On the day her daughter leaves for college, Anne Colwater's husband of 20 years announces he wants a divorce. Her roles of wife and mother suddenly gone, Annie retreats to her childhood home of Mystic, Washington, to heal. There she finds her old friend Nick, suddenly widowed and unable to cope with his emotionally scarred young daughter, Izzie.
Annie agrees to look after Izzie, and soon finds herself caring for both father and daughter with a joy and passion she never expected - and she finds her love returned with a fervor she had never even hoped for. But love is never simple, and it is not until Annie learns a hard lesson from her own grown daughter that she finds the strength to claim the happiness she has earned.
©2004 Kristin Hannah (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Although this novel is one of Ms Hannah's earlier works, it rates as one of my favorites (The Things We Do For Love is my Number 1 favorite) Susan Ericksen does a superb narration, I tend to search for novels narrated by Ms Ericksen and I have not been dissapointed yet. Kristin's insightful view of marriage and women's issues are beautifully portrayed. I am looking forwarding to downloading another Hannah/Ericksen audiobook
Given the ratings, I expected greatness. I rarely hate a book, but what a let down! The only thing great is the narrator -- Ericksen is always fabulous. By the end, I started to wonder if Hannah had filled this book with characters from her life, supposedly to honor them but subconsciously getting revenge by demonstrating how shallow, confused, and obnoxious they are. Where to start? SPOILER ALERT: The heroine is a doormat except when sequentially betraying cheating husband and then the "hero," her old friend/new love. Hero has emotionally and largely physically abandoned his needy preschooler, drinking to obliterate terrible memories and guilt (at least he has motivation). Heroine rescues and plays mother to hero & hero's needy child, sleeps with hero though knowingly pregnant by - and planning to return to - cheating hubby. Yeah, men always put up with that! After getting both dad and daughter dependent on her, she abandons hero and child. Why? She's such a dedicated mother! She wants to give her new child the same absent, cheater father she burdened her teenage daughter with rather than the basically good man and traumatized child she loves and who love her. It takes unbelievably wise 18-year-old daughter to point out reality for Mom. Unbelievable not because an 18-year-old can't be worldly, wise, perceptive and insightful (perhaps the author was the model for this perfection), but because it would be a miracle for her to have been produced by these parents. Maybe babies were switched at birth. The only truly admirable characters are amazing teenager and traumatized preschooler. Let's not forget the conclusion! There is none. After putting up with these folks for hours, we get the non-ending of all time. On second thought, thanks. At least I can imagine recovered hero with a truly loving and worthy woman, slamming the door in heroine's face when she flits back expecting a warm welcome. If the heroine's new child is lucky she'll be raised by her sister.
Better writing, a better story. I should have known better. A forty-year old woman sends her daughter off to college and her husband promptly leaves her. She goes home to daddy to find herself. How original, right? I kept hoping it would get better, but I gave up about an hour and a half in.
After listening to the first part of this book, I was so depressed reading about a 39 year old doormat married to a serial womanizer and then falling for an alcoholic with a severely traumatized daughter. But I couldn't stop listening to it. There was a message in the story and the ending could have been better. The best part of this audiobook was the narrator who did a fantastic job reading the story. I'm not sure I'd buy this author again after this book.
I enjoyed the narrator very much. She added to character development as much as the story offered.
In a nutshell, Annie is a woman who did everything "right" in her role as mother and wife only to be discarded by her rich and arrogant husband a few minutes after they sent their only child off to Europe to study. She returns to her home town, finds her anger, her high school first love in difficult situation, is able to help him and his 6 year old daughter heal from a major trauma, and realize that she lost her personhood to marriage and motherhood. I have listened to it a few times as I really appreciate the transformation of Annie from modern woman passive to modern woman awake.
There are so many novels that deal with this theme it would be hard to choose.
Character development is helped so much by her narrative.
Terry, the best friend. Zany but wise and a very good friend.
I liked the small town appeal of Mystic Lake. Least liked of all: No resolution.
Not too sure, unless there is a sequel to this one to conclude the story.
She has a nice narrative voice.
Look for a sequel.
I don't understand how an author can come up with a good plot, and then ruin her own story by going sideways. It could use a rewrite with an good ending.
