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After three novels which centred around gastronomic pleasures Joanne Harris's new book, Coastliners, focuses on more astringent joys. Sea, gritty sand and adverse weather conditions replace Chocolat, Blackberry Wine and Five Quarters of the Orange. Set on a small, blustery fishing island off the coast of France, it tells the story of Mado, a young woman who returns to her childhood home to find the local community torn apart by family feuds, bad tides and murky political machinations.
Passionate, stubborn Mado, whose "head is full of rocks" tries to save the livelihoods of the villagers of Les Salants by urging them to work together to save the beach from erosion, both natural and man-made. The villagers, written with endearing panache by Harris, are an eccentric, curmudgeonly bunch, who eventually cooperate with the help of Flynn, a charismatic stranger with a shady past. He's not the only man of mystery in Mado's life; her father, taciturn Grosjean, has a secretive heart that's as "prickly and tightly layered as an artichoke", and local, wealthy businessman Brismand also seems to be hiding something. Mado does her best to unravel these mysteries, while attempting to keep a hold on her own sense of self in the claustrophobic, close community. It's not only the shore line that takes a buffeting. The villagers and the island are so vividly described that it's impossible not to become engrossed in Mado's story. Coastliners is a book about longing to belong, and Joanne Harris charts that emotional voyage compellingly. --Eithne Farry --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Everything about her style is aerodynamic ... Harris writes well, and charming, cinema-friendly images and cinematic mysteries abound ... stylish and economical" (Sunday Times)
"Harris is a writer of tremendous charm, who creates a winning blend of fairy-tale morality and gritty realism" (Independent)
"Her writing is consistently evocative, sensual and atmospheric" (Mail on Sunday)
"Her latest gripping tale ... An intoxicating mix of documentary realism and enchanting romance" (Daily Express)
"Coastliners is another triumph for Joanne Harris who shows that her powerful imagery is not exclusive to food and uses the coastline, sea and beaches to heighten the senses, drawing the reader further in with each incoming tide. A must-read" (Punch)
I was expecting a fabulous tale with lots of twists and turns but was a tad disappointed with this one sadly. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Mrs. Joanne Price
A decent portrayal of local rivalries in an isolated community, particularly the aspect of being bound to cooperate to some extent despite one's feelings about some other... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Paul
Great read, as usual from this author. Thoroughly enjoyed itPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Had hard back several years ago and lost it. Excellent read as usual from this superb writer. Characters believable and draws you in from the outset.Published 7 months ago by suzanne griffiths
Loved the book , I enjoyed the Chocolate set of books and this book although different was a good read.Published 11 months ago by J
A most boring and tedious book.I have read many of her other novels and enjoyed them as an easy read,this was dire!!!Published 11 months ago by KIKI