Siddon is a prolific writer. Her literary characters are generally silent heroes with well-hidden
secrets -that is, until a patient listener comes along.
Colony is about a misplaced southerner discovering her true self at a place called
"Retreat," her in-laws' summer home in Maine. The story begins in the present day with
Maude talking to her granddaughter about the sacrifices she made for love. Maude goes back
to when she met her soon-to-be Yankee husband and talks about their engagement, marriage,
blessings and ills of their children and those in Retreat who penetrated their lives,
affecting them many ways.
Throughout her marriage, Maude experiences the increasing pain of in-laws. Her mother-in-law
rules the family and resents Maude. Later, readers find out why. Peter's family is seen as
controlling and cliquish. It's worse at Retreat, where generations of families and friends
return each summer to enjoy each other, but in reality seem to harm each other.
Decades later, Maude comes to realize she's done more than survive this family -she has
taken control. When cruel gossip nearly stops the families from returning to Retreat, Maude
steps in to unite them, but the damage has already been done. By the time her granddaughter
grows up, Maude is looking for that one family member who can keep Retreat. Convincing an
emotionally ill woman it's for the good the family isn't easy, and it makes for an interesting listen.
The narrator reads well. Her Maine accent is a bit rough, but serves its purpose. The abridged
version gives a swift, but interesting listen. Listeners get the basics of the characters.
The hidden secret keeps the story line moving, and the family drama adds to the emotional ride.
It's a quick, entertaining listen and a nice introduction to Siddons' work for those who've
yet to discover her.