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Sea escape – tekijä: Lynne Reeves Griffin

Sea escape (vuoden 2010 painos)

– tekijä: Lynne Reeves Griffin

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
937227,288 (3.8)5
Balancing her roles as a wife and mother with the responsibility of caring for a parent who is recovering from a stroke, Laura reads love letters exchanged by her parents during the 1950s and tumultuous Vietnam War period, a correspondence that reveals unexpected truths.
Teoksen nimi:Sea escape
Kirjailijat:Lynne Reeves Griffin
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, 2010.
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):***

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Sea Escape (tekijä: Lynne Griffin)


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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
"A thoughtful and deeply moving but complicated love between mother and daughter from two different eras. The daughter uncovers the details of her parents' marriage, thru letters and between the spaces each line is written, and more secrets unspoken...and discovering a common thread of secrets mother and daughter unknowingly share. Characters you will despise and some you grow to love. ( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
Thoroughly enjoyable---and yes, I did not see the end coming but I should have. I feel as though I know Laura very well and she is beautifully described through the emotional upheaval of dealing with her mother. ( )
  nyiper | Sep 13, 2012 |
Lynne Griffin’s Sea Escape is a quiet, moving novel centering on mothers and daughters, fathers and sons — families, complicated and vast and difficult. Shades of Helen and Laura’s relationship can probably be seen in any mother/daughter duo, no matter how close — or how distant — they may appear. From the onset, I was drawn in by Griffin’s language. Her words brought me straight onto the porch of Sea Escape, her mother’s beloved home, or into the hospital room where she stood reading letters to Helen. The ability to crawl right into language is important to me as a reader.

Sea Escape alternates between Helen and Joseph’s courtship in the 1950s and present day, when Laura is tending to her mother’s needs and attempting to reconcile their difficult relationship. I loved the scenes explaining Helen’s origins most of all — especially those detailing her early life and struggles with her own parents and, later, the difficulties in her marriage with Joseph. As a reader, I never questioned how madly in love Helen was with Joseph, and vice versa — though even that love, at times all-consuming, wasn’t always enough.

Religion plays an important role in the story, though it’s never heavy-handed. A devout Catholic, Helen seeks solace in her faith and the trinkets Laura’s sister-in-law, Luce, brings her as her health is failing. I appreciated the light touch Griffin used when discussing the ways in which Helen found comfort in God while Laura — a realistic, sympathic narrator — still questioned her mother’s feelings. As the story unfolds, Laura begins to see things a little more from her mother’s perspective — but she doesn’t suddenly “find Christ.” Sudden epiphanies are a major pet peeve of mine.

Overall, Sea Escape was a captivating glimpse into a complicated mother/daughter relationship, and I loved getting to know Laura and Helen through one another’s eyes. Though not a fast-paced, happy or humorous tale, Griffin’s second novel succeeded in twisting my heart. Despite its somber tone, I enjoyed this novel steeped just long enough in historical details to give us a flavor of a different era — but still ringing with contemporary truths which many women, old and young, will understand. ( )
  writemeg | Jul 27, 2010 |
Laura Martinez is struggling to manage her career and relationship with her family when her mother, Helen, suddenly becomes debilitated by a stroke. Mother and daughter have not had the most successful of relationships since, after the death of her father, Joseph, Laura's mother has become distant and cold. Now it's up to Laura to bridge the distance between the two and discover the secrets of her parents' strange marriage. Drawing on a series of old letters from her father to her mother, Laura begins to trace the delicate faults in her mother's heart and comes to understand that, now more than ever, their relationship needs to be mended. Reaching far into the past, a dual narrative emerges focusing not only on Laura and her mother's painful relationship, but also of the early days of Helen's relationship with Joseph. Theirs is relationship marked with tenderness and love, but also with painful separations and deception. As the novel winds forward, Laura struggles to close the distance between herself and her mother while also juggling the feelings of resentment towards her husband and her frustrations with her children. As it winds back, Helen draws on her ingenuity and creativity to craft beautiful designs in fabric to take her focus off of missing Joseph and having to raise her children virtually alone. Tender and stirring, Sea Escape becomes a novel that carefully crafts the fragile bond between mother and daughter and shares the way that the tragedies of our past can affect us even today.

Though I don't read much women's fiction, I did end up really enjoying this book. The two story lines blended together well and enhanced each other in a way that made the story very full bodied and well rounded. Sometimes when a book goes the dual narrative route, I find myself more interested in one section than the other, but surprisingly in this book that wasn't a problem. I found both stories to be entertaining, and because they dealt with such different issues, the scope of the novel was larger and more diffuse.

One thing I have to admit is that I didn't like Laura very much as a main character in the beginning. She seemed very whiny and plaintive at times, and at others she could be remarkably selfish. Of course, there were moments when she could be incredibly loving and altruistic, but for the most part, I had a hard time getting close to her. I didn't understand why she kept losing patience with her husband because he seemed to be just about perfect. I'm not sure if this drama between them was an artificial construct to keep the tension running high in the book or if it was just Laura taking out her stress on an innocent target. Whatever it was, I didn't much like it. I do think Laura had some incredible moments though. She gave and gave to her mother, never shrinking back when her gifts were not accepted, and she was constant in her love for her children, which I admired. I just got a little tired of the "woe is me" attitude she had and felt like she wasted critical time being wounded and sorrowful when she could have been learning how to open herself to the love that other family members, like her husband and sister-in law, wanted to give her.

