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From its opening pages, Anita Shreve's Sea Glass surrounds the reader in the surprisingly rich feeling of the New Hampshire coast in winter. Vividly evoking the life of the coastal community at the beginning of the Great Depression, Sea Glass shifts through the multiple points of view of six principal characters; it's a skillfully created story of braided lives that bounces easily (even inevitably) from character to character. We learn how these lives come together following the stock market crash of 1929 and about the struggles of mill workers on the starkly beautiful New Hampshire coast during the following year. At the novel's center is the story of Honora Beecher, a young newlywed who compulsively collects sea glass along the beach as she collects unexpected friendship in her new beachside community, and Francis, a boy who discovers a father figure in the towering character of McDermott, an Irish mill worker, at a time when he most needs direction. Each character finds unexpected new purpose beyond the struggle to survive during that turbulent year among the dunes. First their lives barely touch, then they intersect, and finally they become inextricably bound. By the powerful and unexpected final scenes of the story, every point of view, every brilliant shard of life depends deeply on all the others. It is a very satisfying read--confidently told and deeply felt--with as many subtle colors and reflections as the sea glass that permeates the narrative. --Paul Ford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In addition to spinning one of her most absorbing narratives, Shreve here rewards readers with the third volume in a trilogy set in the large house on the New Hampshire coast that figured in The Pilot's Wife and Fortune's Rocks. This time the inhabitants are a newly married couple, Sexton and Honora Beecher, both of humble origins, who rent the now derelict house. In a burst of overconfidence, slick typewriter salesman Sexton lies about his finances and arranges a loan to buy the property. When the 1929 stock market crash occurs soon afterward, Sexton loses his job and finds menial work in the nearby mills. There, he joins a group of desperate mill hands who have endured draconian working conditions for years, and now, facing extortionate production quotas and reduced pay, want to form a union. The lives of the Beechers become entwined with the strikers, particularly a principled 20-year-old loom fixer named McDermott and Francis, the 11-year-old fatherless boy he takes under his wing. A fifth major character is spoiled, dissolute socialite Vivian Burton, who is transformed by her friendship with Honora. As Honora becomes aware that Sexton is untrustworthy, she is drawn to McDermott, who tries to hide his love for her. The plot moves forward via kaleidoscopic vignettes from each character's point of view, building emotional tension until the violent, rather melodramatic climax when the mill owners' minions confront the strikers. Shreve is skilled at interpolating historical background, and her descriptions of the different social strata the millworkers, the lower-middle-class Sextons, the idle rich enhance a touching story about loyalty and betrayal, responsibility and dishonor. This is one of Shreve's best, likely to win her a wider audience. 6-city author tour. (Apr. 9) Forecast: Expectations of brisk sales, indicated by the one-day laydown, will likely be achieved. Readers should find timely resonance in the setting of 1920s economic turbulence.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I loved this book. The language and descriptions are beautiful, the characters are mostly compassionate (except for Sexton, who engages us with a bit of ambivalence), and I loved... Read morePublished on June 19 2004 by Dinah Miller Md
If you read and liked Fortune's Rocks, also by Anita Shreve, Sea Glass is a must read. It was hard to put down.Published on March 29 2004
I couldn't put this book down. I loved the characters,
the time period and the setting. I felt like I was at the
ocean with them. MY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Save yourself the money and a huge waste of time - this book was one of the most intensely dull I have ever read. Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by CountryGirl
i think that anita shreve books are just ok. i mean they could be better. i mean she just doesn't live an exciting life and she just makes it up. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2004 by corinne schinzler
The book started out interesting and about half way through became almost science fiction.Published on Feb. 4 2004
Anita Shreve used to be a respectable writer. Now she's a talentless hack. This book sucks. It makes annoying references to Fortune's Rocks (her second worst book- the novel that... Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2003
This is a depression era story, written with a deliberately unsophisticated tone, suggestive of the "common people". Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2003 by algo41
Sea Glass is a story about love and struggle. A newly married couple starts a new life together, venturing the unknown in a new place at the brink of the depression era. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2003 by Puteri Azlina