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Fortune's Rocks


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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.


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.

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