pretty, popular Kappa sister Maggie Deloach is unquestionably one of the elite...until she commits a single act of defiance and courage that forever alters the way others think of her, and how Maggie thinks of herself.« less
I actually enjoyed this book. It had a slight mix of history to it. And was a good insight into life in the 50's. I have not read any of Siddons books before but this has inspired me to p/u more of them.
Albama, 1956: While Elvis Presley was singing about love, one young woman was learning all about life. Everyone loves Maggie Deloach, one of the most popular girls on campus with everything going for her: an impeccable lineage; picture-perfect looks; the best sorority, and the handsomest fraternity boy's pin on her sweater. The ultimate Southern belle, Maggie knows what the rules are and is willing to play by them. No surprises are waiting in her future - but neither are any disappointments.
Then, amid the stifling heat of a single Alabama summer, everything changes. There are rumors of a racial revolution brewing, one that surely should not touch Maggie's protected world...yet somehow does. There is growing sexual awareness that she knows should shock her...yet does not. There is a single act of defiance and courage that will forever alter the way others think of her...and how Maggie thinks of herself.
I must say, that while Heartbreak Hotel by Anne Rivers Siddons picked up slightly towards the end of the book, it wasn't the best book by one of my favorite authors - Anne Rivers Siddons - that I've ever read. Maybe it has something to do with this being her debut novel, but I found Heartbreak Hotel to be somewhat over-written and over-worked, full of adjectives and convoluted sentences that ultimately made reading this book rather difficult for me. To me, this book was somewhat disappointing, as I know what this author is capable of.
I will certainly read more from Anne Rivers Siddons in the future, as she appears to have really hit her stride as an author with her later books, however I had to give this debut novel a B+!
Everyone loves Maggie Deloach, one of the most popular girls on campus with everything going for her. An impeccable lineage. Picture perfect looks. The best sorority, and the best fraternity boy's pin. The ultimate Southern Belle, Maggie knows what the rules are and is willing to play by them. No surprises are waiting in her future-but neither are any disappointments.
Then, amid the stifling heat of an Alabama summer, everything changes. There is talk of a racial revolution brewing, one that surely should not touch her protected world..but somehow does. There is a growing sexual awareness that she knows should shock her..yet does not. There is a single act of defiance and courage that will forever alter the way others think of her..and how Maggie thinks of herself.
I haven't read this book. I really don't know how I even came to have it. Here's what the back blurb says: Maggie Deloach was a senior at Alabam's Randolph University. She was a popular soroity girl, a Dean's List student. Pinned to the wealthy Boots Claiborne, Maggie was the perfect Southern girl, expecting and expected to become the perfect society matron.
But that summer would change her life.
Beginning when she met the handsome and hot-tempered Hoyt Cunningham, an Associated Press reported who talked insistently of racial revolution, conintuing in her friendship with Aiken Reed, the Northern girl whose ideas about sex and marality were just a little shocking to Maggie...culminating when she witnessed an encounter between an escaped black prison and his pursuers--Maggie's coming of age makes for a wonderfully evocative and gently ironic novel of a distinctly Souther way of life that is no more.
I am an Anne Rivers Siddons fan, but I almost gave up on this book and set it aside. Then it caught fire, and I realized what was prologue. I went to school below the Mason Dixon line in the early sixties, and could relate to so much of the truth in it. Hate having it called a Romance Novel. It is a true Intelligent Comfort Novel. Loved the references to Persian Melon lipstick, back-belted bermudas, and so much more.
This book was very well written and a fine tribute to individuals who dared to be different at a time when they could be ostracized for taking a stand. Although my guess is that many readers were wondering when the heroine was going to wake up to just how shallow the life she was living was, it took courage to make that change. In a world where one is expected to act a certain way and marry into the "right" family, it is not surprising that some might go through the emotional trauma that this one did. The book also made me happy not to have been as much of a part of the fraternity world as many college acquaintances were. While some fraternities are decent, many were very similar to the ones described in this novel a couple of generations later.