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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 3 December 2013
Yesterday I finished reading Jo Thomas's debut novel, The Oyster Catcher. I loved it. Jo created a wonderfully atmospheric sense of place. The opening hooked me immediately and I had to read on. I won't spoil others' enjoyment by revealing how Fi came to find herself alone in a strange place with nothing but the clothes she was wearing and very little money. All was revealed, but an additional twist came as a surprise and deepened my sympathy for her. All the characters are vividly drawn and totally believable. I really enjoyed watching the revitalised sense of community, and seeing Fi grow and change during the story. Sean was a terrific 'hero'. The style, with Fi's scenes written in first person present, and Sean's in the third person past worked really well. It was unobtrusive yet allowed a seamless change of viewpoint that kept the story flowing. I believed in the story, read it in one sitting, and when I reached the end, I had a smile on my face and felt uplifted. What more could one ask from a book?
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on 8 February 2014
I loved this book. It did what I wanted it to do and allowed me to escape as I read. What I loved most about it were the vivid descriptions of the lifestyle without being tedious to wade through. I felt I was there with the wind and the rain and could imagine the stinging fingers while cleaning the oysters. It is a perfect and did what I always hope reading will do, grab my attention and allow my brain to switch off. Just one teeny weeny tiny miniscule flaw - a weakness in the writing concerning Dan's character and his relationship with Nancy and Margaret - it felt like it hadn't been thought through as thoroughly as the rest of the book. But don't let that put you off because it is miniscule.
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on 22 December 2013
I have a feeling that Jo Thomas must be either Irish, or live there. She picks up the wonderful Irish psyche and mingles it effortlessly with the English and American 'blow-ins' as she calls them. When I first started the book I had a nasty feeling it was going to be a bit of a Polyanna moment where our heroine breezes in on an ill wind and sorts out all of the town and all its inhabitants by being perky and quirky in a bit of a whacky Bridget Jones-ish way. But no, this heroine puts her muscle where her mouth is and is a bloody hard worker, stubborn and about as unglamorous as a girl can get. In wellies, a waterproof and with her hair tied back she faces the storm that swirls both outside the cottage windows and in the masculine heart of the focus of her affections. I love the way the author jumps effortlessly between thoughts of the heroine and the hero giving that wonderfully tingly feeling wondering how this is going to work out as we want it too. There are plenty of interesting twists and turns in the plot, non of which are obvious or hackneyed.
This book blows as fresh and clean as the wind off the Pacific Ocean blowing at the darks curls of our hero. I loved every character in this book, they are both fun and funny, beautifully drawn and coloured to perfection. I wanted to boo at the baddies and cheer with the townsfolk as they all wake from the doldrums and ultimately relive past glories.
Can't wait for the next one from this author.
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on 3 February 2014
Very easy lose your self read, good for a quiet relaxing afternoon read with a cuppa. Not at all predictable, good characters and attention holding story, treat yourself.
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on 29 January 2014
I hadn't heard of Jo Thomas, so bought this book on offer, to try and really glad I did, what a lovely surprise. Jo has a lovely writing style which gives depth to both the locations and especially the main characters in concise way, which allows the story to flow rather than harping back to their individual histories. Lots and lots of laugh out loud moments, somewhat Michael Crawford in parts, but in a lovely way. Really ended up rooting for the characters couldn't put it down in the end. Loved the final chapter, closed the story off brilliantly. Will be buying more of Jo's books. THANK YOU
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on 6 September 2015
he book is mainly told from the point of view of Fi, the heroine, in the frist person tense. But there are times where the narration is told from Sean, who talks in the third person. The first time I read the change in tense and point of view I found it to be a little jarring, but I can see that it was a good way of distinguishing between the two main characters.

The Oyster Catcher reminds me of Sophie Kinsella’s The Undomestic Goddess. Both ladies find them in a situation, that frankly, are unprepared for. Yet, it somehow changes them and they learn that the life that they were living previously may not in fact be the life for them. Yes the romance may have been predictable, but it was the journey to the realisation of that attraction and the discovery of overcoming the past and learning to live your life that makes this life so good.

This is a good-natured, fun book that will have you rooting for Fi from start to finish. The Oyster Catcher left me with a smile on my face – what more could you really ask for?
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on 20 April 2014
There are so many typos in this book it is unbelievable that it got printed. I can't believe the author, the agent or the publisher actually read it as the typos totally distract from the story, which is full of cliches and predictable endings. It's a shame as I'm sure the author is a talented writer. It just didn't come across in this book. Attention wasn't paid to the situations the characters were in and it seems that perhaps the author forgot what had been written, for example, taking sips of tea whilst travelling in a van??

Despite that and the millions of typos I persevered until the end. Actually it was a relief to get through it.
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on 10 July 2016
Jilted at the alter Fi ends up Dooleybridge, after crashing the stolen camper intended for her honeymoon. With only her wedding dress shes standing in she sets up a new life as an Oyster farmers assistant. The book follows the highs and lows in this role.

Enjoyed reading this book. Learning all about Oyster farming. Nice summer light read. Enjoyed the book.
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on 25 September 2015
When Fiona runs away on her wedding day, she doesn't know if she is married or not. After a disruptive childhood, she doesn't know who she is any more. She ends up in an isolated village on the Galway coast, literally by accident, then finds herself working for the solitary oyster farmer, Sean. Despite the constant cold and wet conditions, Fi becomes absorbed into helping Sean make a success of his business, despite her often bumbling attempts at helping and her fear of the sea. In doing so, she finds herself and becomes part of the community. the amount of research undertaken by Jo Thomas must have been staggering yet one is never over-burdened with information. A warm-hearted and often funny book which I thoroughly enjoyed.
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on 21 November 2013
Awesome read! Set in beautiful Galway Bay - a landscape that's strikingly described - and with an underlying romance that has you reading on the edge of your seat until the very last page! Lots to learn about growing up, becoming who you really are, and of course the closed world of oyster farming.
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