The Shore

Author(s): Sara Taylor

Fiction - Contemporary

The Shore. A collection of small islands sticking out from the coast of Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean takes the force of hurricanes. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, and has been home to generations of fierce and resilient women. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place they've inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a brave girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, to a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to flee an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her, to a lesson in summoning storm clouds to help end a drought, these women struggle against domestic violence, savage wilderness, and the corrosive effects of poverty and addiction to secure a sense of well-being for themselves and for those they love. Their interconnecting stories form a deeply affecting legacy of two island families, illuminating the small miracles and miseries of a community of outsiders, and the bonds of blood and fate that connect them all. Dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, The Shore conjures a wisdom and beauty of its own. It is a richly unique, breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished debut novel by a young writer of astonishing gifts.

Set amongst the isolation, beauty and unrelenting poverty of Virginia's Atlantic islands and shoreline, this story follows the interwoven fates of several generations of a sprawling extended family. In the recent past, a young girl protects her sister from their addict Father at any cost. In the present, a brother and sister must decide to stay on their beloved island and continue the family weather divining business or leave and be happy. And in a possible future, a young man, maimed by a terrible disease, finds love. The author draws the beauty of the area, as well as the harsh realities of drug addiction, poverty and the struggle to survive against all odds. Echoes of Cloud Atlasand The Road. - Lucy


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Dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, THE SHORE is a breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished debut by a young writer of astonishing gifts. THE SHORE recalls David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad and Ulverton by Adam Thorpe.

"I loved this book ... Epic in breadth but glittering in its detail, The Shore is utterly absorbing." -- Catherine O'Flynn "A vivid exploration of the struggle for autonomy and the many meanings of what we call home." -- Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing "Sara Taylor has a completely natural, unforced feel for language and voice: a remarkable debut." -- Adam Thorpe "This is not a novel for the faint-hearted but dare to read it for the sinuous fluency of the writing." -- Maureen Duffy

Sara Taylor is herself a product of rural Virginia and home education. Between secondary school and college she painted houses, demonstrated open hearth cooking at museums and opened a cafe, but she prefers student life. She has just completed the MA in Creative Writing at UEA, and is about to embark on the PhD programme there. She is twenty-four years old and lives in Norwich, England.

General Fields

  • : 9780434023103
  • : Cornerstone
  • : William Heinemann Ltd
  • : September 2014
  • : 216mm X 135mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : April 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : en
  • : 256
  • : Sara Taylor