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By the shore : a novel
Galaxy Craze
Adult Fiction CRAZE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In the first-person voice of a 12-year-old English girl, British actress (David Lynch's Nadja; Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives) and debut author Craze fashions a spare, beautifully evocative tale of love and the youthful need for belonging. May, her six-year-old half brother, Eden, and their unconventional but loving single mother, Lucy, have moved out of London to turn an old girls' school on the coast into a bed-and-breakfast. Accustomed to Lucy's erratic behavior and the shenanigans of her mother's drug-culture friends, May craves merely to be regarded as "a girl from a safe home," to fit in with the other girls at school. As the Christmas holidays approach, only one boarder comes to stay, a mysterious writer named Rufus, aided by his pretty, hip publishing assistant and sometime lover, Patricia. In light, deft strokes, Craze delineates the delicate balance of need and hurt in the lives of her characters. May quietly and subversively wounds her mother while trying to keep her father's influence alive; Lucy's fragile emotional state results in often clumsy maternal care; Rufus makes halting attempts to reach out for intimacy. Through a series of tender epiphanies, the budding romance between Rufus and Lucy is skillfully juxtaposed with May's incipient awareness of the adult world of sex and desire. Before May even realizes that her rou‚ father has arrived, she notices a familiar odor in the house: "I have secretly searched for it in other people's houses, locking the bathroom door, smelling all the soaps and things in bottles." While the plot is so simple as to be predictable, Craze's seemingly effortless touch renders it remarkable and moving. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This debut novel by a 28-year-old indie film actress and New York Universiy writing program graduate is a slight, sad story of a down-on-their luck English family: Mum (Lucy), six-year-old Eden, and the storyteller, 12-year-old May. Mum, who is used to life in London with her chums, runs a bed-and-breakfast by the shore, but the only guest in the bleak winter is writer Rufus, down to finish his novel. A slow friendship evolves between Mum and Rufus, and Rufus and the children, but events seem to conspire against the relationships: Mays self-centered, flashy dad shows up, Rufuss editor tells tales to make it seem as if Rufus is in love with her, and May is out of her depth, coping with her own adolescent trials. The ending brings the family a measure of hope and contentment, however. Seen through Mays eyes, the story merely limns the surface of the characters, so they appear as sketches rather than full-bodied people, and there is little depth to the plot itself. A marginal purchase.Francine Fialkoff, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters May
Age: 12

Single mother
Bed-and-breakfast owner

Rogue; May's biological father.
Bar owner

Age: Middle aged

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