Fortunes

I recently downloaded Anita Shreve’s ‘Fortune’s Rocks’ on my Kindle as part of a daily deal.  I’d never before heard of the book, which was published in 1999. This was no surprise since the only other book by Shreve I had previously read was ‘The Pilot’s Wife,’ which I didn’t especially care for. But, this book was different.

Set at the turn of the twentieth century, the story follows a prominent Boston family and the ramifications of their 15 year old daughter’s affair with an older, married man. The story begs to answer: should love be denied that takes place outside the marriage? Should there be guilt about that love (not for the people hurt by it, but for the love itself)?

What I liked about the book (aside from the affair’s dramatic consequences that continued to unfold) was reading about the divisiveness taking place at the time between the Franco-American culture and the “yankees” in mill towns along the New Hampshire coast, where much of the story takes place. I also like Shreve’s succinct writing style. Her sentences are short, crisp and to the point.

I read the majority of the book on a flight home from Texas and couldn’t wait to pick it up the next morning to finish it. Days later, and I can’t stop thinking about the characters. This book definitely has me wanting to check out more of Shreve’s work (hoping that Pilots Wife was the anomaly and not the other way around).

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