Book Reviews of Fortune's Rocks

Fortune's Rocks
Fortune's Rocks
Author: Anita Shreve
ISBN-13: 9780349112763
ISBN-10: 0349112762
Publication Date: 1/4/2001
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 6

3.4 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: Time Warner Books Uk
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

78 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
Helpful Score: 5
This book is one that once you start it, it is impossible to put down. The story revolves around a teenage girl in the beginning of the 1900,s who is mature beyond her years. We learn of her sexual awakening, tragedy mixed with poignant undying love. Love the author, as always, and loved this book, in particular.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this novel-the descriptions in it are beautiful to say the least, and the story line was very intriguing. I highly recemend this book, its a very good read!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 75 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Oh...so GOOD! I couldn't put it down once I got into it. Olympia is quite the woman for the late 1800's, early 20th century! This is a great work of fiction. Very enjoyable. Quite a story!!!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Simply wonderful. I felt lost when I finished it!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I LOVED this book. It was heart wrenching and romantic--but the female character was smart and lively. It is an intelligent book set at the turn of the 20th century at a seaside resort town in New England.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I find Anita Shreve books to be hits and misses. For me, this was a hit. I would recommend it, especially if you are an Anita Shreve fan.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read Fortune's Rocks but will apply this caveat: My book club made me do it.

This was my first Anita Shreve novel, and I was not impressed. For starters, the premise is rather absurd and more than a little creepy: a highly educated 15-year-old girl falls in love with a highly respected 41-year-old doctor and married father of four. Shreve does a poor job of actually defining their relationship in any terms other than the physical. You are never really let in on either character's heart, never really shown any of the deeper insights into the spiritual or psychological nature of their feelings. There is very little for the reader to hold on to, to empathize with, or to understand.

There was also something in the character development that just seemed...forced. While Shreve attempted to breathe a sense of life, passion, and originality into all of her characters, it seems that none of her efforts really took. Everyone seemed to be missing that important "something" that would have transformed them from two dimensional ideas of characters into living, breathing beings that could transcend the page and become real.

This was a period piece, and Shreve's somewhat awkward efforts to recreate that era made the story feel more artificial than authentic. Complicated descriptions of fabrics and clothing made me feel like Shreve was simply trying too hard. The random attempts at period language (cues during childbirth to "strain as if at stool") and hokey cliches made most of the dialogue feel stilted and contrived.

I am all for reading a novel about romance (ie: Jane Eyre) but this book felt more like a grocery store romance novel with an identity crisis. I felt like it was trying to cover up its romance novel roots by throwing in forward-thinking social commentary about mill workers, culture wars, and custody laws in turn-of-the-century New England, in the hope that no one would notice. Despite the 26-year age difference of the main characters, the book had potential. Unfortunately, Shreve just wasn't able to deliver. It's not a book I'd be likely to recommend.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Starts off slow, but then I found it difficult to put down. First book I've read by this author. I do plan to read more of her work.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book very much. Learning about the morals and issues of both poor and wealthy in a past bygone era when cotton bathing costumes that covered most of the body were the rage and automobiles were first making an appearance.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
Helpful Score: 1
This is a book that is hard to put down. While it is fiction, it reminds readers that the past wasn't as innocent as we think it was.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 711 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The story of a spirited young woman who falls into a passionate, illicit affair with a much older man. You do not want this novel to end. It's hard to put down.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read Fortune's Rocks but will apply this caveat: My book club made me do it.

This was my first Anita Shreve novel, and I was not impressed. For starters, the premise is rather absurd and more than a little creepy: a highly educated 15-year-old girl falls in love with a highly respected 41-year-old doctor and married father of four. Shreve does a poor job of actually defining their relationship in any terms other than the physical. You are never really let in on either character's heart, never really shown any of the deeper insights into the spiritual or psychological nature of their feelings. There is very little for the reader to hold on to, to empathize with, or to understand.

