Coastliners by Joanne Harris

About the book

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.

Reviewed by Museum Book Group:

An intriguing book set on an French island with two opposing communities. Several story lines which keep one guessing to the end. Well drawn believable characters. The group all enjoyed the read and discussion afterwards.

Star rating: ***

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4 thoughts on “Coastliners by Joanne Harris”

  1. Review by New Forest/Waterside U3A Theatre & Literature Reading Group:
    Not the best of Joanne Harris. Loosely structured with unconvincing time scales and no endearing characters. The ending was so rushed several people found it necessary to read the last few chapters more than once to make any sense of the plot and even then read the relationships wrongly. The entrenched ideas of the islanders though believable did not make for a pleasant read and oddly, Claude Brismand was perhaps the one person who behaved completely in character. However, the book generated fierce discussion and is therefore excellent as a reading group choice.
    Star rating: **

  2. Review by U3A Reading Group:
    Tip – Read first part of book straight to sort out the characters, of which there are many. Good picture of an isolated community. Negative view of island life.
    No ratings

  3. Review by Cliffhangers Reading Group
    Too many characters and names too soon. Vey good descriptions of the island, sea, tides etc and the way of life of an individual community.
    The ending, with the boat rescue and oil threat, was better than the middle part of the book which dragged a bit.
    Star rating: **

  4. Review by The Poulner Reading Group
    Interesting descriptions but sometimes this added to a slow pace of the plot.
    Star rating **

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