Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sea Glass ~

On my dining room table is a rose-colored, vintage glass dish filled with sea glass. It was given to me by a beloved Aunt many years ago, and it's one of my most treasured possessions. Sea glass is found strewn along beaches all over the world, worn smooth by years of being tossed in water and tumbled by waves. Colors range from clear and pink to cobalt blue, turquoise, soft green and golden amber. Red is the rarest sea glass, only one piece found in every 5,000. Many people consider sea glass “trash.” Indeed, it does come from broken bits of bottles, jars, windows, plates, and other sources, some of them decades old. But, to me, sea glass is a rare treasure…even more, a metaphor for life. Each piece is unique. Each piece started out as one thing… and years later was transformed into something else. Just as sea glass reinvents itself over the years, so it is with life. I’ve reinvented myself more than once over the years. Some of these changes have been forced upon me, others from the choices I’ve made in life. And, this, I believe, is one of the themes in the novel, Sea Glass, by Anita Shreve.

I admit I was drawn to the novel by the mere title because of my love of the sea. Also, I’d previously read and enjoyed Anita Shreve’s book, “The Pilot’s Wife,” when it was one of Oprah Winfrey’s picks for her book club. Sea Glass is set in 1929 New England at the onset of the Great Depression. Two of the main characters, Honora and Sexton Beecher are newlyweds who rent a house on the coast of New Hampshire. Shreve cleverly uses the same large, old beach house as the setting that she used in two of her previous novels, “The Pilot’s Wife,” and “Fortune’s Rocks,” and again in a later novel, “Body Surfing.“ She successfully evokes the feeling of coastal life of the 1920s, and creates a story so rich in details of the era that it hooks the reader right from the beginning. Shreve weaves the stories of six main characters as they become involved in each other’s lives. Sexton, a typewriter salesman, loses his job when the Depression strikes and goes to work in a nearby mill, where he becomes involved in plans to form a union. What follows next changes the lives of all the main characters in the book. Throughout the novel, Honora collects sea glass on her walks along the beach, where she goes to think, to dream, to calm herself. After tragedy strikes, Honora must transform herself…and her life…and along the way she finds, as many of us do, that she is more resilient than she ever imagined.

"The only problem with looking for sea glass...is that you never look up. You never see the view. You never see the houses or the ocean, because you're afraid you'll miss something in the sand." From the novel, Sea Glass by Anita Shreve


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Sounds like a beautiful book!!!!

Paula said...

Love sea glass and this book !

meowmeowmans said...

The sea glass you received from your Aunt is beautiful, Cindy. And the fact that it came from someone you loved so much makes it even MORE of a treasure, right?

"Sea Glass" sounds like a good read. The quote about never seeing the view if you're always looking for the sea glass is so, so true.

Hope you're doing well!

Janice Kay Schaub said...

I rejoined in case I was no longer on your blog. It's been awhile so glad to see you back.

Brenda said...

This would make a good movie.When was it first published, maybe it is a movie.

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Your sea glass is so pretty.

You know growing up on Catawba Island I had a HUGE collection of sea glass, though we called it lake glass, of course, haha.

I wonder what ever happened to it, sure wish I still had it - you know it's worth about $500 on ebay now. You can't even buy it hardly.

The dark blue was from old glass Noxema bottles. Everything now is plastic so it is much more rare. There aren't many red bottles, thus the rarity there as well.

The read sounds intriguing. I have to finish a series I am in middle of, then a blogger's new published book, then open to something else. Thanks for the recommendation.


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