Guest Post: Jo Thomas on the Location and Characters in The Oyster Catcher

Monday, 10 November 2014
Kindle Bestseller and RNA Joan Hessayon Award Winner The Oyster Catcher is Jo Thomas's irresistibly feel-good Irish novel of facing the past, finding your feet and falling in love.

Dooleybridge, County Galway. Population: 482 (or thereabouts). The last place Fiona Clutterbuck expects to end up, alone, on her wedding night.

But after the words 'I do' have barely left her mouth, that's exactly where she is - with only her sequined shoes and a crashed camper van for company.

One thing is certain: Fi can't go back. So when the opportunity arises to work for Sean Thornton, the local oyster farmer, she jumps at the chance. Now Fi must navigate suspicious locals, jealous rivals and a wild, unpredictable boss if she's to find a new life, and love, on the Irish coast. And nothing - not even a chronic fear of water - is going to hold her back.

Join Fi on her romantic, unpredictable adventure as she learns the rules of the ocean - and picks up a few pearls of Irish wisdom along the way...




Today I'm excited to be kicking off the blog tour for The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas which I recently reviewed and loved. Jo has written a post about the characters and location (loved this book's setting) so hopefully you enjoy reading it.

The Oyster Catcher is published by Headline and is out now.


Jo Thomas on the Location and Characters in The Oyster Catcher

The Location. Why there?

The book is set in Connemara; I just loved its wild, rocky landscape. We spent a lot of time with friends out there who had the most amazing parties, where the children would enjoy the freedom of the outdoors and guests would turn up, music would happen, and everyone joined it. They were wonderful nights, even in the rain!

The characters, who are they?

The book is about people who hide their feelings away so they won’t get hurt. But if you hide away you won’t find love either.

Fiona Clutterbuck was abandoned by her own mother as a 15-year-old and has never really had the chance to realise who she is or what she’s capable of. In Ireland she’s a fish out of water. So when she’s finds herself having to battle loan sharks, pearl princesses, and oyster pirates she has to learn pretty quickly, to come out of her shell. Sometimes we don’t know what we’re capable of until we’re put in that situation. Sometimes it’s sink or swim.

Sean Thornton, Fiona’s boss, is grumpy and guarded but his saving grace is his passion about his oysters. He only comes alive when talking about the thing he loves. There’s Sean’s girlfriend, oyster broker Nancy, and the effervescent Margaret trying to turn her dying village back into something special again, along with a colourful cast of locals.

And then of course there’s Sean’s dog, Grace, a Great Dane. She’s based on a dog I met in Galway who used to ride his owner’s windsurf. So cool.

I once read that a champion shell shucker said ‘In order to open an oyster you first have to understand what’s keeping it closed.’ And that’s how the story started.

Thanks to Jo for the post and Frances at Headline for organising the tour! See below for the rest of the stops: 

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