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Coastliners

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3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  6,488 Ratings  ·  392 Reviews
After three novels which centered around gastronomic pleasures, Joanne Harris's Coastliners focuses on more astringent joys. Sea, gritty sand, and adverse weather conditions replace Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, and Five Quarters of the Orange. Set on a small, blustery fishing island off the coast of France, it tells the story of Mado, a young woman who returns to her childho ...more
Hardcover
Published March 4th 2002 by Doubleday (first published 2002)
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Lynn
Jun 22, 2016 Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I hate when I don't care for a book that I was expecting to love. This one was a chore to get through despite the wonderfully different setting, interesting island characters, and a dramatic story.

This book may force me to break up with Joanne Harris. Should I say, "it's not you, it's me"? In this case, I think it's not me, it's the book. I've loved her writing for the feast to the senses she's always offered.....books full of smells, tastes and magic. I know authors must get tired of repeating
...more
Bridget
Aug 10, 2009 Bridget rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
Apparently, I am on a kick where I read books that don't turn out to be that enjoyable. Having enjoyed two other books by Joanne Harris, I thought this would probably be a good one too. Not so much.

This is the story of a group of families who live in a village on an island off the coast of France. The narrator, Mado (short for Madeleine), returns to the island after her mother's death in Paris to visit her childhood home and see her father. (She and her mother left years before.) Upon returning
...more
Vonia
I have to say that I was frustrated to fuming for a good part of the time spent reading this. Why? Because I had such high expectations from Joanne Harris. I am frustrated with myself for not realizing this already. She is writing to the masses. I know for a fact that French natives hate her books. Worse yet, all her goddamned stories are the same. Not every single one, perhaps. But most of them.

I suppose this could be deemed overly emotional- as these are "only books", one might say. But. Only
...more
Lance Greenfield
Nice little story, but painfully slow

A young woman, Mado, returns to the island of her birth following the death of her mother in Paris. She has been scraping a living as a painter, but the small, split community of the Brittany island of Le Devin seems to be calling to her. She wants to care for her depressed father, Grosjean, who continually rejects her kindness to such extent that he refuses to speak to her.

Life has never been easy at the poorer end of the island, Les Slants, to which Mado be
...more
Rebekah
Jan 04, 2010 Rebekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read a few books by Joanne Harris, I knew a bit of what to expect. A great love of travel, and some wonderful setting in France would be a background to the tale, and a heroine in search of herself to pull us through the story. Coastliners only exception is the fact that rather than set in France proper this story finds a home on an island still part of France, but not connected by anything but nationality. These islanders don’t even connect with the different sides of the island. One has ...more
Sheila
Apr 07, 2010 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its been ages since i read a Joanne Harris book, why I have no idea, because by can she write a good novel. I read all her early ones, Chocolate, of course, Three quarters of an Orange and my favorite Blackberry Wine - which has one of the best depictions of childhood in my opinion. Coastliners carries on her French traditional context and makes youu really feel what it is like to live in a small community with all its tensions, troubles, gossip, stories, monotony, festivals and interwoven lives ...more
Kyriakos Sorokkou
I loved and enjoyed all previous books by Joanne Harris ("Chocolat", "The Lollipop Shoes", "Peaches for Monsieur de Carre", "Blackberry Wine"). I bought this from Waterstones, firstly because it was another book by J. Harris and secondly because it was a signed copy by the author.
Now, the story was bleak and sad. It had some twists at the end and with a bitter-sweet (almost) open ending. I didn't really enjoyed this book as I enjoyed Chocolat, although the writing was beautiful; the story thoug
...more
Katerina
Feb 08, 2013 Katerina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Меня тут спрашивали, что почитать летом, когда голова выключается. Вот отличная книжка, которую я всегда рекомендую тем, кто собирается в отпуск: очень приключенческая, очень морская и соленая, а за сюжетом только поспевай, но без ущерба для выразительных средств языка.

