Sea Glass

Sea Glass

by Anita Shreve

Hardcover(Library Binding)

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With all the narrative power and emotional immediacy that have made her novels acclaimed international bestsellers, Anita Shreve unfolds a richly engaging tale of marriage, money, and troubled times-the story of a pair of young newlyweds who, setting out to build a life together in a derelict beach house on the Atlantic coast, soon discover how threatening the world outside their front door can be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613579209
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 01/28/2003
Pages: 380
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Anita Shreve is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels, including A Change in Altitude, Testimony; her best-known book, The Pilot’s Wife, which was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club; and The Weight of Water, which was a finalist for England’s Orange prize. Her book Resistance was turned into a movie with the same name. She is a writer who combines seemingly effortless prose with riveting storytelling.


New Hampshire; Massachusetts

Date of Birth:



B.A., Tufts University

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Sea Glass 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1929, Honora and Sexton Beecher move into their New Hampshire home. Honora loves her new place though it needs plenty of work. She adores her traveling salesman-husband until she learns why he is so successful at selling typewriters as he plays games with the truth. Soon Honora realizes that he stretches veracity with her too.

When the economy tanks, Sexton loses his job and accepts employment at the mill where conditions are atrocious and pay and hours are despicable. Sexton joins a group of union organizers protesting the inhuman factory conditions. Through her husband, Honora meets union activist McDermott and preadolescent worker Francis. As Honora increasingly loses respect for Sexton, she turns to the seemingly more honest McDermott and an upper class friend Vivian for probity. With a strike looming, Honora joins the oppressed against the wishes of her spouse.

SEA GLASS is a well-written historical fiction novel that provides the audience with a window to the impact of the Great Depression on various social classes. The tale is deep as readers observe the dangerous factory conditions a half century after Dickens as it impacts the blue-collar worker. The efforts to maintain moral standards by the middle class are cleverly described. Finally the influence with the stock market collapse on the upper crust makes for a rounded novel. Ms. Shreve is at her best with this triumphant look back to New Englanders on the verge of ruin.

