Sea Glass

Sea Glass is the first book I’ve read by Anita Shreve.

It is a very quiet and controlled book, and the story is in the details of everyday minutiae described with precision. Set in 1929-1930, with a backdrop of unrest in mills in the New England area, and the stock market that’s crashed badly, it deftly brings together the threads of the lives of the different characters. The main (and very well-etched) character is Honora, a woman married to a typewriter salesman, who keeps house with the same attention to detail as when she searches the shore for sea glass – shards of glass with worn down edges that have been thrown up by the waters. However, the ending happens all too swiftly, and feels a bit abrupt.

What really struck home with me were the descriptions of the people who lost jobs and were struggling for survival. Though the images are not described in a painfully stark manner, it has an eerie resemblance to the times we are now witnessing, and a grim reminder that overnight, fortunes can disappear, and lives can be completely destroyed.

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