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Fortune's Rocks

By Anita Shreve

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Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 02 December 2000
Set 100 years ago in Boston, FORTUNE'S ROCKS is a classic of literary and romantic storytelling. Fifteen-year-old Olympia Biddeford is spending the summer with her parents at their seasonal house at Fortune's Rocks. Her father handles her education himself and is in fact a publisher of mildly liberal literature. One author he admires, who also practises as a physician, comes to visit the house. 40 years old, married with four children, he nonetheless embarks on an affair with the girl. They have a swift, passionate summer, torn apart when they are discovered together during Olympia's birthday party. She is taken back to Boston, her parents are mortified and remove themselves from society. When Olympia gives birth to a baby boy nine months later, he is taken from her and she finds herself in exile at a ladies college and then as a governess. She decides she must get her child back, which means returning to Fortune's Rocks...The sensuality of a girl's rite of passage, the descriptions of landscape, weather, music and light, are vintage Shreve and her seventh novel will thrill her many admirers.

Promotional Information

Stunning evocation of turn-of-the-century Boston and a modern classic of literary romantic fiction.

About the Author

Anita Shreve is the author of eleven novels, all published by Little, Brown and Abacus.

Reviews

Just bumped from January to December, Shreve's latestÄset at the end of the 19th centuryÄrelates wild young Olympia Biddleford's affair with a married doctor three times her age. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

'Exceptionally fine ... Shreve writes with power and passion' DAILY EXPRESS; 'A powerful portrait of that dangerous limbo of a girl's adolescence when she is no longer a child but not yet a woman' LITERARY REVIEW; 'A quiet but highly charged novel in which intense emotion is counterpointed with an evocation of landscape' Elizabeth Buchan, THE TIMES; 'It seems like a mighty poem. FORTUNE'S ROCKS, you know, will prove much more than a place name' OBSERVER

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 sparkÄOlympia 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 developÄOlympia gets pregnant, gives up child, fights to get child backÄit 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. Reading, Brown (of TV's The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd) clearly has the most fun at the beginning, where the story's real heat and flushed excitement pours out. Listeners, too, may grow colder as the plot loses its torrid, forbidden edge. Based on the 1999 Little, Brown hardcover. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

EAN: 9780349112763
ISBN: 0349112762
Publisher: Abacus
Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 2.9 centimetres (0.24 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
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melanie on
 
An intricate and gripping plot, with some very moving moments. Olympia was such a brave girl who was victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anita Shreve is so good at setting the scene, you could be sitting in the hairdresser and feel like you are on the beach in Boston back in 1899. One of her more involved plots. I loved it!

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