There was also something in the character development that just seemed...forced. While Shreve attempted to breathe a sense of life, passion, and originality into all of her characters, it seems that none of her efforts really took. Everyone seemed to be missing that important "something" that would have transformed them from two dimensional ideas of characters into living, breathing beings that could transcend the page and become real.

This was a period piece, and Shreve's somewhat awkward efforts to recreate that era made the story feel more artificial than authentic. Complicated descriptions of fabrics and clothing made me feel like Shreve was simply trying too hard. The random attempts at period language (cues during childbirth to "strain as if at stool") and hokey cliches made most of the dialogue feel stilted and contrived.

I am all for reading a novel about romance (ie: Jane Eyre) but this book felt more like a grocery store romance novel with an identity crisis. I felt like it was trying to cover up its romance novel roots by throwing in forward-thinking social commentary about mill workers, culture wars, and custody laws in turn-of-the-century New England, in the hope that no one would notice. Despite the 26-year age difference of the main characters, the book had potential. Unfortunately, Shreve just wasn't able to deliver. It's not a book I'd be likely to recommend.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 62 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent book. This book sucked me in fast and didn't let go. My heart was squeezed thru the whole book and I didn't want it to end!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 5 more book reviews
An interesting novel of what can happen when you make a rush decision without thinking it through and it destroys other lives. Good read.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
Fantastic book, with many thought-provoking subjects within it. Would be a great book-club book! I loved it. One of Shreve's best.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
This book was good. Anita Shreve is always a fun read!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 19 more book reviews
Keeps you on the edge of your seat. A splendid romance novel.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 236 more book reviews
"Beguiling and richly rewarding....This story of passion and scandal at the end of the last centruy is a breathtaking, highly entertaining novel. Olympia may well be the most alluring female since Nabokov's Lolita...No praise is too high for Fortune's Rocks. The book will take hold of you and not let go until the last word."
Robert Allen Papinchak, USA Today
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 99 more book reviews
The story of a spirited young women who falls into an affair with an older man-with cataclysmic results.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 4 more book reviews
Another fabulous Anita Shreve page turner with a heart wrenching love story that is smart and romantic.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 88 more book reviews
A wonderful story of forbidden victorian passion.It will keep you on edge and wanting more.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 188 more book reviews
I like this book the best of all Anita Shreve's books. Some of her books are good, some aren't, some take a lot of patience to read. Fortune's Rocks is a story of a young girl at the turn of the century (1900) who falls in love with an older, married man. Not a good thing! You can guess what happens, but it's still a fascinating read.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 53 more book reviews
A wonderful book, I highly recommend it.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 24 more book reviews
A little spicy, a little twist. If you like Anita Shreve, your enjoy this one set in an earlier time period
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 36 more book reviews
Another wonderful book by Shreve. This story takes place at the same location as Sea Glass, but earlier, at the turn of the century. This book had an excellent, consistant pace, moving the story along nicely through all its 450 pages. Shreve mixes personal stories and the politics of the day (labor issues, immigration, class, religion) for a compelling story.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 18 more book reviews
If you have read and liked any of Anita's books you will also like this one. It is a story about unwise love and the choices that transform one's life.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 24 more book reviews
I love her books. This was not her best, but a good one and kept me turning the pages late into the night.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 17 more book reviews
My new FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME I did not want it to end and want a sequel to this story for sure. I hope you are writing already Anita.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
This book is not literature, but it's haunting none the less. How can you make a case for pedophilia? There is no way, but the author takes us into the minds of two people who are caught up in a passion that seems so right to them, nothing else matters. From the perspective of the reader, it's a moral morass. Reminds me of the situation in "L'Immoralist," though that, of course, IS literature.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
This is the sequel of "The Pilot's Wife" which was an Oprah's book club selection. This series takes place in coastal Maine and the descriptions make me want to get in my car and drive there.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 118 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book - slightly predictable but a few surprises too!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 66 more book reviews
Very good story....slow to start...but I loved the ending.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 32 more book reviews
I really loved this book. It starts out slow but picks up speed and I could hardly bear to put it down to do the things I had to do. I couldn't wait to get to the end, but I didn't want it to end either! This was my first Anita Shreve read and it won't be my last...she is GREAT!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 38 more book reviews