Как часто у Хэррис, в центре внимания - красивая странствующая брюнетка с багажом, состоящим в основном из семейных тайн. В данном случае девушка не убегает, а возвращается домой - на маленький французский остров, где издавна враж
...more
Little
I read this immediately after finishing Five Quarters of the Orange, and while I didn't enjoy it as much (probably because it's all beach and dunes instead of confit and pastry), I found myself musing again on how everyone in the novel was a bad person. I suppose you could argue "flawed" instead of "evil," but when you boil it down, the central trait of every character was a negative one: this one is scheming, that one is lying, the other one is holding a decades old grudge. All in all it's a bi ...more
Lissie
This is Joanne Harris's dud. On it's own it might get 3.5 or 4 stars but in comparison to her other books it just isn't as good. The characters aren't as real, the twists aren't as unexpected, the pace isn't quite as engrossing. I still read it in about four days, it's still a good book, not great.
Karen Germain
You know when you read a bunch of books by a fabulous author and you hit that one novel that just doesn't measure up to the rest? Coastliners is French author Joanne Harris' lackluster effort.

Coastliners is the story of the inhabitants of an island in France called Le Devine. The island is sharply divided between two villages. The village of La Houssiniere is prosperous, modern and located on the side of the island with a nice beach that attracts tourism. By contrast, the village of Les Salants
...more
Nikki
Aug 13, 2009 Nikki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Coastliners wasn't the rich, magical read that Chocolat is, and it isn't at all sensual in that way. It's a story of eking out a living, an arid story, with little hope. Even the ending is a bleak. The characters are the same: stony people, fighting to survive. From Joanne Harris, that's not what I expect -- though Gentlemen & Players and blueeyedboy aren't exact cosy and loving, either...

Still, while it's compelling enough to keep reading -- Joanne Harris' prose is always clear and easy --
...more
Ana
Aug 29, 2015 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mado regressa a sua ilha natal, depois de alguns anos a viver em Paris.
Ao regressar a Les Salants, descobre que o tempo não curou todos os problemas pessoais e familiares.
A apatia generalizada foi o principal motivo da fuga mas, será contra ela que Mado terá de lutar.
Ron Charles
Dec 29, 2013 Ron Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who says you can't go home again? For the narrator of Joanne Harris's charming new novel, "Coastliners," you can't do anything else. Even when you're not wanted.

Home for Madeleine is a tiny island off the coast of France called Devin, "the single place for which there can be no substitute." Her mother wrenched her away from this dot of land when she was a little girl, leaving behind a husband and a town sinking fast into depression. Now, a decade later, Madeleine has buried her mother and return
...more
Alex
Apr 18, 2013 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Following the death of her mother, Mado returns to her childhood home in Le Devin, a tiny island off the French coast. After ten years away, she finds that the generations-old rivalry between the two island communities - Les Salants and La Houssinière - remains strong. Morale is low in Les Salants, for it has suffered repeated floods while La Houssinière thrives with growing tourism. Cue a mysterious stranger, plans to revive Les Salants and some father-daughter tensions and the stage is set for ...more
Zézinha Rosado
A história deste livro faz-me lembrar aquelas pequenas comunidade (aldeias ou vilas) um pouco espalhadas por todo o país em que, não obstante o facto de ficarem ao lado umas das outras, vivem grandes rivalidades entre si e que os "ódios de estimação" são alimentados durante anos e anos, passando de geração em geração.
Duas pequenas ilhas que se avistam entre si, em que as suas comunidades vivem momentos de tensão e "pequenas guerras" entre si, em que vigiam e invejam os negócios uns dos outros, e
...more
Anna
Jan 19, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Я склонна согласиться с теми, кто считает, что все книги Джоанн Харрис в той или иной степени похожи друг на друга. Что-то есть в этом утверждении...Единственным исключением для меня пока что стали "Джентельмены и игроки". Хотя и там почерк автора чувствуется. Но! Не смотря на этот факт, который для многих является отрицательным. Истории, написанные Харрис я очень люблю. Жизнь во всех ее проявлениях так и плещет с их страниц. Этим историям веришь. Веришь героям, их эмоциям и чувствам. Веришь, по ...more
Célia
No seu quarto romance, desta vez Joanne Harris traz-nos cores, sensações e texturas relacionadas com o mar. A história é a de uma pequena ilha, Le Devin, que se encontra dividida em duas partes: La Houssinière e Les Salants. Enquanto que a primeira prospera por ter uma praia, a segunda definha cada vez mais com as dificuldades económicas e as constantes inundações, esquecida no tempo. É neste contexto que entra a personagem principal, Mado, que, após a morte da mãe em Paris, regressa à sua terra ...more
Marisa Fernandes
Jan 30, 2016 Marisa Fernandes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Em "A Praia Roubada" somos levados até à ilha de Les Salants, onde a protagonista mais conhecida por Mado decide voltar (após a morte da sua mãe com quem vivia em Paris) e acaba por dar um novo rumo à sua vida (regressando ao contacto com o pai) e também à própria ilha onde nasceu e cresceu. O reencontro com a irmã Adrienne, algum tempo depois, e o conhecimento que trava com um irlandês, Flynn, acabarão por influenciar de forma significativa a história.
Convém salientar igualmente a existência d
...more
Kirsty Darbyshire

