"Well-written historical fiction"
In 1929, Honora and Sexton Beecher move into their New
Hampshire home. Honora loves her new place though it needs
plenty of work. She adores her traveling salesman-husband
until she learns why he is so successful at selling
typewriters as he plays games with the truth. Soon Honora
realizes that he stretches veracity with her too.
When the economy tanks, Sexton loses his job and accepts
employment at the mill where conditions are atrocious and
pay and hours are despicable. Sexton joins a group of
union organizers protesting the inhuman factory
conditions. Through her husband, Honora meets union
activist McDermott and preadolescent worker Francis. As
Honora increasingly loses respect for Sexton, she turns to
the seemingly more honest McDermott and an upper class
friend Vivian for probity. With a strike looming, Honora
joins the oppressed against the wishes of her spouse.
SEA GLASS is a well-written historical fiction novel that
provides the audience with a window to the impact of the
Great Depression on various social classes. The tale is
deep as readers observe the dangerous factory conditions a
half century after Dickens as it impacts the blue-collar
worker. The efforts to maintain moral standards by the
middle class are cleverly described. Finally the influence
with the stock market collapse on the upper crust makes for
a rounded novel. Ms. Shreve is at her best with this
triumphant look back to New Englanders on the verge of ruin.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 13, 2002