Another good one by Anita Shreve. This one is a bit different than some of her other novels. It has a bit of a victorian, Edith Wharton-ish feel about it, but still very interesting. Great characters, surprising twists to the story.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 31 more book reviews
Starts slow but a great read.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 278 more book reviews
The time is the turn of the last century, the setting a rocky New Hampshire coastline resort area nicknamed "Fortune's Rocks." Olympia Biddeford, age 15, is walking the beach, feeling the first stirrings of her womanhood. The strong-willed daughter of an upstanding Boston couple, she soon "learns of desire" as she begins a passionate affair with a married writer, John Haskell, three times her age. From the moment they meet (he is a visiting friend of her father's), they experience a sexual sparkAOlympia feels "liquid" in his presence. Soon, they fall into sinful trysting. Shreve (The Pilot's Wife) serves up these opening events with breathless immediacy. Once the plot gets a chance to developAOlympia gets pregnant, gives up child, fights to get child backAit settles down considerably, turning into a modernized The Scarlet Letter, a tale of a woman attaining feminist independence by living outside her period's societal mores.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 31 more book reviews
Another great book from Anita Shreve. Alittle tought to get into at the beginning but once I did I couldn't put the book down.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
A beautifully written page-turner about a morally complex heroine who falls into a passionate, illicit affair with an older man during early 1900s.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 334 more book reviews
Anything by Anita Shreve is excellent reading. This one is exceptionally engaging, a page-turner. Her characters and narrative beg to enter your life.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 16 more book reviews
This book speaks beautifully to life's painful decisions that change the rest of one's life.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 22 more book reviews
Enthralling!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 46 more book reviews
One of the better books I've read this year.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 112 more book reviews
Really a great story. The setting, the times...........very good piece of writting. Totally enjoyed it.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
Loved this book. Written as a period piece in the early 1900s.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 47 more book reviews
starts slow - but overall a very good read
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 24 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book, but had a real problem with the 40-year-old married man having an affair with a 15 year old.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 5 more book reviews
This is one of those books that you read once, but you will never forget. The entire thing is bittersweet and left me with just the right amount of knowledge about the characters. Anita Shreve hit it perfectly with Fortune's Rocks.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 5 more book reviews
If you like Anita Shreve, you will like this book. Very typical of her style.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 12 more book reviews
The setting for this book is coastal New Hampshire (Rye) and Massachusetts. Since I grew up in both areas, I enjoyed the read tremendously. Victorian era morals mixing with passion -- very interesting.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 13 more book reviews
Excellent book! Couldn't put it down. Its the kind that leaves you thinking about it for days afterwards. I highly recommend it.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 4 more book reviews
Really good
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
This book is such a page turner! I had read it about 5 years ago, and just remembered I like it. I read it again last month and absolutely loved it! Anita Shreve is a gifted writer, it is one of those books you close and say "where was I?" It totally transports you. A definite read for the winter!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 6 more book reviews
Excellent in every way, and captivating for the time and setting. I read this book when it was newly published and liked it so much that I listened to the audio version too. Just wonderful, heartwrenching, moving and as all of Shreve's novels... memorable.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 20 more book reviews
One of my all time favorite books!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 52 more book reviews
Very good book! I've read through it a few times. The lead character is a winsome child at first, and grows quickly through the challenges she faces. At the time this book is set, the situation would have been a firestorm of scandal, and Anita Shreve paints that fact very well -- her attention to detail, even the tiniest look on the face of someone across the room, does justice to an author's "Show, don't tell" mission. It's a good book to get lost in on a rainy day!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 6 more book reviews
This is my favorite Anita Shreve so far. I love the story, I love the house, I love it all
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 26 more book reviews
This is my favorite of Anita Shreve's stories. It's fascinating how she sets a story in a place and you can clearly imagine the setting....the beach and the surrounding area. In another book, she sets another of her stories in the same site, different time period or from another perspective.
Olympia's tale is one of a first forbidden and utterly complicated love. Seductive as it was, it also held elements of innocence and perhaps promise that she might eventually come to understand true gifts of love.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 40 more book reviews
Did not like this book at all. Had to make myself finish it. I thought the whole premise rather creepy.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 902 more book reviews
I read Fortune's Rocks but will apply this caveat: My book club made me do it.

