Thursday, July 8, 2010

87 - Sea Escape; Lynne Griffin


















I was thrilled to have received a copy of this book for review, as I thought the author's last book, her debut: Life Without Summer was wonderful.  Her latest novel: Sea Escape, is based in part on letters discovered about the author's own family. It is also a story about the ties that forever bind mothers and daughters.

Laura Tobin Martinez is a 40 something, working wife and mother of two, who suddenly finds herself being stretched even further. Her mother Helen has had a debilitating stroke, and will require extensive rehabilitation. Laura and her mother have always had a strained relationship, and Laura never understood why she could not seem to please her mother no matter how hard she tried.  Despite this Laura is committed to stepping up to the plate to care for her mother. She puts her own life on hold in the process.

Helen's husband Joseph was the love of her life, when he was killed in 1975 while working for the Associated Press during the Vietnam Era.  After Joseph's death Helen found solace at Sea Escape, a beautiful beach home the couple built, and Helen painstakingly decorated to perfection. It is here at Sea Escape, that Laura discovers old letters written by her parents, dating back as far as 1951. It is through these old letters that Laura discovers shocking things about her parents that she is learning for the first time.  The reader gets insight into why Helen was like she was, and why she rarely showed her feelings. The story alternates between the past (letters) and present, Laura's family life and Helen's stoke and rehabilitation.  The writing is good, and the story moved along at a satisfying pace.

Sea Escape is a story that should appeal to lots of women, especially those who enjoy stories about the mother/daughter relationship. In many ways I could relate to Laura and her strained relationship with her mother, as well as her struggles trying to please too many people at the same time.  I thought the author did a good job overall with this novel.
RECOMMENDED - 4/5 stars

17 comments:

  1. This sounds a very poignant, wonderful book. I doubt getting my hands on it soon but lets put it on my TBR

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  2. I need to read this book I'm thinking. The storyline is very appealing and I almost always like a book with letters as part of the storyline.

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  3. This sounds like an excellent read. I'll be keeping my eye out for a copy. Thanks for the great review!

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  4. This book sounds terrific -- love the letters aspect and the relationship at the heart of the novel sounds compelling. Going to see if my library has this one.

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  5. Thanks for this review - I've been wondering about this one. The cover is really beautiful to me, and there is something about it that keeps drawing me in. So glad to read that the inside may too!

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  6. I love stories about mother/daughter relationships - this sounds fabulous!

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  7. I helped my mom after she had cardia arrest and a stroke. She lived at the beach. I think I would be able to read this one now that it has been so long since she passed. Sounds good. Thanks.

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  8. I really enjoyed this story as well Diane. I'm looking forward to reading her first book as well.

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  9. I liked this book a lot and thought it was very well written. I really liked the dual narrative strategy in this book as well. I am so glad that you liked the books as much as I did! Great review!!!

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  10. I would like to read this one. My relationship with my mother is not what it used to be, so I'm interested in that aspect of this one.

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  11. Life Without Summer was great. I didn't realize she wrote another one. I'll have to read it.

    Love the cover, by the way.

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  12. This has my name all over it! Like Kay, I love books that include letters or diaries. It doesn't sound like you loved it though. What was missing for you?

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  13. A lot of you mentioned "letters" as part of a novel appealing to you. Although discovered letters were a part of the novel, the point of the daughter reading them to her mother was to help be recall happier times. I guess the letters in some ways did not work for me. Can't really explain why. I did like the story, but preferred her first book: Life Without Summer More.

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  14. It sounds like this book would resonate with a lot of different women. And the cover is just lovely.

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  15. I loved Life Without Summer and am looking forward to reading Sea Escape. Great review.

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  16. Books with mother daughter relationships always appeal to me! I will definitely be checking this one out :)

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  17. Sounds like an escape itself. I think I would like this book: the premise definitely sounds interesting and I like the idea of a little sea escape beautifully decorated with everything you could need to escape your life for a little while.

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