A tale of a village on an island somewhere off the coast of France that's had me captivated for the last couple of days. I've seen Joanne Harris's books in the shops but not been drawn in by the culinary sounding titles. This place themed book sounded far more like my thing and it was and having read it I'm straight off back to the bookshops to pick up those foody books...

Mado left the island of Le Devin at fifteen with her mother leaving her boat building father behind and they headed for the

...more
Miamona
Minden megvan ebben a regényben, amit Joanne Harristől megszoktunk és szeretünk: szövevényes múlt; titkok, amelyek itt most hínárral, medúzákkal, strandszékekkel, különleges apácapárossal és homokkal itatódtak; szenvedés; szenvedély; küzdés; élni akarás. Melyhez remek helyszínül szolgál a szigetek önmagába zárt, sejtelmesen rejtelmes világa, amely, mint egy bezárt tenyér (Minou szigete), még sűrűbbé gyúrja a a benne rejlő életet.

Minden megvan, és nálam most mégse működött úgy, ahogy szerettem vo
...more
Dawn
Aug 13, 2011 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was a bit disappointed. I could have been so much more.
The character, Mado, returns to her hometown on the island of Le Devin after the death of her mother. What appealed to me was the author, the setting being in France, and a peek into what island life. The first few chapters drew you in, you get to know Mado and follow her returning to the island where she is met with cold shoulders and a father that won’t speak. After that, things get boring. Even though everyone is mean to her she chooses t
...more
Carolyn F.
May 29, 2015 Carolyn F. marked it as could-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, not-kept
Rant Warning!

Ok, so here's my thing. If you are going to have a book written in English and read in English, do not make your French pronunciation/accent so strong that I cannot understand what you are saying! The same goes for Russian, Spanish, whatever. If this book is narrated in a foreign (to me) language, then okay, but not if it is narrated into another language, such as English. You have to gear your accent to that language so that a non-bilingual person will have an idea of what you are
...more
Guera
Feb 07, 2011 Guera rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In general an easy read but unfortunately a lot of repetitions of already known facts. I also felt the characters were a little fatalistic which contributed to the story being unrealistic at times. The plot is forced by giving prudent information but the main character conveniently fail to see the evidence. It makes me feel treated like a stupid reader. I have to wade through pages of boring dialogue to give the main character time "to catch on".

