REVIEWED BY LINDA WICKLUND
way of an introduction. I’ll admit that I had a
bit of trouble getting “into” this book.
(Actually an understatement.) In fact, I started
another book but have always finished the books
I start. So, I went back to Fortune’s Rocks and
I’m really glad I did. You’ll need to be patient
with what the author calls “nineteenth century
language”. I was thankful I read on a Kindle
with a dictionary available with just a touch.
Some examples would be: accretion, dismasted
barque, unprepossessing, pinched torpor, etc.
The story begins
with Olympia a beautiful, fifteen year-old girl
arriving at the beach on Fortune’s Rocks on the
New England coast with her family for the summer
at the turn of the 20th century. Olympia is a
privileged and very well-educated young girl on
the brink of becoming a young woman.
for Olympia when she meets John Haskell a friend
of her father. Though Haskell (as she thinks
of him) is a 41 year-old, married man with
children, they cannot resist the passion they
feel. So, they start an illicit affair which they
cannot resist in spite of all moral codes both
then and now..
As you can
imagine, this liaison comes to a catastrophic end
with many people deeply hurt and even damaged. The
author beautifully tells how Olympia also suffers
and is an outcast for many years to come. The
journey of her life from this point is far from
the pampered existence she was used to, which she
accepts as her penance.
I hope you’ll
enjoy this passionate, beautifully written
historical novel as I did. It not only reveals a
disastrous love story but, the huge class
differences during this era. Young immigrant
children working in textile mills beginning at 10
years of age for example with little to no health
care for anyone.
I hope you’ll
enjoy this story of love, loss, and ultimately