Fortune's Rocks

Version: Abridged
Author: Anita Shreve
Narrator: Blair Brown
Genres: Fiction & Literature
Publisher: Orion Audio
Published In: October 2004
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 5 hours, 10 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

In a summer community on the coast of New Hampshire at the turn of the last century, a girl is drawn into a passionate affair with a man nearly three times her age. Fortune's Rocks is the story of Olympia Biddeford, proveleged, well-educated, and mature beyond her years, and her affair with John Haskell, who not only is a physician, essayist, and champion of mill workers but also a married man with children. Drawn inexorably together on the night of the summer solstice, the pair set in motion a series of events with far-reaching consequences for all involved.

Reviews (5)

Fortune's Rock

Written by Anonymous from San Diego, CA on May 18th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I found this interesting. I could be considered a summer beach read. somewhat predictable but good.

Fortune's Rocks

Written by Suzanne Robinshaw from Methuen, MA on March 28th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Growing up in MA and spending summers on the coast of NH really helped me appreciate the history in this book. I thought it was a very interesting read, somewhat predictable but still a good story! I loved Olympia and the story of her "coming of age", the reader was good too which always helps. Easy read, I am looking forward to more books by the author.

Fortune's Rocks

Written by Dapa_Roye from Orange, CA on February 21st, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This book was pleasant enough. I found that it moved along typically with no surprises. I didn't particularly like the main characters as they were so self involved and righteous that it was hard to pity their situation. The ending was predictable. Maybe the unabridged version might offer more insight into these one-dimensional characters but I doubt it. I gave it 3 stars instead of 2, simply because the reader herself was a joy to listen to.

Fortunes Rocks

Written by Angela Jones from Chalmette, LA on October 7th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was a delightful yet sometime stressful listen. My heart poured out for Olympia. It is the story of a young first love and loss that at some point we all go through. I found myself missing the charaters and wanting more story at the end.

Keeps you listening..

Written by Anonymous from Brandon, MS on August 27th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A story that captures your heart and is hard to tear away from.

Author Details

Author Details

Shreve, Anita

For many readers, the appeal of Anita Shreve’s novels is their ability to combine all of the escapist elements of a good beach read with the kind of thoughtful complexity not generally associated with romantic fiction. Shreve’s books are loaded with enough adultery, eroticism, and passion to make anyone keep flipping the pages, but the writer whom People magazine once dubbed a “master storyteller” is also concerned with the complexities of her characters’ motivations, relationships, and lives.

Shreve’s novels draw on her diverse experiences as a teacher and journalist: she began writing fiction while teaching high school, and was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1975 for her story, “Past the Island, Drifting.” She then spent several years working as a journalist in Africa, and later returned to the States to raise her children. In the 1980s, she wrote about women’s issues, which resulted in two nonfiction books -- Remaking Motherhood and Women Together, Women Alone -- before breaking into mainstream fiction with Eden Close in 1989.

This interest in women’s lives -- their struggles and success, families and friendships -- informs all of Shreve’s fiction. The combination of her journalist’s eye for detail and her literary ear for the telling turn of phrase mean that Shreve can spin a story that is dense, atmospheric, and believable. Shreve incorporates the pull of the sea -- the inexorable tides, the unpredictable surf -- into her characters’ lives the way Willa Cather worked the beauty and wildness of the Midwestern plains into her fiction. In Fortune’s Rocks and The Weight of Water, the sea becomes a character itself, evocative and ultimately consuming. In Sea Glass, Shreve takes the metaphor as far as she can, where characters are tested again and again, only to emerge stronger by surviving the ravages of life.

A domestic sensualist, Shreve makes use of the emblems of household life to a high degree, letting a home tell its stories just as much as its inhabitants do, and even recycling the same house through different books and periods of time, giving it a sort of palimpsest effect, in which old stories burn through the newer ones, creating a historical montage. "A house with any kind of age will have dozens of stories to tell," she says. "I suppose if a novelist could live long enough, one could base an entire oeuvre on the lives that weave in and out of an antique house."

Shreve’s work is sometimes categorized as “women’s fiction,” because of her focus on women’s sensibilties and plights. But her evocative and precise language and imagery take her beyond category fiction, and moderate the vein of sentimentality which threads through her books. Moreover, her kaleidoscopic view of history, her iron grip on the details and detritus of 19th-century life (which she sometimes intersperses with a 20th-century story), and her uncanny ability to replicate 19th-century dialogue without sounding fusty or fussy, make for novels that that are always absorbing and often riveting. If she has a flaw, it is that her imagery is sometimes too cinematic, but one can hardly fault her for that: after all, the call of Hollywood is surely as strong as the call of the sea for a writer as talented as Shreve.