Monday, March 22, 2010

Books: Sea Glass

Sea Glass
By Anita Shreve
Read by Kyra Sedgwick
Abridged
Copyright 2002

Sea glass are shards of glass that wash ashore onto the beach. The glass no longer has rough edges; they've been worn by the waves and saltwater. Some of the pieces sparkle like jewelry.

Honora finds the sea glass along the beach where she and her husband, Sexton, have settled immediately prior to the stock market crash of 1929.

This event has a great impact upon this couple's life, and the lives of the other characters in the book. The story unfolds from multiple viewpoints (which made it a difficult audio book, to be sure, as I listened to it in the car and occasionally forgot who was speaking) and the characters all come together in the second half of the book.

Honora is a young woman who thinks she loves her husband. She wants a family, a nice home, the white picket fence. Her husband is a salesman, and he turns out to be a rather oily and smarmy fellow in the end. The question of whether Honora will end up with dashed hopes and dreams is central to the book.

Vivian is another main character. She is high society and she moves in a different circle, yet she befriends Honora and becomes a central figure in her life.

The story is set in New Hampshire, and while the timing is nearly a century ago, with the current economic climate the realities of harsh living will ring true.

This book is exquisitely written, the characters wonderfully drawn, and the setting portrayed well enough that I know what that area of the U.S. looks like without ever having been there.

Many themes are apparent: life, death, hope, love. This is a brilliant book, solid and sturdy as a New Hampshire fishing village.

4 comments:

  1. I have this book, but haven't read it yet. I'll have to move it to the top of my list.

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  2. Sounds like a good book. Honoria reminds me a little of the heroine in my book.

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  3. Thanks for the overview on this book. It's sounds intriguing enough for me to purchase it. Something about life inspired by anything coastal adds a bit of the mystic to it.
    Fair Winds and Calm Seas,
    Deborah Leon
    www.mermaidspurseseaglass.com

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  4. Sounds like another good one. Thanks for the review!

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