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Download Coastliners Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Coastliners Audiobook, by Joanne Harris Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,723 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joanne Harris Narrator: Vivien Benesch, Vivienne Benesch Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2005 ISBN: 9780060859909
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The island of Le Devin is shaped somewhat like a sleeping woman. At her head is the village of Les Salants, while the more prosperous village of La Houssinière lies at her feet. You could walk from one to the other in an hour, but they could not be farther apart, for between them lie years of animosity.

The villagers of Les Salants say that if you kiss the feet of their patron saint and spit three times, something you've lost will come back to you. And so Madeleine, who grew up on the island, returns after an absence of ten years spent in Paris. She is haunted by this place and has never been able to feel at home anywhere else.

But when she arrives, she finds her father -- who once built the fishing boats that fueled the village's livelihood -- has become more silent than ever, withdrawing almost completely. His decline seems reflected in the village itself, for when the only beach in Les Salants washed away, all of the tourists drifted to La Hodssinière.

Madeleine, herself adrift for a long time, soon finds herself united with the village's other lost souls in a struggle for survival and salvation.

Performed by Vivien Benesch

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Tactile, sensory, immediate…An epic tale.” 

    USA Today

  • “Harris develops her beguiling story in layers, drawing Madeleine into the village life she loves and loathes while exploring the nuances of island living…Harris exposes a wide range of passions and emotions as Madeline gets involved with Flynn against the effective backdrop of the various family and village rivalries.”  

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Benesch’s reading is both sensitive and sympathetic to the characters, including a beachcomber who helps Madeleine achieve her dreams.” 

    Booklist

  • “Harris delivers the goods for readers who can’t get enough.”   

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 L Kepferle | 2/4/2014

    " another great read from Joanne Harris. A bit slow going at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine Woodman | 1/21/2014

    " I did not like this nearly as well as the other books I have read by this author "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 1/21/2014

    " The first of her books I've read. Very very good. It made me cry at the end, and possibly in the middle as well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sandra-Jane Goddard | 1/16/2014

    " I can hardly believe that I am being negative about a book by Joanne Harris because ordinarily I am such a fan. But I've tried twice now to read 'Coastliners' and for the second time, I have given up barely a third of the way in. It's hard to pinpoint what doesn't do it for me because the sense of place is there. Maybe it's the characters who don't feel to have so much life, maybe it's just the plot that doesn't engage me but I seriously doubt that I will be giving this book a third chance to win me over. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy Reisenauer | 1/16/2014

    " I am back finishing all of Joanne Harris books. LOVE HER!! this book made me want to retire to a small quiet island so bad. her characters are always flawed, and the endings are not popular at times, but more real. I felt as if I could feel the wind blowing my hair, and sand on my skin while reading this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Kelly | 1/4/2014

    " Enjoyable - but not her best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arizonagirl | 12/28/2013

    " The story of a woman who has returned to her hometown on an island and her struggles to get the approval she seeks from her father. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry | 12/16/2013

    " A compelling story but not the jolliest of tales! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leilaniolanai | 12/8/2013

    " When you know your kuleana (responsibility and obligation) to your family and the land, then it is possible to do your best for yourself and all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly Gilbert | 12/1/2013

    " This was not as enchanting to me as some of her other novels, but I still liked it. I was still caught up in the story. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tze-Wen | 9/3/2013

    " One of Joanne Harris' better books. She has this magical way with words to make you truly experience everything she writes. Beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 8/7/2013

    " Another great story from Joanne Harris! I've loved every book she's written, so far! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carly | 6/13/2013

    " mmm, salty, windy, sandy French island barely holding its own against the tides of the western, Vendee coast. made me want to tear into a fresh crab, dig my toes into cold sand, say goodbye to city living and learn to sail. joanne harris loves to write about communities, and she does it well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 6/9/2013

    " Not as good as her others but still love it :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabriella Beke | 5/25/2013

    " Too much description and little to think about. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maura | 11/23/2012

    " A very bland book with too many characters with French surnames of which to keep track. Not her best by far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patty | 9/8/2012

    " A very captivating book, with honest portrayals of human characters and twists and turns of deception. It left me longing for more, and wanting to go to an island again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda Underwood | 7/17/2012

    " Written by the author of Chocolate. Book takes place on a small island off of France and tells the story of island people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie Sesic | 7/14/2012

    " This story of a woman who returns to the tiny French island of her childhood to care for her ailing father after her mother's death makes a good vacation read. There's an understated romance, and Harris's accounting of villagers' lives is engaging without being sentimental. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 6/12/2012

    " Felt frustrating that the story was being told so slowly. Just wanted her to get on with it. Ok but not as good as some of the other Harris books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea Wall | 1/23/2012

    " Good. Though a bit sad??? I loved how the beach felt so real. Joanne Harris has a talent in making things come alive! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nikki Waters | 1/7/2012

    " Loved it - a nice gentle fix of French life, uncomplicated & an easy read.Looking forward to reading more by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anya | 7/15/2011

    " I enjoyed this book, the island life is well portrayed in this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maura | 5/17/2011

    " A very bland book with too many characters with French surnames of which to keep track. Not her best by far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cia | 3/31/2011

    " Slow read, but relatively enjoyable. Characters not as entertaining or gripping as those of other novels, but still likeable. Plot not as complex as that of other novels either- rather simple to guess the ultimate ending. Overall, it was ok but not as good as some of Harris' other works. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Claire | 3/3/2011

    " Meh. It felt like a less skillful recycling of the author's usual themes. The characters were difficult to get a feel for and the ending felt rather too pat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 12/23/2010

    " Good. Though a bit sad??? I loved how the beach felt so real. Joanne Harris has a talent in making things come alive! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thatsrite | 12/15/2010

    " Ok book, not great, but enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 12/3/2010

    " Can't even remember now!
    Suppose I'll have to read another one "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexandra | 11/12/2010

    " Not Harris' best book, but absolutely readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 9/19/2010

    " Good, but not Harris' best novel. While the setting was evocative and the minor characters well-done, the plot was sort of thin and Mado, the protagonist, was timidly drawn. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/16/2010

    " I listened to 1 1/2 CDs. It just wasn't going anywhere. It's on a cute small isolated island. It reminded me of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society but with even less interesting characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gayle | 6/20/2010

    " I am usually a big fan of Joanne Harris and really like her mystical, off-beat characters and plots, but I just couldn't get into this one at all. The characters were difficult to get to know, and the plot had so many twists towards the end that I lost the will to care what happened. "

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About the Author
Author Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris is the author of seven previous novels—Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Sleep, Pale Sister, and Gentlemen & Players; a short story collection, Jigs & Reels; and two cookbook/memoirs, My French Kitchen and The French Market. Half French and half British, she lives in England.

About the Narrator

Vivienne Benesch is a New York City–based actress who has appeared at the Roundabout Theatre, Lincoln Center, New York Shakespeare Festival, and Classical Stage Company, among others. Her television work includes Law and Order, Sex and the City, The Education of Max Bickford, and The Division.