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Description - Coastliners by Joanne Harris

On the tiny Breton island of Le Devin, life has remained almost unchanged for over a hundred years. For generations, two rival communities have fought for control of the island's only beach. When Mado returns home ot her village after a ten-year absence, she finds it threatened, both by the tides and by a local entrepreneur. Worse, the community is suffering from an incurable loss of hope. Taking up the fight to transform the dying village, Mado must confront past tragedies, including the terrible secret that still haunts her father.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780552998857
ISBN-10: 0552998850
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 127mm x 30mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Black Swan
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Jan-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Coastliners by Joanne Harris

UK Kirkus Review » Joanne Harris's new novel is set on the windswept French island of Le Devin, which is located off the Vendee coastline. The story opens as painter Mado Prasteau returns to the island of her birth after a long absence. She and her mother, who is now dead, left the island years before while her estranged father, the boatbuilder Jean Prasteau, remained. Mado, like jetsam, finds herself inexorably pulled back to her childhood home. In fact the mantra of the novel itself becomes 'everything returns'. Mado comes home to a lukewarm welcome from some of the islanders, who form an intensely close and unforgiving community, including her father who has become even more reclusive and uncommunicative during her absence. Gradually Mado finds herself drawn into the war of resentment brewing between her own fishing village, the sea-battered Les Salants, and the prosperous tourist town of La Houssinere, which boasts the only sheltered sandy beach on the island. She also finds herself attracted to the mysterious newcomer Flynn, who has, unusually, endeared himself to the Les Salants folk. Harris skilfully weaves a story of warring communities, turning tides, forbidden love and sibling rivalry in a community bound by tradition and superstition. Many of the villagers' lives have been touched by tragedy as they have lost loved ones to the wild and unpredictable sea. As ever, Harris keeps the reader turning the pages as her story unfolds and her vividly drawn characters come to life. The real hero of the story, however, is the island of Le Devin itself whose shape resembles that of a sleeping woman and who, though no beauty, inspires fierce loyalty and love among its inhabitants. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris is one of our best-loved and most versatile novelists. She first appeared on the scene with the bestselling Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp), which turned into the sensuous Lansquenet trilogy (with Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur le Cure). She has since written acclaimed novels in such diverse genres as fantasy based on Norse myth (Runemarks, Runelight, The Gospel of Loki), and the Malbry cycle of dark psychological thrillers (Gentlemen & Players, Blueeyedboy, and now Different Class). Born in Barnsley, of an English father and a French mother, she spent fifteen years as a teacher before (somewhat reluctantly) becoming a full-time writer. In 2013, she was awarded an MBE. She lives in Yorkshire, plays bass in a band first formed when she was sixteen, works in a shed in her garden, spends far too much time online and occasionally dreams of faking her own death and going to live in Hawaii.

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