Sure, in real life we also select to mis facts and
...more
Judy
Sep 24, 2009 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I "discovered" Joanne Harris this year because I have always wanted to read Chocolat; it was highly recommended. So this is another novel by Harris. A young woman's mother dies so she returns to her birthplace - a small island off the coast of France - and to the father she hasn't heard from in 10 years. The inhabitants are a highly inbred and eccentric group. Personalities are varied and intense. The heroine tries to save the small town and bring the people together. She had no intention of sta ...more
Christina
Apr 19, 2009 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I wasn't impressed with this book. I've read most of Joanne Harris' books and I'd rank this one at the bottom. It was good. I enjoyed reading it. I felt it read a bit more like a made-for-TV-movie type book. More like Anita Shreve. It was predictable and cheesy in spots. One of Harris' best qualities is in her characters and I didn't really like this main character as much. People were not nice to her. Not even her own family. Yet she kept hanging around and helping them. And then she'd be disap ...more
Jayne Charles
Jul 24, 2011 Jayne Charles rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was quite disappointed with this. Harris' novel 'Chocolat' surprised me - it's a great book - but this one was full of faceless characters (about six or seven of the male characters merged together in my head, by the end of the book I still didn't quite know who was who), events it was hard to care about, and a plot that felt, well, a bit familiar. As though she had rewritten Chocolat without any of the brown stuff. One star for the idea of 'stealing' a beach. That bit did impress me.
Gayle Baxter
I am usually a big fan of Joanne Harris and really like her mystical, off-beat characters and plots, but I just couldn't get into this one at all. The characters were difficult to get to know, and the plot had so many twists towards the end that I lost the will to care what happened.
Kelda Giavaras
It took me a little while to get going with this book. The beginning was bit sluggish, but it picked up steam by the middle. If you liked the book or movie Chocolat, you'll likely find this read enjoyable as well. There's something very quaint about a girl coming back to her home, and beginning life anew. While the setting is a tiny village on the coastline of France, I kept picturing in my mind the Aran Islands in Ireland. This, selfishly, is because I visited the Aran Islands just last year. I ...more
Cheryl
Jun 15, 2017 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read many of Joanne Harris' books and have not been disappointed in any of them. I loved the atmospheric setting in this one so very much! I "read" via the audiobook which I found excellent. Not only is the story engaging, but I found the characters quite interesting. I don't understand the reviewers who disliked them so. Their character flaws were exactly what made them interesting to me. The themes of home and of sibling rivalry and of the misunderstandings behind those rivalries were w ...more
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Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre pr ...more
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“Le isole sono diverse. E se l'isola è piccola è ancora più vero. Guardate l'Inghilterra, è quasi inconcepibile che questa stretta distesa di terra sorregga tanta diversità: il cricket, il tè alla panna, Shakespeare, Sheffield, il fish and chips nel giornale imbevuto d'aceto, Soho, Oxford e Cambridge, il lungomare di Southend, le sedie a sdraio con le righe a Green Park, i Beatles e i Rolling Stone, Oxford Street, i pigri pomeriggi domenicali. Tutte contraddizioni, che marciano tutte insieme come dimostranti ubriachi che non si sono ancora resi conto che la principale causa di protesta sono proprio loro. Le isole sono pionieri, gruppi divisi, malcontento, pesci fuor d'acqua, isolazionisti naturali. Come ho detto, diverse.
Quest'isola, per esempio. Da un capo all'altro soltanto una corsa in bicicletta. Un uomo che camminasse sull'acqua riuscirebbe a raggiungere la costa in un pomeriggio. L'isola di Le Devin, uno dei molti isolotti intrappolati come granchi nelle secche lungo il litorale della Vandea, oscurata da Noirmoutier dal lato prospiciente la costa, dall'Ile d'Yen a sud; in una giornata nebbiosa si potrebbe non notarla affatto. Le carte la citano a malapena. In effetti non merita quasi lo status di isola, essendo poco più che un grappolo di banchi di sabbia con qualche pretesa, una dorsale rocciosa che la solleva dall'Atlantico, un paio di villaggi, un piccolo stabilimento dove mettono il pesce in scatola, un'unica spiaggia. Al capo estremo, casa mia, Les Salants, una fila di casette, appena sufficienti per chiamarlo paese, distribuite fra rocce e dune verso un mare che guadagna terreno a ogni brutta marea. Casa, il posto da cui non si può fuggire, il posto verso cui ruota la bussola del cuore.”
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