This was my first Anita Shreve novel, a story about a young women, Sydney, who experiences heartache, loss, and betrayal. I was immediately captivated by the beautifully written, picturesque prose. The narrative took some getting used to, very impersonal. The book started out strong, then began to lose direction due to a weak story line. The characters and events seemed disconnected, choppy, although Sydney's character was strong, resilient. So many people rave about Anita Shreve and yet many were disappointed with this one. I'm not sure why. I enjoyed it and I look forward to reading more of her work.
I just don't get it. This has got to be one of the worst books I've read in my life. Okay, the worst I've ever read, that I actually finished; how's that? I was curious, because so many people seem to like/want it. As an author and a person educated in literature, I've got to wonder at society today...we can't write/read books that require more than a moment's attention? Good grief, this author writes like she's ADD! The story went absolutely no where; it was a jumbled repetition of miscellaneous thoughts. If you were wondering (though I would say other reviewers summed it up adequately), it's about few years in the life of a woman, who is a bit lost. And she pretty much stays lost. I would say this book sums up the norm of life for most people...going about their business, making little or no progress whatsoever. That is not something to be celebrated. This book has no purpose...it neither educates or inspires! And it is severely lacking in the entertainment department, as well.
I bought this book at an airport newsstand and devoured it on the plane, and again when I had any free time during my trip. It wasn't a Noble Prize winner, and at times choices made by the main character annoyed me, but it nonetheless kept me interested overall in the lives of these characters. The author also effectively moved the plot forward, so the story didn't drag out.
I LOVE this book!!! What a great story. Anita Shreve never ceases to amaze me by creating love/life stories that are so complex, yet so authentic. Sydney is a main character of such a set of circumastances! She is human, not saintly, genuine, and indeed relative to many women. The Edwards family...ahhh, many of us have met a Mrs. Edwards...Ben and Jeff are intriguing to say the least...Julie and Mr. E are endearing. It's a great tale set in the same house that was featured in The Pilot's Wife, Fortune's Rocks, and Sea Glass. Anita Shreve is remarkable in creating tales that stem from the same geographical and in this case, architectural setting, occurring in different time periods. This is why I have chosen to read so many of Ms. Shreve's works. Many express dissatisfaction with the endings of Ms. Shreve's novels. I choose to consider them to be thought provoking and signature to Ms. Shreve. This one follows suit with that!
Wow! I simply LOVED this book!
I really liked the idea of this book. With the woman being involved with this family, as their daughter's tutor. And the two older sons come home to both find they have an attraction to the tutor. And all the dynamics which were to be played out for the reading.
However, when I opened this book, it almost felt too personal, as if stepping into a diary, or autobiography. It took me a few times to pick this book up and get in the rhythm of how Ms. Shreve has the paragraphs laid out - with conversation, and narative, and character thoughts. But I decided to push through it for the better. I wanted to hear the story she had to tell; and for a change of pace with other material I've been reading.
I read 'The Doctor's House' by Ann Beattie, and the rhythm and flow of 'Body Surfing' were similar. And I like how life lessons are plainly written for all to see. And its easy to relate to the actions and feelings of the characters. Learning to love. Finding individualism. Losing love. Losing a friend
Easy Read. Takes place on the NH coast. Main character is a woman named Sydney who's faced many challenges and tragedy before her 30th birthday. I enjoyed the book very much.
Another good read by Anita Shreve.
All of her books (that I have read so far) take place in the same house on the shore, but they're always different characters, different time periods, and different stories. I enjoy the tie in from prior novels... It's sort of fun to follow the history of this house.
This book, like her other novels, takes some unexpected twists and turns. It's an interesting piece, but not my favorite.
This book was fabulous Anita Shreve. It's a New England story of a young woman who tutors for a family and the enduring involvement that employment begins. I won't say more because I'd give the story away, but I'd highly recommend this book.
Very real characters, I like how it's set in the same house as The Pilot's Wife.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I usually like Anita Shreve's books, and was a little disappointed in the beginning when it seemed a very predictable sort of story. However, the twists and turns came along and I ended up feeling it was up to Shreve's usual high standards.
This is the story of a young woman - Sydney - who spends the summer tutoring a girl named Julie while staying with the girl's family at their beach house. Julie's brothers come to visit and the realationships that form between Sydney and the brothers as well as those she has with the other family members is what the story focuses on.