I won't tell the story, but I will say, it was really good listining, and for the special price, it was well worth it..be sure to get it..
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
I would recommend this audiobook to a friend because it is an easy but enjoyable read. It's a love story but with substance. How not to allow a man to strip you of who you are without even trying, could be its theme. There is someone out in that huge world for you but sometimes you may be able to find that perfect person close by.
My favorite character was Izzie. Izzie had lost her mother at the age of six. Her father, Nick, was not adjusting to his wife's death, Kathy, Izzie's mother. Annie came to visit Mystic Lake, Washington, where she had grown up. Her husband had just informed her that after 20 years', he wanted a divorce. She decided that going to visit her father, in Mystic, Washington, would provide her the chance to get herself together. However, it was Annie's father who set the course for Annie reentering the world of the living. She kept an appointment that her father had made at the hairdresser for Annie to have a makeover after she went to see the doctor who had brought her into the world. While at the beauty salon, she had her very long hair cut into a pixie style. Her husband had wanted her to keep her hair long and Annie had always given her husband what he wanted, never realizing that she was not getting anything in return. The hairdresser, Jolene, was Izzie's aunt and was babysitting her at the time that Izzie was there. When Annie saw her, Izzie was wearing a worn out dress, different colored socks and holding tight to a toy doll. Annie had heard from both her father and Jolene that Kathy, Annie's best friend in high school, Izzie's mother and Nick's past wife had recently died. She and Kathy had both loved Nick, the new guy in their last year of high school. Annie left Mystic and went to Stanford University on a full academic scholarship. Nick married Kathy and loved her much. Nick also understood that Kathy needed him but at the time, he was unable to answer the question, why? Annie did not find out how Kathy had died until she stopped by Nick's home later that same evening. Nick was disheveled and his home was a mess. They talked and Nick told Annie that he needed to find a new sitter for Izzie so that Jolene could have time for herself. It was at that time that Annie insisted upon babysitting Izzie. She felt a kinship with Izzie. The both of them were going through a difficult time. Annie had also lost her mother at age 10. Izzie helped Annie to work through her depression, that is what the local doctor in town had told Annie she was having a problem with. Annie was kind, understanding and loving towards Izzie and after time passed, Izzie was able to begin to be the happy child that she had once been. Izzie was quite an inspiration who helped both her dad and Annie to enjoy, once again, getting up to face a new day when the sun came up.
One of my favorite scenes was when Annie was leaving to go back to her dad's house, Annie went down to stand by Nick, while the waves washed up on shore. They talked for awhile, until the sexual attraction between them both became overpowering.
On Mystic Lake was just what I needed to read at this time. I've been reading some deep books and it was time for a break. This book was a nice interlude. The book was written well and there was good character development. I came to know who the characters were before I met them. Annie had been educated at Stanford and had graduated at the top of her class. She had learned how to start a business. Annie had always had a dream of owning a book store and Mystic had just the place for rent that would fit the bill. Annie and her mother had always shared the love of books. Nick had come from a harsh childhood to Mystic where there was that special someone to raise him and provide him with the stability that he had craved. Annie's husband, who had been Annie's catalyst to leave California and return to Washington, was able to discover who he was and not who he thought he was. Annie had an older daughter who had been in London for the 3 months while all of the changes were taking place. She grew up while she had been away, too. Her and Annie were able to come to an understanding of the fact that they were both onto a new path that would open both of their world's. Sit back, relax and enjoy. I did listen to this book all in one sitting. The narrator was excellent and made the book a great listen.
Even though I pretty much knew how this book would end, I loved the journey. I thought the kinds of struggles the main character went through were realistic. And we all know we can't fool our kids.
A Nicholas Sparks book.
I liked the best friend.
The end. When she finally gives up always trying to do the right thing and planning everything out...and that she does it for her baby.
It's like Chicken Soup because even though we all know what chicken soup tastes like, we still love it, especially when we're sick. It was just a nice love story and again while I guessed early on how it would end, I thought it was written well and that the internal struggles the characters went through were real.
On Mystic Lake had potential, but the characters were 2 dimensional. The story was predictable.
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