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Sea Glass: A Novel Paperback – January 21, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"Sea Glass" begins in 1929, when Sexton Beecher, a typewriter salesman, marries bank clerk, Honora. They decide to make their home in a rather dalipidated, but still romantic, New England beach house. Honora is a fulltime wife and homemaker and besides the usual things all wives and homemakers do, Honora loves to take long walks on the beach and collect bits of colored glass worn smooth as silk by the waves of the sea. Eventually, Honora meets and becomes friends with Vivian, a wealthy woman who happens to live nearby. The world seems, at least to Honora, to be an almost perfect place.
When things are too good, they usually don't last and Honora learns this lesson the hard way. The Great Depression causes problems for Sexton and Honora, but it brings Honora unexpected pleasures as well, in the form of handsome Quillen McDermott and his twelve year old friend, Francis.
This is a book that is told from the point of view of many of the characters involved. In almost every case this works, and it works well. The exceptions are Vivian and Francis. In the early sections of the book, Vivian plays such a prominent part that we come to believe she will be an integral part of the coming storyline as well. Instead, she seems to fade a little more with each passing scene.
Francis is also problematic. His chapters are written in long sentences that let us know he is smart, but lacks the education he should have at his age. This wouldn't be bad in and of itself.Read more ›
Told in alternating voices are a cast of wonderful character whom Shreve portrays so well that we feel as though we know them. In addition to Sexton and Honora who spends time collecting sea glass on the beach, there is also the very wealthy Vivian who meets Honora on the beach and her one time lover and once wealthy Dickie. Rounding out the characters are McDermott, a factory worker and labor organizer and his protégé 11 year old Alphonse who dreams of becoming a pilot. These are vivid characters we come to care about whose stories once set in motion, keep the reader wondering how their lives will play our and what will become of them at the end of the book.Read more ›
Her latest book tells the story of the stock market crash in 1929. We see the struggle of the mill workers and the impact of such a horrendous economic blow to all of the various social classes. Honora Beecher is at the centre of the story though the novel is told from 5 different perspectives.
Shreve is an outstanding writer in that she uses wonderful, descriptive language and she can explore the human condition and the range of emotions like few other authors. I enjoyed this part of the book, but the story was a little too slow. I felt that some of the characters just didn't come to life like they could have...Vivian, the jaded socialite especially.
Overall, this was a good book, just not her best.
Set in a New Hampshire mill town and the nearby coast just before and during the Great Depression, the novel follows several principals affected by the greed of the mill owners. This is typical Shreve territory described in her characteristic starkly beautiful prose. Impatient readers might give up on Shreve's painstaking preparation for the final half of the novel, but the rewards are worth the slow start.
Men might find this title more hospitable than other Shreve titles; her male characters here are strongly drawn and interesting. Although the women tend to be the unbreakable sea glass, the men drive the plot.
I recommend this book for readers of literary fiction and reading groups, the last because Shreve offers history, metaphor, and multidimensional issues - much to talk about. Pass on this if you are in the mood for a page-turner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very nice easy read. I enjoyed knowing the characters. A nice book if you're ready for a good novel. I was in n the mood for just this kind of story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Keith Elrod
Sea Glass by Anita Shreeve
Starts out in 1929 and Sexton and her have gotten married, bought a house in NH.
Anorah tries to make the house a home. Read more
Great character development. Felt like I knew these people & sad to leave them at the end of the book. Learned more about this period in history on a personal level. Well written. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Patricia Horning
This author is the best writer I have read and each book is riveting!Published 5 months ago by Arnie F.
for those of us who actually love the peace and calm of walking a beach and collecting sea glass, also called mermaid's tears by some, tied to a well written and cohesive story of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cindy S. Suchanek
I enjoyed Sea Glass very much, when I found it, and I've shared other copies. I'm finding more A.S. novels to be about strange men fouling up innocent lives, though and worry (I'm... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Wade Dizdar