The Breakers

The Breakers

Synopsis: In the storm-swept landscapes of Normandy's coastline lies a village that might just be at the ends of the earth. A woman has recently arrived to seek healing for some deep sorrow, and spends her days cataloguing migratory birds.

Annoyingly Gallay tries join the reader to characters through unnecessary 'real' moments

On the day of a battering storm a stranger appears in the bar, arousing her curiosity. He stirs up suspicion in the village, looking for answers to apparently unanswerable questions about his family lost long years ago in an accident at sea. What actually happened? How was it that the lighthouse did not guide them safely to shore? The eccentric inhabitants of this desolate village seem riveted to old hatreds, determined to leave secrets buried.

Gradually the bird-watcher succeeds in unravelling a tragedy at the heart of a community in which many are suffering still from the loss of people they have loved. And in the process finds her own peace. The Breakers is an immensely satisfying and evocative mystery of great depth. Claudie Gallay unreels the emotions of her unforgettable characters with such subtlety that the reader is captivated.

A novel set in the small French village of La Hague on the Normandy coastline, the main character a bird watcher new to the village in self-imposed exile after personal loss spending her days cataloguing migratory birds and becoming entwined in the lives of the small local population. 

The village relatively isolated is a mix of eccentric and superstitious characters who half believe in the supernatural and remain heavily tied to the past There is a clever complexity in the relationships, no real individual characters, of this odd and curious village community. The sea is a character in its own right and the plot shadows either the calmness or ferociousness of the sea. The villagers believe the sea is an omnipotent force. By adding a mysterious character, returning to find his own closure with the town and an aggressive writing style the narrative works. Annoyingly Gallay tries join the reader to characters through unnecessary 'real' moments. Overall a good read - Joclyn Manners literary Critic.

Author:Claudie Gallay

Claudie Gallay is a teacher who lives in Provence. Her previous novels have all been well received, but The Breakers was her breakthrough novel, becoming a runaway bestseller in France.