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. 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 unpeels the emotions of her unforgettable characters with such subtlety that the reader is captivated.