For quite some time I have had two books by Anita Shreve on my shelves. Many years ago I read The Pilot's Wife and got fascinated by Shreve's way of writing and her personal stories. It seemed like a good idea to read some more and I have now finished both of them.
Eden Close and Sea Glass are stories about everyday people who are facing a drama or events in life that change their lives. In Eden Close Andrew returns home after many years to attend his mothers funeral. While preparing their old house for sale, his memories of the fatal events that struck his neighbour Eden comes back to him. Going down memory lane and his old feelings for her, he finally digests what happened that night many years ago. Like in The Pilot's Wife, everything is not what it seems to be, and the event that so effected many people finally gets its solution.
In Sea Glass we meet at set of people in north east England just before the Wall Street crash in 1929. Honora and Sexton, a young couple just getting married. He is a salesman of typewriters and copying machines, she is a bank clerk, McDermott, working in the mill and mostly deaf due to the noises in the factory, Vivian, a bored society lady who does not know what to do with her life and Alphonse, a twelve year old boy working in the mill.
All these people do not seem to have anything to do with each other. But as the events of the big crash occurs their lives intermingle in unexpected ways. This is the time of strikes, workers fight for a decent work hours and pay and the situation slowly builds up until the day it is time to go into a strike.
As usual Anita Shreve slowly builds up her stories, we get to know the characters and their positive sides and their failings. Then all of a sudden events happens fast and it is difficult to put the book down, until the end of the story is revealed. I really like her stories, maybe because they are about you and me, ordinary people who find themselves in situations we all face in life. Well, maybe not all of the situations in her books, but we are still able to sympathise with them.
I was quite fascinated by Honora's collecting of sea glass. The description sounds lovely. While finding the covers for this post, I did find pictures of sea glass. They are absolutely beautiful. I don't know if they are available on European beaches. Anybody who knows? Anybody who also collects sea glass? Here is an image I found. Aren't they beautiful?
All in all, two books perfect for a summer day read.