This was my first Anita Shreve novel, and I was not impressed. For starters, the premise is rather absurd and more than a little creepy: a highly educated 15-year-old girl falls in love with a highly respected 41-year-old doctor and married father of four. Shreve does a poor job of actually defining their relationship in any terms other than the physical. You are never really let in on either character's heart, never really shown any of the deeper insights into the spiritual or psychological nature of their feelings. There is very little for the reader to hold on to, to empathize with, or to understand.

There was also something in the character development that just seemed...forced. While Shreve attempted to breathe a sense of life, passion, and originality into all of her characters, it seems that none of her efforts really took. Everyone seemed to be missing that important "something" that would have transformed them from two dimensional ideas of characters into living, breathing beings that could transcend the page and become real.

This was a period piece, and Shreve's somewhat awkward efforts to recreate that era made the story feel more artificial than authentic. Complicated descriptions of fabrics and clothing made me feel like Shreve was simply trying too hard. The random attempts at period language (cues during childbirth to "strain as if at stool") and hokey cliches made most of the dialogue feel stilted and contrived.

I am all for reading a novel about romance (ie: Jane Eyre) but this book felt more like a grocery store romance novel with an identity crisis. I felt like it was trying to cover up its romance novel roots by throwing in forward-thinking social commentary about mill workers, culture wars, and custody laws in turn-of-the-century New England, in the hope that no one would notice. Despite the 26-year age difference of the main characters, the book had potential. Unfortunately, Shreve just wasn't able to deliver. It's not a book I'd be likely to recommend.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 47 more book reviews
A bit slow in starting, but very powerful and emotional.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 11 more book reviews
great book, like all her others.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 224 more book reviews
good book
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 70 more book reviews
This was a most entertaining story by a wonderful author. I was mesmerized and loved the great ending!!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 62 more book reviews
At first I was really turned off by the subject of this book. A 15 year old having a torrid love affair with a 40+ year old friend of her father's? Sounded like rape or child abuse to me. I found it disgusting. But, I rarely give up on a book and will generally see it through to the end. And I'm glad I did with this one. The 15 year old is mature for her age and sees life through eyes much older than those of her peers. The man is immature, impulsive, and reckless. He needs a good slap of reality and common sense up side his head, in my opinion.

However, I liked the turn of the tide in this book. Everything completely changes in a way you aren't expecting and by the end, I had a fondness for the girl and the whole situation that I couldn't have predicted. I usually love Anita Shreve books, especially "The Pilot's Wife". But, I was just mad at her in the beginning of this book. By the end, I was back to liking her again. Ha ha.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 98 more book reviews
I loved this book. At first I didn't think it was going st strike my appeal button but I kept on and was certainly glad I did. What a wonderful story. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 14 more book reviews
I was completely sucked in, an unusual love story.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 902 more book reviews
I read Fortune's Rocks but will apply this caveat: My book club made me do it.

This was my first Anita Shreve novel, and I was not impressed. For starters, the premise is rather absurd and more than a little creepy: a highly educated 15-year-old girl falls in love with a highly respected 41-year-old doctor and married father of four. Shreve does a poor job of actually defining their relationship in any terms other than the physical. You are never really let in on either character's heart, never really shown any of the deeper insights into the spiritual or psychological nature of their feelings. There is very little for the reader to hold on to, to empathize with, or to understand.

There was also something in the character development that just seemed...forced. While Shreve attempted to breathe a sense of life, passion, and originality into all of her characters, it seems that none of her efforts really took. Everyone seemed to be missing that important "something" that would have transformed them from two dimensional ideas of characters into living, breathing beings that could transcend the page and become real.

