I had to give thistwo ratings – one for each half! I had no patience whatsoever with the first half, which is the tale of how an affair develops between a fifteen-year-old girl and a married forty-one-year-old doctor/political author, at the exclusive summer resort of wealthy families around the turn of the twentieth century. The second half, in which Olivia deals with the aftermath of the affair, is much more interesting and also has a high quality of writing.
Everything I read at the moment seems to have philandering husbands and difficult pregnancies, which is annoying, and this was no different. I found John to be boring, opportunistic and certainly not worth throwing one’s future away on. Olivia is a neatly-developed character, but there is apparently only so much to be done with a 15-year-old, precocious, cosseted only child.
I am enjoying Anita Shreve’s settings on the wild eastern coast of North America – not an area that I know at all – so I will be continuing to hunt down her books around BookMooch and second-hand bookshops.
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