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