Harriet Klausner

WeeziesBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to "Sea Glass" on audio CD and enjoyed the reader and the story. Set in a mill town in the late 1920's when stores were closing and mill workers were out of work. Times were very hard and many people facing eviction and long waits in food lines and soup kitchens. Unions were making strong inroads into changing the faces of workers in these town but first there was a price to pay. I have always loved collecting bits of rock and shells and sea glass washed smooth by the ocean, rivers and streams. I understand the love of these small smooth objects. During a time of change and hardship it is especially important to celebrate things of beauty. For Honora, who marries a typewriter salesman Sexton Beacher, life feels full of promise. The reality of daily life quickly overcomes their lives and Honora turns to the sea and those beautiful pieces of sea glass for her solitude and peace. Friendships, love, family and community all are part of this lovely story that develops as peoples lives intersect and blend together. It is a simple story that could be told today, when economic suffering or tragedy brings stranger together to form new bonds and friendships and love.
flydodofly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I slurped this wonderfully smooth-written novel in two days, while enjoying the atmosphere, the characters and the emotions all the way. A wonderful read.
embarczynski on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anita Shreve tells a story I really want to read. I enjoyed following Honora, our heroin, from her early days of marriage when she was humble and vulnerable to the climactic ending which characterizes her as a `strong and thoughtful woman.
r0ckcandy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I almost passed on this book when I found it at a thrift store. The book's plot looked promising and I wasn't disappointed. My favorite quaote from the book:"The only problem with looking for sea glass", Sexton says one day when he and Honora are walking along the beach, "is that you never look up. You never see the view. You never see the houses or the ocean because you're afraid you'll miss something in the sand."
RachelPenso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this book. I read The Pilot's Wife and wasn't too impressed. But I really liked this book. It takes place right at the beginning of the Great Depression. It kind of confused me at the beginning because it jumps from person to person, but once I got to know the characters and could see how all their lives tie together it all made sense.It is about Sexton, a typewriter salesman and his new bride Honora; McDermott, a mill worker; Vivian, a rich writer from a good family; and Alphonse, an eleven year old boy who is forced to leave school and work in the mill after the death of his father.
BONS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story takes place during the 1920's when a typewriter salesman, Sexton, marries a young bank teller, Honora. The beginning of the book starts with chapters on many of the main characters individually then a few chapters in they are slowly connected. The story to me was very slow to unfold. Of course it is a sad time of history so the book is a bit depressing. I was hoping for the not so typical "event" for Honora at the end of the book but was disappointed.
jgodburn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed but it didnt have a strong plot. I didnt find the characters to be really appealing.
abutler_14 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time getting into the book as Shreve jumped around with the characters. But by page 60, I was hooked. I loved the way the characters were interwoven and each comes into the Great Depression at a different stage in life. A book that I will remember for a long time. A wonderful quick read!
zibilee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sea Glass, a novel set on the New Hampshire coast in the early days of the Depression, introduces several very different characters, all from different social classes, who come together under extraordinary circumstances. Honora Beecher is a young and naive woman, swept off her feet and quickly married to the secretive and charismatic Sexton. Sexton and Honora have recently pooled all their resources to buy an abandoned house on the coast, where they hope to share their lives. Sexton, a traveling office machine salesman, soon gets himself in over his head with some financial trickery and ultimately gets fired from his job. During this tough economic time, his only choice is to begin working at the mill, a job that feeds off the very souls of its workers. Vivian is a debutante with too much money and too much time on her hands. Running and hiding from her usual set after an unspecified difficulty, she finds herself on the New Hampshire coast with her close friend Dickie. Dickie has recently begun renovation on a house that he wishes to share with Vivian, but the stock market crash changes all that. Soon, Dickie has fled the scene in disgrace and Vivian is in sole possession of the big house. Whiling away her days alone, Vivian longs to make a change in her life, to find direction and meaning in the turbulent times. McDermott is a young mill worker. As he toils away repairing the machines that have robbed him of most of his hearing, he comes across some troubling news about the mill. Management is planning on cutting wages, increasing production, and lengthening hours; and McDermott has had enough. Quietly he becomes involved in a workers strike that will pull in the likes of Honora, Vivian, and Sexton. As these unlikely accomplices come together, they will discover new sides of themselves and new opportunities that had never before seemed possible. Unexpected loyalties will form, relationships will be tested, and lives will be forever changed by the events that they all become complicit in.After reading so much praise for Anita Shreve's novels, I was surprised to find that this book fell so flat for me. I think the crux of the problem was that every aspect of the book was very subdued and, frankly, dull. I found all of the characters to be thinly formed and to have little to no tension or spark of life within them. They all seemed very drab and curiously passionless. Because of this, I never really felt any emotion for any of them. I didn't really care who was falling in love with who, or who was dealing with financial upsets or, well, anything that was going on with them. And it seemed like they didn't care either. The characters lacked the solidity that was necessary for me to engage with them, and as a result, the story was thin and unremarkable. There was very little emotional examination in these people; they just seemed to trudge along and let things happen to them without taking any kind of emotional stock of themselves or those around them; and when they did exhibit the perfunctory emotion expected of them, it didn't feel genuine or heartfelt. They just didn't feel very real or convincing and I found that to be especially frustrating. It made me want to hold them all at an arms length instead of investing any care or concern in them.I also didn't find the plot to be all that interesting. Mostly it dealt with the striking workforce of the mill and the clandestine operations of the people organizing the strikes. There were other aspects of the plot, like the floundering intimacy between Sexton and Honora, the unlikely friendship between McDermott and a young boy who also worked in the mill, and a secret and ill-planned romance. However, all this paled in comparison to the emphasis that was placed on the strike at the mill, which portrayed the harsh conditions and unfairness of factory life and provided the backdrop for the melding of the characters, who were all of differing social classes. One could argue that the love st
lit_chick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sea Glass, like Fortune¿s Rocks, is set on the New Hampshire coast. It is a quick, easy read about newlyweds, Honora and Sexton, who settle in a dilapidated home on the beach. When Sexton loses his job in the stock market crash of 1929, he is forced to labour at a local textile mill. Working conditions are deplorable, and an eclectic group of characters seeks to bring in the union. Uncertainty, poverty, and violence play out against the backdrop of capitalism, labour unrest, and life in the Depression era. Expectedly, the characters will all respond differently to the immense hardships faced by each.Shreve is not great literature by any stretch, but she makes for a solid story and a decent, escapist read ¿ and I appreciate her for that.
taanderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story of Honora and her typewriter salesman husband Sexton during the 1920's and the beginning of the Great Depression. Really liked the eclectic set of characters and how they all came together throughout the story. It hooked me from the first page and didn't want to put it down. Next time I am walking at a beach I will be looking for Sea Glass, especially red! Plan to pick up The Pilot's Wife and Fortune's Rockers.
Carmenere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well drawn characters, lovely location, what's not to like? THE ENDING!!! Honora Beecher deserves better.
cindyloumn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Liked the book. Hated the ending. Liked the use of different narrators. Liked that the woman collected sea glass, and the frienship she makes. Her mistakes, and lose of love. How she doesn't realize who her husband is, and the loses her one true love, because of her husband.
kristicw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has a slow start as the reader is introduced to a smattering of unusual, but not especially interesting, characters. It is not until about page 199 (but who's counting?) that the characters really begin to converge and the real story begins. After that, it is a rather good book!
Winshoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Basic plot: A story of how the lives of six characters from different social class levels intertwine during the Great Depression.The beginning is kind of slow, and the ending is very disappointing, but everything in between is good strong writing.
SFG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A friend recommended Anita as an author. I love her writing but I tend to like a happier ending
alanna1122 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book - I thought the characters were well formed and I loved the imagery and scenery of the beach area where most of the plot unfolded. I might be biased though - because hunting for sea glass was and still is a favorite hobby of mine - I thought the ending was a little rushed but other than that i found it a satisfying read.
Wuzzlicious on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another classic by Anita Shreve. As in all her previous books, the ending left me a bit shaken and wanting more and vaguely wanting to throw the book against the wall. Disturbing, yet appropriate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not come close to finishing this book and found it tedious and excruciatingly boring
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fyree39 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Ms. Shreve's style of writing. Almost like Hemmingway, she's able to pull me into the mood of the characters. If you want "tears welled in his eyes as he watched her walk out of is life forever," or "his lips ignited the fires of desire within her," you'll have to look elsewhere. If you want believable characters with believable dialogue, this is the book for you. It's a love story, but not like one would expect, and I'm cheering for Honora the whole way. This is a cerebral read for grown ups. Enjoy.
cbaker71 More than 1 year ago
I love how you got to know each character seperately, and then how they all ended up together. The flow of this book is smooth and the emotions it evokes in you are real. I read some reviews about the language being horrible in this book and i was surprised. I dont even remember any bad language, so it must have fit the story line so perfectly not to stand out, or I can just recognize that the characters in this book were not sitting in some bible belt town looking down their noses at folks and judging them..... They were suffering, striking, trying to survive. This book was perfectly written.