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The Oyster Catcher (2013)

Married life hasn't exactly got off to the best of starts for Fiona Clutterbuck. She's been ditched minutes after the signing of the registry, crashed a camper van and had a run-in with police. Now in Dooleybridge, County Galway, Fiona should be enjoying her honeymoon, but instead she wants to escape the whole fiasco and this small, backwater town might in fact be just what she needs, the chance to start a new life - as an assistant to a local oyster farmer, Sean Thornton. There's just the slight problem that Fiona is scared of water and oh she doesn't even like oysters! The backdrop of a small Irish community and the world of oyster farming really sets Jo Thomas' novel apart. It's not your average chick lit set-up and it's great to see something a bit different. The story however lacks some depth and the characters come across as a bit caricatured - especially Fiona's nemesis, Nancy. To a large degree it seems that the novel would be perfect for the screen. Its feel-good spirit and warmth can't be denied and the festival finale is an example of good old-fashioned community. (JC)

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