The Cottage at Glass Beach: A Novel

The Cottage at Glass Beach: A Novel

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by Heather Barbieri
     
 

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Heather Barbieri follows her acclaimed Gaelic-tinged drama The Lace Makers of Glenmara with the resonant tale of a woman who, in the wake of scandal, flees to a remote Maine island to reconnect with her past—and to come to terms with the childhood tragedy that has haunted her for a lifetime.

Set on the rugged New England coast, Barbieri’s

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Overview

Heather Barbieri follows her acclaimed Gaelic-tinged drama The Lace Makers of Glenmara with the resonant tale of a woman who, in the wake of scandal, flees to a remote Maine island to reconnect with her past—and to come to terms with the childhood tragedy that has haunted her for a lifetime.

Set on the rugged New England coast, Barbieri’s The Cottage at Glass Beach strikes the perfect balance between high lit and mainstream women’s fiction, infusing a potent and unforgettable love story with unforgettable characters that will remain with you long after the final chapter. Richly evocative, Barbieri’s narrative of intimacy, struggle, and redemption will call out to readers of Joanne Harris, Alice Hoffman, and other modern masters of drama.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the enchanting world of Maine’s Burke’s Island, fanciful stories—of captured selkies becoming dutiful wives and tears cried in the sea beckoning lovers to shore—are gracefully woven into modern reality. Nora Cunningham, 40, was born on the island, but after her mother disappeared when she was five, Nora was whisked away to Boston by her father. Decades later, after Nora’s husband’s scandalous affair, her Aunt Maire invites Nora and her young daughters, Annie and Ella, back to the cottage on Glass Beach to find solace. Welcoming the slow pace of the island, Nora must learn to navigate her new place in life and rediscover the magic of the present while filling in the pieces of her past. At times plodding and mundane, Barbieri’s newest (after The Lace Makers of Glenmara) is saved by the precociously wise Annie, the tenacious and endearing Aunt Maire, and the budding romance between Nora and a mysterious shipwrecked sailor. Agent: Emma Sweeney, Emma Sweeney Agency. (May)
Melinda Bargreen
"Where Barbieri shines is in her depiction of the microcosm of the island and in the strong links between the generations. Nora discover that ‘Everything is connected. The geography of the island, of the soul,’ and Barbieri makes that connection real."
Tara Quinn
"A must read for fans of Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells."
Marisa de los Santos
"Part seaside fairytale, part exploration of real-world tensions....Let yourself be transported to Burke’s Island, a salt-tinged place steeped in legends of selkies and shipwrecks, but also full of bruised and hopeful people making their wayward, human ways toward happiness."
Sarah Jio
"Heather Barbieri’s The Cottage at Glass Beach is a moving, heartfelt story told with vivid description. Open the book and listen—you’ll hear the waves crashing onto the shore."
Nancy Thayer
"The Cottage at Glass Beach, an enchanting novel about mothers and daughters on an isolated island, is a romantic, delicious read. Barbieri’s beautiful writing and beguiling world view revel in the realities and the mysteries of the sea and of life itself."
Susan Maguire
"Barbieri does such a wonderful job setting up the beauty and mystery of the island and its rich Gaelic roots that it is not a stretch to ask the reader to imagine that the place is also magical. A wonderful, subtle, transporting story."
Melissa Parcel
"Threads of magical realism throughout the book are quite appealing, and the seaside setting is enchanting."
Karen Campbell
"Barbieri’s deft writing style is charmingly wry yet evocative, with details and descriptions both telling and vivid. . . . . A sweet summertime yarn [that] . . . provides a lovely, leisurely escape to the bucolic charms of the Emerald Isle."
Margot Livesey
"The Lace Makers of Glenmara is richly peopled and beguilingly charming but what ultimately makes it so moving is Heather Barbieri’s deep understanding that no life is immune from sorrow and difficulty. I read this wonderful novel with enormous pleasure."
Nancy Carty Lepri
"Ms. Barbieri’s writerly sense of whimsy and retrospection implies that anyone can work through adversity to happiness - if only the volition is present."
Joanne Harris
"The Lace Makers of Glenmara is a charming, moving story, written with a delicate touch."
Katie Schneider
"Reminiscent of Maeve Binchy’s stories of romance and family in tight-knit Irish communities, The Cottage at Glass Beach is full of warmth and sympathy."
Bookreporter.com
"Strikes the perfect balance between high lit and mainstream women’s fiction, infusing a potent and unforgettable love story with unforgettable characters that will remain with you long after the final chapter....[Barbieri’s narrative] will call out to readers of Joanne Harris, Alice Hoffman, and other modern masters of drama."
Library Journal
When Nora Cunningham discovers that her attorney general husband has been having an affair, she takes her two daughters to Burke Island, off the coast of Maine, for the summer. Nora hasn't been back to the island since her mother disappeared there many years before. Tradition says that Burke Island is a magical place. Can that magic help Nora heal her broken heart, understand what happened to her mother, and chart a new life for herself? VERDICT Barbieri's (The Lace Makers of Glenmara; Snow in July) mix of fairy tale and family drama in a picturesque seaside resort makes her third novel a terrific beach read.
Kirkus Reviews
Troubled wife Nora and her children return to the island of Nora's birth, off the Maine coast, where answers to old mysteries and resolutions to newer problems will inevitably be found. Marine enigmas are often invoked as mood-enhancers in the third novel from Barbieri (The Lace Makers of Glenmara, 2009, etc.). Summoned by her Aunt Maire, Nora, with daughters Ella and Annie, returns to Burke's Island, where her flirty, charismatic mother Maeve disappeared when Nora was 5. Nora needs a break from her life in Boston, where her marriage is the subject of scandal after her husband Malcolm, the youngest attorney general-elect in Massachusetts state history, has been discovered having an affair. On the island, Nora is assailed by half-forgotten childhood memories, while odd figures stroll into the picture: Owen, shipwrecked on the beach, a man with no memories who keeps watch over Nora; Ronan, a child who befriends Annie and whose presence is a secret. This wispy, fairy-tale aspect is underscored by dreams, selkies, mists, changelings and sea gypsies as the story drifts towards a finale that answers one large mystery while leaving several loose ends dangling. A sweetly simple, not exactly unpredictable story with the bone structure of a romance; stronger on atmosphere and charm than events.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062107961
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/15/2012
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
767,492
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.04(h) x 1.12(d)

Meet the Author

The author of two previous novels, The Lace Makers of Glenmara and Snow in July, Heather Barbieri has won international prizes for her short fiction. She lives in Seattle with her family.

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