Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - The Coastliners

The Coastliners
The Coastliners
Author: Joanne Harris
Joanne Harris writes fiction that engages every one of the senses: reviewers called Chocolat "delectable" and Five Quarters of the Orange "sweet and powerful." In her new novel, she takes readers to a tiny French island where you can almost taste the salt on your lips.The island, called Le Devin, is shaped somewhat like a sleeping ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780385601726
ISBN-10: 0385601727
Publication Date: 3/4/2002
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Transworld Pub
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

1PilatesMom avatar reviewed The Coastliners on
Helpful Score: 3
This book was given to me by my Mother-in-law and I throughly enjoyed it. The plot is a wonderful drama set on a tiny island off the coast of France. The daughter comes home to try to work out her relationship with her silent boatbuilder father. The other parallel stories of the tension between the Houssins at the South end of the island (with the tourist attracting beach) and the poor fishing villages of the Salannais to the North. Add in a love interest and a well written plot and this is a good drama. 4 stars.
Tata avatar reviewed The Coastliners on + 135 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a great book. It takes place on a small island in France. I have read all of Joanne Harris' books and this one is a great read.
reviewed The Coastliners on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book! By the author of Chocolat, another great story about reconciliation and saving a dying town. full of plot twists, wonderful characters and romance.
reviewed The Coastliners on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the few books where I didn't figure out the plot twist until it was explained.
reviewed The Coastliners on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Joanne Harris knows well how to tell a charming story. After losing her mother, a prodigal daughter returns to the tiny French island of her father. She tries to repair their relationship but discovers the island is in a sad state of decline. Follow her story as she fights to save it alongside a mysterious stranger. Plenty of family secrets are revealed along the way.
Read All 13 Book Reviews of "The Coastliners"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed The Coastliners on + 12 more book reviews
May be my favorite Joanne Harris novel.
reviewed The Coastliners on + 524 more book reviews
Another great book by Joanne Harris. Cosatliners will take the reader into the depth of the island's people and their lives. One left as a child, to return to look & search for answers to her past. She was determined to keep looking until she found answers. Some were surprising. Perhaps more that than she thought she would find. A great book with many characters that will take the reader through a range of emotions: mystery, love, disappointment, questioning, and more.
angela06 avatar reviewed The Coastliners on + 8 more book reviews
Very well written. The story flowed wonderfully from beginning to end.
reviewed The Coastliners on + 40 more book reviews


reviewed The Coastliners on + 51 more book reviews
I dearly love the books and stories that flow from this author. However, this one sorely disappointed me. I gave it up after 100 pages. Tended to drag and jump around too much. Might try it again later.
reviewed The Coastliners on + 552 more book reviews
Book Magazine
In 1999 Harris burst onto the scene with Chocolat, a simple tale of sometimes quirky charm that captivated both a large readership and Hollywood executives. With Coastliners, her fourth novel in four years, Harris introduces readers to a sleepy French island and a narrator, Mado, who has returned to the place after many years away and quickly asserts herself in the mysterious politics of the locals. At issue here is the land itselfthe way the sand has leaked away into the sea at one end of the island, and the way a savvy businessman on the island's other end is taking rather suspicious advantage of the tides. In seeking to rescue the part of the island that was her childhood home, Mado reenters the world of her nearly mute and disturbed father, becomes embroiled in local politics, falls in love and happens across the long-hidden secrets of her family. Impressively researched and filled to the brim with surprising plot twists, this deeply felt book is the best work yet of this prolific writer.

Publishers Weekly
Family history meets village rivalry in Harris's poignant fourth novel, an understated passion play set on the provincial French island of Le Devin. Madeleine Prasteau leaves her Paris apartment to return to the island village of Les Salants, where she discovers that her father, a widowed boat owner, is going downhill along with the village itself as the rival town of La Houssini re grows and prospers. Despite her father's chilly greeting, Madeleine spruces up the family home, and when she meets an attractive, mysterious stranger named Flynn she gets involved in a project to save Les Salants by building a homemade reef to restore the fast-eroding beach. The project gets complicated when Madeleine realizes that Flynn has ties to Brismand, a rival of her father's, who controls local commerce in La Houssini re. The reef project succeeds, but with a bitter aftertaste when Madeleine's older sister, Adrienne, moves back to the island and her father becomes infatuated with Adrienne's children. Sibling rivalry fades to the background when Madeleine learns that Flynn's ties to Brismand extend into her own family history, and she discovers that Flynn was an integral part of a romantic triangle involving her father and Brismand. Harris develops her beguiling story in layers, drawing Madeleine into the village life she loves and loathes while exploring the nuances of island living. Despite the narrowly focused setting, Harris exposes a wide range of passions and emotions as Madeline gets involved with Flynn against the effective backdrop of the various family and village rivalries. This book lacks the lurid erotic power of Chocolat, but Harris compensates for the lowered levels of passion and eros by writing with power and grace about the family ties that bind.


Want fewer ads?