I love this author and this book stays with her usual page-turner style of writing.
I read this book on a short vacation, and found it to be an easy read. The main character has been married twice, once divorced and then became a widow. She then joins a family at their beach cottage in New Hampshire as a tutor for their daughter. The book explores her relationships with this family and deals with loss, friendship, marriage, and love.
If you enjoy family drama books, this is a good one.
I read this book in 36 hours. It was a compelling story that takes place at a New England beach house. There is lots of romance and complicated personal relationships.
I loved this one: I always love Anita Shreve's books: she has a wonderful writing style.
One of the best books I've read in a long time. I'm surprised by some of the other reviews listed here because I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the first page to the last. The story drew me in quickly, and I was annoyed anytime I was interrupted from reading it.
Beautiful story ... one of my favorites! This is one I looked forward to the opportunity to read more. I love, love, love the characters and thoroughly enjoyed this read!
great beach read. easy, fast. makes you want to keep going back!
I wasn't a big fan of The Pilot's Wife, and I'm not sure I liked this book much better. It was an interesting story and well developed, but not really a captivating story.
Typical Anita Shreve. Enjoyable, quick read and very predictable. Enjoyed reading about the scenery. Love the area of Boston and the Atlantic coast, so was a treat to hear that described. Not one of Shreve's best efforts, but mindless reading.
As Anita Shreve's books tend to do, this one "grabs" the reader at the very beginning. Characters are real-life people; setting is beautifully described in much detail.
A great beach read.
Read it in two days, really engaging!
I liked it initially and felt like it had a lot of potential. But honestly, the book fizzled into nothing very impressive. She didn't really develop any of the male interest characters so I found that I didn't care much about what happened to her in her love life. However, I did like Shreve's portrait of the father in the book. It is rare to see! Overall, I wouldn't recommend it over her others like Fortune's Rocks or Light on Snow.
Anita Shreve never disappoints.
Not your typical story, it kept me going till the end. Great insight into families and there issues.
I loved this book! I could not put it down! I think that Anita Shreve is an amazing writer, but sometimes do not like the way she ends her stories!
This novel was so entertaining and fun about life and its dilemmas and decisions! I read Anita Shreve as much as possible!
I didn't like the way the book was written. It reminded me of Dick and Jane. However, I did finish it and it kept me entertained. But, I sure was glad when it ended.
I liked this book about a women who goes to the beach and falls in love with 2 brothers and the choices she has to make.another good story from Anita Shreve.
Nice plot, but Shreve's writing style in this was very frustrating. A lot of short paragraphs with hanging thoughts with a bit too much unsaid.
I really felt the emotion of the main character, Sydney. She began as an employee and became a part of the family as the story unfolds. This book was a quick and easy read.
A story about a twenty-something tutor and the way her life intersects with the family of five she moves in with. Typical Shreve - relationshipy, set in the same house on the New England coast, sad in a somehow un-painful way, entertaining. A lot of twists in the plot - just when I thought I had things figured out, Shreve took us in a new direction. And yet it still ended pretty much how I thought it would. Always a nice break from the usual.
Her books are captivating. I have difficulty putting them down after I start to read one.
Good characters. Another good book about real characters that struggle with things, make mistakes and move forward.
Very slow and hard to read. I felt like the story was somewhat vague with details and character's feelings. Wouldn't recommend.
This book was good. It was a nice easy read and hard to put down. It had a surprising twist to it. I really enjoy Shreve's books!
This is the second of Shreve's novels I've listened to and it's just as compelling...she's a wonderful storyteller and the characters are multi-dimensional and very believable. Some interesting surprises in the plot, which keeps you engaged. I LOVED THIS BOOK!
Like her other books, Shreve brings in references to the beach house from prior stories.
This book was a good read but it never seemed to really get into the characters. I always felt just a pinch removed from the characters almost like they were two dimensional and I never really understood the reasons for the story. Not difficult to follow, just not completely flushed out.
This book was good but a bit slow to start off. I love all Anita's books and this did end up being a good one, you just have to stick with it.
Fast moving. My first taste of Anita Shreve. My interest has been peaked to read others.
As usual Anita Shreve's books are great.