The novel's cover, featuring relaxed painted toes lounging in a hammock on what looks like the warm Carribbean, is no way to judge this moving and sometimes dark novel about a 46-year-old woman facing an empty nest, an absent husband, and forgotten dreams in middle age. Our heroine doesn't jet off to a tropical island to get her groove back, but rather simply chooses to stay in the house she loves on the rugged and rainy Oregon coast and face her darkest fears - of being alone, of being not good enough, of finally figuring out something you love beyond your family and risking failure to try to reach it.
Although I have no husband or children, as I face the decade starting with a 4- in my age, I can relate to so much of what Elizabeth Shore confronts in "Distant Shores" -- breaking decades-long habits of putting others' needs first, feeling paralyzed by not knowing what you want but knowing that you need to want something, feeling the sadness of finally remembering a forgotten talent, and facing the risk that the grief and regret about lost years will get in the way of the years you have left. Add to that the loss of a beloved parent, a marriage drifting in halfhearted habits of affection, and a handful of fully realized minor characters, and Kristin Hannah pulls together a contemporary set of problems that will become familiar to many readers. Hannah does not allow readers to have an easy, perfect happy ending where everything is resolved neatly and triumphantly, but the light at the end of the tunnel is strong, warm, inspiring, and well worth the journey.
Interestingly, although the novel is not even 10 years old, its anachronisms are surprisingly jarring -- no one emails one another, there is no talk of texting -- so what is otherwise in every way a "contemporary" novel feels slightly off. Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable read.
In the aftermath of a tragedy, Elizabeth "finds herself questioning her life-her choices, her marriage, and her long-forgotten dreams. In a daring move that will shock her husband, friends, and daughters, she chooses to let go of the woman she had become - and reach out for the woman she wants to be."
A page turner especially for anyone who has wondered what happened to the person they were or the one they thought they'd be. It's for anyone who every thought the grass is a little greener on the other side of the fence...or down the road not taken. I loved it!
I reallly like this book, but the story is fairly depressing throughout the entire book. The characters are richly drawn and the story is very compelling. I would recommend--just make sure you're in an upbeat mood when you read it!
I liked this book well enough to read it to the end. It deals with family relationships - a man, a woman and their 2 daughters. The husband and wife get very caught up with living and find out later they have drifted apart. The story is about how they find themselves and what really is the most important to them.
Didn't really care for this book. It was long and depressing, I felt like the author drug things out way too long. Also, I didn't like all the foul language in this book- that really doesn't add anything to the story and it was just trashy. Won't recommend this book to any friends and will not read again.
Well this book is questionable for me. I did read it all which is saying something. I am one who will put it down if a book does not keep my interest. As a Mom of teenagers, you always worry about "what will my life become when they are gone" I hope it does not do any of this. That is why I think I did not like it. On the other hand I did like how she decided to stand onher own and learn to be her own person. That is what I did like about it. I also like the relationship that delelpoed between her and her step mother. It is a good weekend read. I read it in about 2 days.
I love Kristin Hannah's books. They are always an entertaining read. That being said, this was not my favorite. I felt as if some of the characters were borrowed from other books (wasn't Meghann in another book?).
This book discusses the difficulties we all face in a long term marriage. Some deal with it differently, but most marriages go through some of the same feelings.
The book held my interest, but just didn't reach the heights I've come to expect from Hannah.
This is another beautiful book by Kristin Hannah. Elizabeth Shores is such a strong female character as she tackles how to find who she is again. I really enjoy how Hannah tackles extremely difficult life decisions and circumstances in such a heartfelt wanting the best kind of way. If you really enjoyed this book, you might want to read "Between Sisters" which follows the tale of Elizabeth Shores' best friend Meghann Dontess.
3.5 out of 5 stars - "We're all afraid. It's the going on that matters."
This novel highlights the pain of unfulfilled dreams. It is better to try and fail than to never give yourself the chance to find out.
An empty nester with an ambitious husband wonders who she is and decides to take some time to find out of there is anything left of the girl she once was or if she has sublimated everything in her devotion to her marriage and family.
I would have rated this higher if it had not had a too pat, fairy tale ending
I love Kristin Hannah's books but this wasn't my favorite. It was kind of slow and predictable. I enjoyed the story line but I could easily read a chapter and put the book down to do something else. I did, however, envy the main characters life ~~ has a husband who loves her and is faithful, lives in a beautiful home, no need to work outside the home due to no monetary worries! I had a hard time feeling her "pain".
This is one of the best I've read; it is a great story line yet personal and meaningful. Deep insight by the author allows each reader to pull from it their own insights. Most of all, it keeps moving just fast enough that you don't want to put it down yet never makes you feel as though you are being rushed.
I recommend that everyone read it, if only to see how one person with courage and confidence chooses to face their life.
Elizabeth "Birdie" Shore finds herself firmly ensconced in middle age and just going through the motions of marriage with Jackson, her husband of 24 years.
She has always put her husband's needs and career first, moving constantly while raising their two daughters, but now that the children are in college, she feels herself slowly drifting away just as Jackson's career is finally on the upswing. A star football player who lost his way after being injured and developing an addiction to pain killers, Jackson is having a comeback in the world of sports television, but that means they have to leave Birdie's dream house in Oregon and move to New York City. As usual, she just follows her husband, but when her father dies unexpectedly, Birdie decides to separate from Jackson and go back to Oregon to find herself and her former dream of being a painter.
Isolated in her beach house, Birdie tries to rekindle the passion she had for her art, which reminds her of the passion she felt for her husband. Jackson, however, is busy indulging in the lifestyle he always thought he missed by marrying too young -- he's famous and surrounded by beautiful young women.
This insightful look into the dynamics of marriage will resonate with readers, and mark Hannah as a strong voice in women's fiction.
This is an excellent book about a woman decided there was more in life for her and it was high time she thought of herself..as soon as she figures out what that someting she wants is and she DOES figure out what she wants...it held my interest to the end.
I am a Kristin Hannah fan,and love everything she writes. So much so, that a few chapters into this book, I realized I had read it already, but enjoyed it all over again! I love stories about families and relationships.This one was interesting, in that we watched the main character, Elizabeth, finally become her own person after living in here husband's shadow for their whole married life.
Elizabeth and Jackson Shore married young,raised two daughters,and weathered the storms of youth as they built a family. From a distance, their lives look perfect.But after the girls leave home,Jack and Elizabeth quietly drift apart. When Jack accepts a wonderful new job,Elizabeth puts her own needs aside to follow him across the country. Then tragedy turns Elizabeth's world upside down. In the aftermath,she finds herself questioning herlife-her choices, her marriage,and her long-forgotten dream.In a daring move that will shock her husband,friends and daughters,she chooses to let go of the woman she has become-and reach out for the woman she wants to be.
Elizabeth and Jackson Shore married young,raised two daughters, and weathered the storms of youth as they built a family. From a distance, their lives look perfect. But after the girls leave home,Jack and Elizabeth quietly drift apart. When Jack accepts a wonderful new job, Elizabeth puts her own needs aside to follow him across the country. Then tragedy turns Elizabeths world upside down. In the aftermath, she finds herself questioning life-her choices,her marriage,and her long forgotten dreams. In a daring move tht will shock her husband,friends and daughters, she chooses to let go of the women she has become--and reach out for the woman she wants to be.
Elizabeth and Jackson Shore raised two daughters and weathered the storms of youth as they built a family. After the girls leave home, they drift apart. Tragedy turns Elizabeth's world upside down, causing her to question her choices, her marriage and her long forgotten dreams.