Go to Homepage   Kristin Hannah: Distant Shores


Crescent Blues Book ViewsBallantine Books (Hardcover), ISBN 0-345-45071-X
A mid-life crisis that speaks to all women of a certain age? Perhaps. But it might be more reasonable to say Distant Shores tells the tale -- and tells it well -- of one woman's empty nest/empty marriage and her journey to either jump-start her marriage or find the pieces of herself she lost in the process of being a good wife and mother. Although why she wants to repair a marriage with her tomcatting, far less than faithful husband escapes me. In my opinion, the "great" man should look in the mirror and see the "Loser" written large on his forehead.

Book: kristin hannah, distant shoresElizabeth (Birdie) and Jackson Shore married young and raised a family. Although his past mistakes created the present they share, Jackson thinks he deserved far more. Once Birdie longed to be an artist, and her talent matched her ambition, but now she feels empty, devoid of even the ability to make even a small decision. Then Jackson gets the job of his dreams and goes to New York, leaving Birdie in her beloved cottage overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. Ever the dutiful wife, she joins him in New York, where she becomes increasingly unhappy and ever more aware of Jackson's infidelity.

A family tragedy sends Birdie in search of what she lost over the years -- all the bits and pieces of herself, the needs and wants, the hopes and dreams. The characters seem real enough to be next door neighbors, friends, and I found myself reading faster and faster, hoping Birdie would realize her own worth. Did she?

I'll leave that for you to find out and wish you a marvelous journey through the pages of this mainstream portrait of a woman of a certain age -- a portrait well-conceived and executed by a master in the field. It's a great read.

Patricia Lucas White

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