Fortune’s Rocks was my first taste of Anita Shreve’s writing and it well and truly hooked me onto her novels. I own and have read them all. Her passing earlier this year to cancer saddened me. She had such talent, an incredible ability write weighty novels with a minimum of fuss. I’m going to miss her new releases.
Chronologically, Fortune’s Rocks is the first novel in Shreve’s tetralogy to be linked by their setting in a large beach house on the New Hampshire coast that used to be a convent. It was followed by Sea Glass, The Pilot’s Wife and Body Surfing. I’ve read all four of these novels, and enjoyed all of them.
In the summer of 1899, Olympia Biddeford, a privileged, intelligent and confident 15-year-old who is vacationing with her family at Fortune’s Rocks, falls in love with a married 41-year-old doctor and journalist, John Haskell. Their passionate affair, and subsequent discovery, produces a son and leads to far-reaching consequences that span several decades.