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Publisher's Summary

It is a house on the beach. Honora doesn't mind renting - despite its age and all its flaws, the old house is the perfect place for a new marriage. She and Sexton throw themselves into fixing it up, just as they throw themselves into their new life together. Each morning, Honora collects sea glass washed up on the shore, each piece carrying a different story in its muted tones.

Sexton finds a way to buy the house, but his timing is perfectly wrong. The economy takes a sickening plunge, and as financial pressures mount, Honora begins to see how little she knows this man she has married.

Like those translucent shards that Honora finds on the beach, Sea Glass is layered with the textures, colors, and voices of another time. There is Vivian, an irreverent Boston socialite who becomes Honora's closest friend even as she rejects every form of convention. McDermott, a man who works in a nearby mill, presses Honora's deepest notions of trust - even as he embroils her in a dangerous dispute. And there's Alphonse, a boy whose openness becomes the bond that holds these people together as their world is flying apart.

©2002 Anita Shreve, All Rights Reserved; (P)2002 Time Warner AudioBooks, a Division of the AOL Time Warner Book Group

Critic Reviews

"A literary novel of the caliber and craft of Edith Wharton or Henry James." (Baltimore Sun)

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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    32
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    14
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    14
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    4
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    3
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Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Deneen
  • Frankston, TX, USA
  • 08-09-03

A pleasant surprise!

This was the first book by Shreve that I had ever encountered. I was very surprised with how much I enjoyed the book. The characters were colorful and developed so that I felt I knew each and every one of them. I did not want the book to end. These characters struggling through the depression to save their home, ultimately testing the strength of their short marriage. I can't wait to read other books by Shreve.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dorothy
  • branchville, NJ, United States
  • 03-21-03

surprising -

a love story, set in the depression - yet beautiful - friends helping each other - inspite of beliefs - or maybe because of them - you'll enjoy the listen - absolutely

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not as captivating as her other's

There are some audio books I sit in the car just to finish (Poisonwood Bible was one) - this is not one of them. There are some I never finish (Salmon Rushdie). Sea Glass falls in the middle. The characters are rich and the historical context of the mill life and depression informative and heartbreaking. The plot is interesting enough but it lacked the dramatic tension and excitement of many of her earlier books (e.g. Pilot's Wife and Fortunes Rock). I never really cared about the main characters; I thought the secondary characters from the Mill were the most interesting.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Quiet story

This is a good book and I have to call it a "quiet story" because it is mostly a gentle tale that spins out to have a bit of conflict in it. It was good in that it wasn't overly predictable, and I think it is pretty realistic. Overall, a good listen and definitely not a waste of time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 07-02-07

I Enjoyed It

This was not my first listen of a book by Anita Shreve. But I probably enjoyed it the most of those I have listened to.

The story is rich with life, love, and love longed for. It is set in a time when the rug was pulled out from underneath the world. It did not have a totally happy ending, but the ending fit and was needed to have happen that way.

The narrator presented each character with good definition. The joys, sadness, and experiences in general were portrayed well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not her best

This book is beyond predictable and while I love Fortune's Rock this lacks the intensity that is necessary to truly relate to the characters. The narration is good but it ends and feels a little trite. Perhaps its just that the story is not as relatable and seems a bit dated. It does not transcend time. Its a bit cliche.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Milena
  • La Puente, CA, USA
  • 05-14-07

Boring!

You have to be on the mood to listen to this book. If you are driving, you might get confused at the beginning with all the details. I guess it needs someone patient.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Tiring

This story will tire you out with the third person narrative and the hunderds of "he said" and "she said." Not a fun listen.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story

A great book, very informative and beautifully written. Listened to audio version on a 13 hour road trip. Both of us were hooked!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fun read

What made the experience of listening to Sea Glass the most enjoyable?

The book has an interesting plot which weaved together the history of the time period (beginning of the Great Depression) with a believable group of characters. The issues presented in the story provided a good selection of topics for our Book Club's discussion including union vs. management in the mills of the northeast, effects of the Great Depression, ethics in marriage, etc.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Honora Beecher - she was a nice combination of hard working, kind and strong.

What does Judith Ann Gantly bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her presentation was pleasant and confident which enhanced the experience as it seemed similar to the main character Honora Beecher

If you could take any character from Sea Glass out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Honora - I would want to tell her that not giving in to her desires was not a mistake, but another example of her honorable character demonstrated throughout the story.