Though Laura and her mother were very different kinds of women, as I read I began to see a lot of similarities between them. Both of them were strong and independent and felt that they could handle pretty much anything on their own. Both women were stubborn as well, making the same mistakes and butting their heads against the same walls over and over again. I think that although their passions differed, they had a lot of the same temperaments, and felt that they were both a little too independent at times, which made others in their lives feel unnecessary. I think Laura tended to be a little more high strung than her mother, but both let emotion run very high in their lives and let their emotions rule them at times. It was interesting to see how different the women were, while still being the same. I think this is one of the reasons they had so much trouble connecting with one another.

A lot of this book is about the spirit of forgiveness and the need to let go of resentment. It was a constant theme in the book, from the relationship between Helen and Joseph to the later struggles between mother and daughter. I think the book dealt with this nicely. When is it okay to let go and forgive, and when do you stop the recrimination, not only towards others, but towards yourself? This story held many secrets that, once revealed, had the capacity to heal the people who kept them hidden and the people to whom they were revealed. The book spoke about the the road not taken and the dreams left behind. One of the things I found most interesting was the way the characters dealt with their secrets and lost desires. They all were alike in that they kept these things hidden, and buried them so deeply inside themselves that they were almost forgotten, leaving only feelings behind as painful reminders.

I also really liked the sections in the book that dealt with Helen's sewing. Helen specialized in creating curtains and window dressings, and though I have never tried my hand at that particular craft, I thought it was interesting to hear about the interesting creations she was working on. Her main motivation for doing these things was not only to earn money while her husband was away, but to dress up a rather shabby life and to give her husband something special every time he came into town. Though she abandons her sewing after Joseph dies, later sections of the book find her once again picking up her needles to share her gift with a special family member. I loved that I was able to live vicariously through these sections and get lost in the descriptions of fabrics and thread and the creations that came from loving and talented hands.

I think that this would make a great read for those who gravitate towards women's fiction and also for those who like character driven novels. I think this is my first foray into this genre, and although I had some quiet niggles with the main character, I found the book very diverting and well constructed. I think the author did a wonderful job working so many different themes and ideas into her tale and felt that there was a real cohesion between all the aspects of the story. I am glad to have given this book a try and I am looking forward to reading another of the author's books, Life Without Summer. ( )
  zibilee | Jul 20, 2010 |
Laura Martinez longs to restore the closeness she once had with her mother, Helen. But Helen seems to live mostly in the past, encased in her beautiful home by the sea, reading long ago love letters from Laura’s father who died many years ago. Helen is remote, cold at times, and critical. It is only Laura’s ten year old son Henry who seems to touch her heart. When Helen suffers from a stroke, Laura finally feels as though she can be of use to her mother, and maybe, just maybe, find a way back to her.

Lynne Griffin’s novel Sea Escape is set on the coast of Massachusetts and introduces readers to two women – Laura and Helen – and their difficult relationship. The book opens on the day of Helen’s stroke, then winds it way backwards through flashbacks to Helen’s earlier life as a young woman who turns to sewing beautiful fabrics together in order to create her dream home. Slowly, Griffin begins to uncover the essence of who Helen is and how her marriage to Joseph, a journalist who is away more than at home, helped shape her. Griffin alternates between Helen’s story from the past and Laura’s memories of her childhood, to bring the story full circle.

Neither woman is particularly likable at the beginning of the novel, especially Helen who is seen initially only through Laura’s eyes. But, with the flashbacks told in Helen’s point of view, the reader begins to understand the barriers Helen has erected which are fueled by her unresolved grief. Likewise, Laura’s desire to be perfect – running herself into the ground to be the best wife, mother, and daughter – starts to make sense. As Helen lays in a hospital bed, Laura begins to read her father’s letters – letters which hold the key to her parent’s marriage and secrets long buried. By uncovering her parent’s history together, Laura begins to put her own life and needs into perspective.

Sea Escape is the type of book that delves deeply into the lives of women – their challenges, desires, fears, and relationships. It is also a book about mothers and daughters and the ambivalence that often develops between them. Finally, this novel deals with long term grief and the difficult road to recovery.

I mostly enjoyed this book, especially the parts told from Helen’s perspective as she grows from a young girl into a married woman during the 1960s and 1970s when America was embroiled in the Vietnam War. It is Helen’s story that anchors the book.

It took me awhile to develop empathy for both Laura and Helen – women who I didn’t understand until I was well into the story. At first I felt this to be a weakness of the writing, but later came to appreciate how Griffin reveals the danger of pre-judging someone before we know their history. It is easy to label a person cold, bitchy or uncaring based on their outward behavior, but only when we learn their life experiences can we grow to see why they might behave as they do. And it is through that process that empathy develops.

Sea Escape is a good summertime read for those who like women’s fiction set in New England. ( )
  writestuff | Jul 12, 2010 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Kanoninen teoksen nimi
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For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender, delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for until the cord be broken, the bird cannot fly. -Saint John of the Cross
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
In loving memory of my parents, John William Reeves & Patricia Grave McGrath Reeves
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Letters are windows casting light, illuminating the ties between two people.
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Not one member of the Martinez family had any worries, or so it seemed to me. They laid their feelings out like loaves of bread left to cool on a wire rack. Right there for others to take or leave, the choice was theirs. The family air was clear, like the aroma of sugar sweet and herbs fresh.
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Balancing her roles as a wife and mother with the responsibility of caring for a parent who is recovering from a stroke, Laura reads love letters exchanged by her parents during the 1950s and tumultuous Vietnam War period, a correspondence that reveals unexpected truths.

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