Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Books: Fortune's Rocks

Fortune's Rocks
By Anita Shreve
Copyright 1999
Audiobook, Abridged
Read by Blair Brown

Anita Shreve writes solid characters and engaging stories about people who might be your next door neighbor, if you are paying attention.

In this book, Olympia Biddeford, only child of a wealthy Boston couple, finds love on the beach in New Hampshire during the summer holiday at the home her parents own for this purpose.

She is but 15 when she seduces John Hasselbeck, a married man three times her age with a wife and three children (and who should have known better) and becomes his lover. Theirs is a passionate and devastating love affair that can only end badly, and indeed it does.

Olympia has a child by her lover, but the boy is whisked away by her disapproving father. For the next several years Olympia suffers under his heavy hand as he tries to undo the disgrace she has brought upon the family.

In a day of clarity, she realizes that she must revisit her past. A stroke of luck allows her to find her son, and she then goes after the boy through the court system.

Olympia is a very real character and the book has themes of class issues, wealth, status, money, and prejudices. There is no villain here, unless living is counted as the  villain, which I suppose it could be.

This is the second of Shreve's books I have listened to of late, the first being Sea Glass. I will not hesitate to read or listen to more of this author's work.

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