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The Shore by Sara Taylor

The Shore

by Sara Taylor

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2453771,140 (3.79)55
  1. 00
    Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (charl08)
    charl08: Similar style of linked narration by different members of a community, with convincing distinctive voices, dealing with theme of family.

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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
DNFd at page 195. This book was just too bleak for me. While abuse in literature doesn't usually bother me, it was over-the-top in this book.
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
Brilliantly realized, with great writing and vivid characters. There's a lot of jumping around in time, but it's easy to figure out how all the characters relate to each other and I liked the way that Taylor demonstrated the themes of the book in vastly different time periods. One of my favorite books from this year's Bailey longlist. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I’m not sure how to classify Sara Taylor’s debut novel, The Shore. It’s part contemporary fiction, part historical fiction, and part futuristic fiction. Maybe this is one of those times that literary fiction fits the bill. as I was reading, it did remind me of Sherwood Anderson’s classic Winesburg, Ohio.

Told in related vignettes, these are the stories of those who live on a remote group of three islands off the coast of Virginia. At times, the islands have a significant population and at times the population is so low it’s not worth counting. The population makes up three classes of people: the wealthy vacationers, those who work on the mainland, and those who are so poor that those who inhabit the Appalachian Mountains seem rich. However, Taylor focuses her stories on that lowest rung.

At the beginning, there is a complicated genealogy chart that became easier to decipher as I read. The first story is about Chloe and Renee. It’s a heartbreaking tale of abuse, poverty, and childhood. Chloe narrates this episode that has a shocking conclusion.

After the first narrative, I found it difficult to figure who exactly who was narrating, but usually by the time I read each chapter’s end, I could figure it out. However, (there’s that troublesome word again) in the chapters where the characters did not fit into the family tree, I had no idea who was talking.

I will admit that I only read about 10 pages of the last story. It takes place in 2143, and I couldn’t out how the characters fit in; they are not listed on the chart. I don’t feel like I missed anything by passing on the final few pages.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. At times at I LOVED it; at times I HATED it. That’s why I give The Shore 3 out of 5 stars.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | Mar 12, 2018 |
read most of it.. really good but I kept wanting a novel ( )
  joanalau | Sep 6, 2017 |
A group of small islands off the coast of Virginia are simply known as The Shore. There are thirteen interconnected stories ranging from the year 1876 all the way to 2143.

When the stories weren't boring, they were morbid. The book is forgettable. It was hard to keep track of everyone. Sometimes I couldn't even get through a paragraph I hated the book that much. If I hadn't of won this through Goodreads First Reads I would never have finished it. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Taylor, it seems, can do dark realism as well as she can the magic kind – in fact, she seems able to do most things. This debut is a testament to an exuberant talent and an original, fearless sensibility. It’s also enormous fun to read.
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To B.A. Goodjohn, for all the Friday mornings
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When the news of the murder breaks I'm in Matthew's buying chicken necks so my little sister Renee and I can go crabbing.
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The Shore: a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, and dark magic in the marshes. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to escape an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her, to a brave young girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, the characters in this remarkable novel have deep connections to the land, and a resilience that only the place they call home could create.

Through a series of interconnecting narratives that recalls the work of David Mitchell and Jennifer Egan, Sara Taylor brings to life the small miracles and miseries of a community of outsiders, and the bonds of blood and fate that connect them all.

Spanning over a century, dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, THE SHORE is a breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished work of fiction by a young writer of remarkable promise.
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"Traces the history and future of a small group of islands off the coast of Virginia through the lives of generations of the women who live there"--

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