Audiobook Review: Sea Glass

Honora noticed that sea glass never breaks

(Click on the picture for a video feature of a sea glass saunter)

Honora and Sexton Beecher are Sea Glass’ main characters to inhabit the same beach house that was the background in Anita Shreve’s two other books, “Fortune’s Rocks” and “The Pilot’s Wife”. The opening to this audiobook is narrated by Ms. Shreve to explain that she acknowledges every house to have a history within its walls needing to be told, and is why she has again used the same house from her previous two novels for this story. This time the beach house is a little dilapitated and needs plenty of elbow grease from Honora and Sexton. First renting, then with a little deceipt on Sexton’s part, they buy it.

“An entire marriage destroyed by a mortgage” Honora

Unfortunately, Sexton makes the downpayment on the eve of the stockmarket crash and this disaster sets the tone for the remainder of their marriage. Learning of how he was able to purchase the house, Honora questions herself, did she ever really trust what he had to say all along in their marriage?

The book also comes with a wonderful cast of characters that I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with. Overall, it is a solid, and lovely piece of work where you can sit back and enjoy. It also provided some background on the organization of unions and the strikes of the textile millworkers in New England during this economically disasterous time.

Quillen McDermott, a loom fixer at the local mills, works hard to keep his younger brothers out of the mills. Francis, an 11-year-old mill worker, looks upon McDermott as a father-figure, and is his fiercely loyal and constant companion. McDermott and other workers are meeting secretly, talking of forming a union and planning a strike. And it is the beach house that becomes the hub of this union activity. It is where McDermott falls for Honora, despising her descpicable husband Sexton.

Losing his job, car and bank loan, Sexton is forced to take a mill job in order to hold onto the house. “Something inside him would be irretrievably lost if he failed to keep the house that he had ruined himself to buy.” Honora’s marriage has been completely altered and strained. The pending strike brings everyone together for a common goal, but it will also change all of their lives forever.
All along, Honora has made a hobby of collecting sea glass on the beach. It is where she meets Boston socialite, Vivian Burton, summering nearby, and whom quickly becomes a fast and loyal friend. And oh! this is where I could listen to Kyra bring Vivian to life all the live-long-day. She caputured the voice and essence of this socialite beautifully! She made me dizzy for that dame I tell ya!

Sea Glass is such a touching tale of love, honour, heartbreak and friendship. Kyra reads it in a very smooth and relaxed manner.

I’m giving it 4 stars. This is the first time I’ve read anything by Anita Shreve and I’m not so sure I would have picked this book up in its paper form had I the chance? I certainly grabbed the audiobook on a whim.

Perhaps it was Kyra’s calm, assured and wonderful narrative that made me kick this rating up a notch, although this was most certainly a wonderful read!

It built up to a solid finish, but I think mostly, I fell in love a little with Kyra and now want to see if she’s narrated any other audiobooks.