Fortune’s Rocks
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Fortune’s Rocks

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The time is the turn of the last century, the setting a rocky New Hampshire coastline resort area nicknamed ""Fortune's Rocks."" Olympia Biddeford, age 15, is walking the beach, feeling the first stirrings of her womanhood. The strong-willed daughter of an upstanding Boston couple, she soon ""learns of desire"" as she begins a passionate affair with a married doctor, John Haskell, three times her age. From the moment they meet (he is a visiting friend of her father's), they experience a sexual spark--Olympia feels ""liquid"" in his presence. Soon, they fall into sinful trysting. Shreve (The Pilot's Wife) serves up these opening events with breathless immediacy. Once the plot gets a chance to develop--Olympia gets pregnant, gives up child, fights to get child back--it settles down considerably, turning into a modernized The Scarlet Letter, a tale of a woman attaining feminist independence by living outside her period's societal mores.

The time is the turn of the last century, the setting a rocky New Hampshire coastline resort area nicknamed ""Fortune's Rocks."" Olympia Biddeford, age 15, is walking the beach, feeling the first stirrings of her womanhood. The strong-willed daughter of an upstanding Boston couple, she soon ""learns of desire"" as she begins a passionate affair with a married doctor, John Haskell, three times her age. From the moment they meet (he is a visiting friend of her father's), they experience a sexual spark--Olympia feels ""liquid"" in his presence. Soon, they fall into sinful trysting. Shreve (The Pilot's Wife) serves up these opening events with breathless immediacy. Once the plot gets a chance to develop--Olympia gets pregnant, gives up child, fights to get child back--it settles down considerably, turning into a modernized The Scarlet Letter, a tale of a woman attaining feminist independence by living outside her period's societal mores.