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Dorothy W.

The one that's coming to mind is a book I hated -- Proulx's The Shipping News. Can't exactly recommend it, I'm afraid! You've got an interesting list -- I didn't know the Jewett, Gaskell, Colette, and Fitzgerald books were set near the sea.


Oh Enchanted April and The Bookshop are two of my favorite books. Just wonderful. And, sorry I can't think of any books to recommend right now. But I'm taking note of some of these :)


Gladys Taber: MY OWN CAPE COD and STILL COVE JOURNAL. I love Taber's writing!


Dorothy--I always meant to read the Proulx, but I've never gotten around to it. I've heard very mixed things about it, too. The four you mention are, of course, the four I've not yet read. Jewett's stories are set in a fictional town on the coast of Maine, Gaskell's novel (I really, really want to read this) is set in 1790 in a seaside town called Monkshaven during the Napoleonic wars, Colette's is set in Brittany and the "seacoast pervades every page", and Fitzgerald's is set in a tiny Sussex seaside town. They all sound good!
Iliana--I loved the Enchanted April, too, and expect it to be a book I reread often. I really must read The Bookshop, too! I've yet to read any of her work.
Linda--Thanks for the suggestions--I'm not familiar with this author! I'm off to look her up!


I loved The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve! It is set in a coastal town in New Hampshire


Gayle--I think I've only read two books by Anita Shreve. I enjoyed both. I have a feeling she uses that area as a setting for some of her novels as I'm pretty sure I remember Sea Glass being set there. I will check it out--I think I have a copy on my bookshelf!


Within a Budding Grove is the most recent seaside book I've read, but not necessarily one I'd recommend unless you're excited about reading all of Proust -- I'm about 100 pages into The Guermantes Way right now, and find both it and Swann's Way more pleasing than Within a Budding Grove.

I think mostly my favorite seaside books are kids' books -- Over Sea Under Stone by Susan Cooper, The Sea Egg by LM Boston, Wet Magic by E Nesbit, and then, well, not the sea but lakeside, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.


When I read this I thought there must be loads but I can hardly think of any! My personal favourite is Frenchman's Creek but I also loved The Bookshop. One I did love was Hiding From the Light by Barbara Erskine, an historical, paranormal yarn set on the wild and lonely coast of northern Essex. And then there's The Woman in Black of course, but I expect you've read that.


The Sea House by Esther Freud is all about a young woman who comes away to the gentle Suffolk coast over the course of a summer to rethink her relationship. I enjoyed it very much. Love your list as ever, and will be taking notes from it!


Heather--I was searching on B&N for more seaside books and saw the Proust. I'd like to read him someday, but I think for now I'll just keep him on the list! :) I did read the Susan Cooper book last year, but I'm not familiar with the other titles--will check them out,thanks!
Cath--I was thinking that surely there must be loads, too, but I came up with books featuring ships more easily. I've heard of Barbara Erskine, but I've not read her--another author to check out.
Litlove--I remember you mentioned you liked that book. I've got Love Falls waiting for me once again at the library and will be getting The Sea House, too--Thanks!


What a coincidence. I just started reading The Sea by John Banville yesterday. Not very far into it, but liking it so far.


What a wonderful fantasy. I think I may borrow it.

Margaret Powling

Oh, I adore books set by the sea. I would recommend: The Bridge by Maggie Hemingway who, sadly, died young. The Bridge is a fictitious account of artist Philip Wilson Steer's summer of 1887 in Walberswick, Suffolk. It was also made into a film.
The other book I would recommend is: Karen Hayes' Still Life on Sand which is set and around the harbour community of St Ives, Cornwall.
Of course, there are always the Famous Five (Enid Blyton) adventures: Five on a Treasure Island and Five Go to Smuggler's Top! Off the coast of Torquay, near where I live, is Thatcher Rock (nothing whatsoever to do with Lady Thatcher) which is a dead ringer for Kirrin Island!
Oh, and if anyone can find it, the delightful 2nd novel of Rosamunde Pilcher, published in 1957, and called simply April (not Snow in April which always comes up when I look for this book on which, again, is set in St Ives (although it has a another name in the story.) Then there are the amateur sleuth novels of Janie Bolitho which are set in and around the Cornish fishing village of Newlyn. Janie, sadly, also died a few years ago but she has left behind some excellent cosy-sleuth novels.


Lisa--I had a so-so reaction to The Sea, but I loved the descriptions. I just had a hard time with the main character. I'd love to hear what you think when you finish. Perhaps I should give it a reread.
Claire--Feel free--there's plenty of coastline to share. I wish I was there now...
Margaret--Thanks for all the great ideas--all new to me. I've never read Enid Blyton--I really should give her a try. I wonder if you see more of this type of book since you live in a seaside town youself?


Hiya! I've nominated you for a blog award. You can find the details over at my blog.

Have a great weekend!

Margaret Powling

I forgot to add the trilogy of books which are set on the south coast of the diamond-shaped Isle of Wight (for overseas readers, it's at the bottom of the UK, off the coast of Hampshire.) The books are written by Wendy K Harris and are: The Sorrow of Sisters; Blue Slipper Bay; and just published, Rocken Edge. You won't be disappointed!
After I had read The Sorrow of Sisters I had fallen in love with the area known as The Undercliff, and persuaded my husband to go on holiday to the Isle of Wight, which we did! Sadly, seaside weather is fickle and it was truly appalling (the weather, not the Isle!)


Concetta--Thanks so much! I'm just catching up on things and will swing by tomorrow!
Margaret--I will definitely look for these--they sound great. I keep telling my husband I want to go to the ocean, but so far he hasn't volunteered to take me! I may have to go off on my own! :)

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