This was a period piece, and Shreve's somewhat awkward efforts to recreate that era made the story feel more artificial than authentic. Complicated descriptions of fabrics and clothing made me feel like Shreve was simply trying too hard. The random attempts at period language (cues during childbirth to "strain as if at stool") and hokey cliches made most of the dialogue feel stilted and contrived.

I am all for reading a novel about romance (ie: Jane Eyre) but this book felt more like a grocery store romance novel with an identity crisis. I felt like it was trying to cover up its romance novel roots by throwing in forward-thinking social commentary about mill workers, culture wars, and custody laws in turn-of-the-century New England, in the hope that no one would notice. Despite the 26-year age difference of the main characters, the book had potential. Unfortunately, Shreve just wasn't able to deliver. It's not a book I'd be likely to recommend.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 902 more book reviews
I read Fortune's Rocks but will apply this caveat: My book club made me do it.

This was my first Anita Shreve novel, and I was not impressed. For starters, the premise is rather absurd and more than a little creepy: a highly educated 15-year-old girl falls in love with a highly respected 41-year-old doctor and married father of four. Shreve does a poor job of actually defining their relationship in any terms other than the physical. You are never really let in on either character's heart, never really shown any of the deeper insights into the spiritual or psychological nature of their feelings. There is very little for the reader to hold on to, to empathize with, or to understand.

There was also something in the character development that just seemed...forced. While Shreve attempted to breathe a sense of life, passion, and originality into all of her characters, it seems that none of her efforts really took. Everyone seemed to be missing that important "something" that would have transformed them from two dimensional ideas of characters into living, breathing beings that could transcend the page and become real.

This was a period piece, and Shreve's somewhat awkward efforts to recreate that era made the story feel more artificial than authentic. Complicated descriptions of fabrics and clothing made me feel like Shreve was simply trying too hard. The random attempts at period language (cues during childbirth to "strain as if at stool") and hokey cliches made most of the dialogue feel stilted and contrived.

I am all for reading a novel about romance (ie: Jane Eyre) but this book felt more like a grocery store romance novel with an identity crisis. I felt like it was trying to cover up its romance novel roots by throwing in forward-thinking social commentary about mill workers, culture wars, and custody laws in turn-of-the-century New England, in the hope that no one would notice. Despite the 26-year age difference of the main characters, the book had potential. Unfortunately, Shreve just wasn't able to deliver. It's not a book I'd be likely to recommend.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
Olympia Biddeford is the only child of a prominent Boston couple. She is a precocious, well-educated young woman - alive with her own radical opinions and flush with the initial stirrings of maturity. On a beach in New Hampshire at the turn of the twentieth century - at a spot known as Fortune's Rocks - she spends her summers with her family at their vacation home. This particular summer will undoubtedly be a life-changing one for her; marked by the arrival of John Haskell - a doctor and a friend of her father's, whose new book about the plight of mill-town laborers has caused a sensation among those in well-to-do Society.

Olympia, herself, is thoroughly captivated by this man - by his intellect, his stature, and his drive to do right - even as she is overwhelmed for the first time by an irresistible sexual desire. She and the doctor - a married man, a father of four, and someone who is nearly three times her age - come together in an unthinkable, torturous, yet hopelessly passionate affair. So, Olympia casts aside any sense of propriety and self-preservation, plunging forward into a disastrous relationship that will ultimately have cataclysmic results. And the price of straying in such an unforgiving era is incredibly steep.

As Olympia is cast out of the only world she has ever known, she suffers the consequences of her choices. This is a profound and poignant story about unwise love and the choices which can transform a life. It is also the story of a remarkable young woman - her determination to reinvent herself and mend her broken life - and claim the one thing she finds she cannot live without.

I must say that I have always enjoyed reading anything by Anita Shreve - in my opinion, she is an absolutely wonderful author - and this book was no exception. Despite having read this book twice before, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. To me, this was a story that poignantly showed just how someone's choices can affect so many more people than just that one person; everyone suffers from the consequences of someone's personal choices - just like the ripples on a pond. Anyway, I would definitely give this book an A+!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 902 more book reviews
I read Fortune's Rocks but will apply this caveat: My book club made me do it.

