I love this book...a reluctant admittance. The story of forbidden love is wrong, right, sad, joyful, and just utterly romantic even in its sheer destruction. I think my feelings for this book may also be biased by things in my personal life around the time that really made me feel and understand all of the characters quite deeply. Anyway,...more
Shreve's writing just sings in this book. The opening scene, in which the 15-year-old main character makes her way across a beach as men gawk at her, is simply stunning. I can hear lines from this book in my head, they're so well written. Perhaps this book resonates particularly strongly becaus...more
Let's see, what else? Haskell and Olympia are two people who experience that "connection" so many people...more
In the beginning this book is almost everything I least like reading. It's a historical love story set in 1899. If I hadn't read any of Shreve's books before I'd have given up then and there. I carried on reading about the affair between fifteen year old Olympia Biddeford and forty one year old married with four children John Haskell because I thought that Shreve must have something in mind other than a pure romance (or not-so-pure depending on which sense you apply pure in, I suppose).
And of c...more
The conflict is the great passion shared by a good, 15-year-old, very bright, maturing, light-of-her-father's life girl and a good, kind, 40+ year-old married doctor/father of three children at the turn of the last century. When I realized the improbability of the plot, and also what was probably going to happen, I almost didn't read the book, but had promised a friend that I would...more
Every summer, crowds of the wealthy and socially esteemed flock to the coastal town of Fortune’s Rocks. Beach homes line the shore, one of which belongs to the prominent family of 15-year-old Olympia Biddeford. It is the turn of the century, and the turning of Olympia’s life; events will inevitably unfold, plunging her from girl to woman, and altering her forever. This summer, the summer in which she turns sixteen, is the summer that she meets...more
Set in the summer of 1899 when Olympia is 15 years old, the story takes place at a wealthy beach community, in New Hampshire. I am not sure if it is a real place or a mythical one, but it definitely has a basis in historical fact and the setting is as much a character as any of the human...more
The central character Olympia undergoes a massive transition as she matures and recognises the consequences of her actions.
It was somewhat disappointing to me that at no stage did the author approach the issue of obsession, even though a...more
Everything I read at the moment se...more
There is enough information on here regarding the storyline of the novel. I have to say I found the style of writing original and haunting. I particularly liked the emotional distance offered by the third person narration. It allowed...more
Do not be fooled for an instant. Shreve’s novel is a pale imitation of those Grande Dames of Literature.
Oh sure, Fortune’s Rocks—much like Wharton’s The Age of Innocence—is filled with scenes that would startle modern readers with their conservatism. An...more
Still, it's a well-written and easy-to-read book, and gives a person something to think about in the process. I found Olympia to be governed too much by...more