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 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 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.
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.