In this insightful book that deals with abortion, marital infidelity, and unwed motherhood, Coomer writes of how Life has drawn together three women, each of whom has had a disastrous relationship that has left each bearing a load of guilt. Charlotte, a recently widowed archaeologist, Grace, an aging blue-haired widow who has inherited a wooden motor yacht, and Chloe, an unwed, pregnant, emotional 17-year-old become shipmates off the New England coast. As the share their lives, the three learn of the vexatious relationships each has had---Charlotte's with her in-laws after the death of their son; Grace's with her daughter who is unforgiving of her mother's marital infidelity; and Chloe's with her pathologically 'moralistic' parents. A genuine bond develops between the three, and they begin to learn how to forgive themselves and how to "live forward".
My September bookclub selection. Finally getting to do a review. Nine weeks after her husband dies Charlotte winds up in Portsmouth Harbor New Hampshire. She somehow finds herself rooming on a boat with 2 other women. This story shows how their friendship grows between the 3 of them even though they are of 3 different generations. All 3 women have issues they need to resolve. I will be looking for other work by Joe Coomer.
Pauline G. reviewed Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God on
Being from Maine, I'm familiar with quite a few of the locations referred to in this book which takes place in Portsmouth, NH. I found it to be pretty good and had a hard time turning off the light and going to bed!
A seventyish widow who owns a wooden yacht and rents out a shared room to a typically emotional seventeen-year-old with family issues, and a young, recently widowed archaeologist who is running from her husband's possible suicide and his family.
Being from New England, I enjoyed the setting of this story, as Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a town we visited often. The descriptions ring true not only of the town, but of the women who are well-written even though the author is a man. There's a lot going on for a short book with each woman having her demons in hot pursuit. Guilt at infidelity, abortion, unwed pregnancy, a lawsuit, and then severe health issues that threaten their home, their lives. They try escaping on the boat to Newfoundland but eventually have to return and face up to themselves so they can get on with their lives.
What's to like about the book? Everything. An archaeology dig in town, 3 women on the ocean trip north, the relationships that mature with genuine liking for each other, the need to help each other.
One would almost never believe this charming novel centering around three women was authored by a man. I believe the one action that gave it away for me was that grown women stick their tongues out at each other far less than is depicted here. Nonetheless, the relationship between newly-widowed Charlotte, newly-pregnant Chloe, and flinty Grace seamlessly came together.
I enjoyed reading Charlotte's descriptions of archaeological digs and how one learns about another person long gone. So many fantastic parallels there. Beautiful prose, too. I enjoyed the act of reading this one; the pacing and language reminded me of Linda Olsson or a slightly-livelier Sarah Stonich.
Coomer employed a plot device I'm not fond of: the story growing along with a pregnancy, as well as a predictable ending. That's why I take off a star. But if you can deal with that, read this little gem; it's touching in a comfortable way.