This was my first Anita Shreve novel, and I was not impressed. For starters, the premise is rather absurd and more than a little creepy: a highly educated 15-year-old girl falls in love with a highly respected 41-year-old doctor and married father of four. Shreve does a poor job of actually defining their relationship in any terms other than the physical. You are never really let in on either character's heart, never really shown any of the deeper insights into the spiritual or psychological nature of their feelings. There is very little for the reader to hold on to, to empathize with, or to understand.

There was also something in the character development that just seemed...forced. While Shreve attempted to breathe a sense of life, passion, and originality into all of her characters, it seems that none of her efforts really took. Everyone seemed to be missing that important "something" that would have transformed them from two dimensional ideas of characters into living, breathing beings that could transcend the page and become real.

This was a period piece, and Shreve's somewhat awkward efforts to recreate that era made the story feel more artificial than authentic. Complicated descriptions of fabrics and clothing made me feel like Shreve was simply trying too hard. The random attempts at period language (cues during childbirth to "strain as if at stool") and hokey cliches made most of the dialogue feel stilted and contrived.

I am all for reading a novel about romance (ie: Jane Eyre) but this book felt more like a grocery store romance novel with an identity crisis. I felt like it was trying to cover up its romance novel roots by throwing in forward-thinking social commentary about mill workers, culture wars, and custody laws in turn-of-the-century New England, in the hope that no one would notice. Despite the 26-year age difference of the main characters, the book had potential. Unfortunately, Shreve just wasn't able to deliver. It's not a book I'd be likely to recommend.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 17 more book reviews
Thoroughly enjoyed the time period of this book and the difficult situations the main character finds herself in. Through her determination, she becomes a very strong woman who overcomes.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 4 more book reviews
this is a great read
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 902 more book reviews
I read Fortune's Rocks but will apply this caveat: My book club made me do it.

This was my first Anita Shreve novel, and I was not impressed. For starters, the premise is rather absurd and more than a little creepy: a highly educated 15-year-old girl falls in love with a highly respected 41-year-old doctor and married father of four. Shreve does a poor job of actually defining their relationship in any terms other than the physical. You are never really let in on either character's heart, never really shown any of the deeper insights into the spiritual or psychological nature of their feelings. There is very little for the reader to hold on to, to empathize with, or to understand.

There was also something in the character development that just seemed...forced. While Shreve attempted to breathe a sense of life, passion, and originality into all of her characters, it seems that none of her efforts really took. Everyone seemed to be missing that important "something" that would have transformed them from two dimensional ideas of characters into living, breathing beings that could transcend the page and become real.

This was a period piece, and Shreve's somewhat awkward efforts to recreate that era made the story feel more artificial than authentic. Complicated descriptions of fabrics and clothing made me feel like Shreve was simply trying too hard. The random attempts at period language (cues during childbirth to "strain as if at stool") and hokey cliches made most of the dialogue feel stilted and contrived.

I am all for reading a novel about romance (ie: Jane Eyre) but this book felt more like a grocery store romance novel with an identity crisis. I felt like it was trying to cover up its romance novel roots by throwing in forward-thinking social commentary about mill workers, culture wars, and custody laws in turn-of-the-century New England, in the hope that no one would notice. Despite the 26-year age difference of the main characters, the book had potential. Unfortunately, Shreve just wasn't able to deliver. It's not a book I'd be likely to recommend.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 59 more book reviews
I stopped reading this book after 10 pages. Just could not get into it.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on
I was given this book to read and just couldn't get started and in to it. I hope that you enjoy it.
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 228 more book reviews
Excellent book! Couldn't put it down! Sat on the edge of my seat through a lot of it! Loved it!
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 33 more book reviews
I don't recommend this book. It's about a love affair between a teen girl and a married man with children. Why would we celebrate this? Today, we would call the man a "child predator", and we would call the girl a "home wrecker".
reviewed Fortune's Rocks on + 11 more book reviews
did not read