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Coastliners by Joanne Harris
In Coastliners, Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat) tells us of the story of a small island off the coast of France and the woman who returns there after an absence of ten years. Madeleine Prasteau comes home to reconnect with her father and the community she left behind. The island is populated with idiosyncratic characters, full of rivalries between the villages on the opposite sides of the island and ancient rituals whose origins are a mystery, and its residents fight a neverending battle against the tides and sand. The Christian Science Monitor says of Coastliners, "Harris is fast becoming one of the most reliable writers of appealing, idea-driven fiction. This affecting story about community resilience blends environmental and social themes with her signature wit and élan."