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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.
This was the first book I have read by this author and I was disappointed. The pace of the book was slow; the character development was somewhat vapid and I found the writing style... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Soap Snob
This the first book I've read by this Author. A very moving and beautifully written book. More of her books will be landing on my KindlePublished 3 months ago by V.M.
Well I was hoping for a happy ending but I did not get it.
This was not a book for someone to read with a happy ending. It as also ended abruptly. Read more
Characters well developed and diverse. Riveting story about love, violence, betrayal, loyalty, and friendship. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christine Sanford
Regionally based, a great mix of cultures a that reflects the complexity of the late 1920' s and the early of the depression.Published 3 months ago by suzanne goyette
Interesting story set in New England during the strikes in the mills not just for higher wages but also for safety measures.Published 5 months ago by V M Pastorek
This is a story about the depression-era. Set on the east coast in a mill town where tension is high about wages, especially with the stock market crash. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lowly Peon