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COASTLINERS.

Harris, Joanne.

ISBN 10: 0060198125 / ISBN 13: 9780060198121
Published by New York: Morrow, (2002.) dj, 2002
Hardcover
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About this Item

SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. Romantic novel set on a small island off the coast of France, by the author of 'Chocolat.' 351 pp. SIGNED on the title page. Near fine in near fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 33208

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Bibliographic Details

Title: COASTLINERS.

Publisher: New York: Morrow, (2002.) dj

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Joanne Harris writes fiction that engages every one of the senses: reviewers called Chocolat "delectable" and Five Quarters of the Orange "sweet and powerful." In her new novel, she takes readers to a tiny French island where you can almost taste the salt on your lips.

The island, called Le Devin, is shaped somewhat like a sleeping woman. At her head is the village of Les Salants, while the more prosperous village of La Houssinière lies at her feet. You could walk between the towns in an hour, but they could not feel further apart, for between them lie years of animosity.

The townspeople of Les Salants say that if you kiss the feet of their patron saint and spit three times, something you've lost will come back to you. And so Madeleine, who grew up on the island, returns after an absence of ten years spent in Paris. She is haunted by this place, and has never been able to feel at home anywhere else.

But when she arrives, she will find that her father -- who once built fishing boats that fueled the town's livelihood -- has become even more silent than ever, withdrawing almost completely into an interior world. And his decline seems reflected in the town itself, for when the only beach in Les Salants washed away, all tourism drifted back to La Houssinière.

Madeleine herself has been adrift for a long time, yet almost against her will she soon finds herself united with the village's other lost souls is a struggle for survival and salvation.

Review:

After three novels which centered around gastronomic pleasures, Joanne Harris's 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, Amazon.co.uk

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