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.
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.
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
Another Kristin Hannah successful novel about life, love, betrayal, family and fun. So heartwarming and at the same time gut wrenching. Brilliant narration by Susan Erickson once again, brings the magic of Hannah's words to your heart and soul. This screams for a sequel, please.
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.
Nothing spectacular, but it held my interest enough to hang in there, the narration was great. I kept listening, wanting more to happen each day, wanting someone to take a stand for theirself, whether it be Annie or Nick. I was disappointed in the portrayal of the main character and wanted to shake her to see the reality of her husband and his failures. Annie's daughter was a non-character for much of the story, I would of liked to see more out of her. What kept me listening was my love of the Pacific Northwest more than anything. The story was kind of predictable, maybe that is why the author threw in the non-ending? When listening to a book, I often don't know when the end is about to happen, unlike with a book in hand and you can see the last page coming. So this story just kind of stopped, and left me hanging. Wondering.
Bought by mistake but listened out of curiosity. Loved the narrator but the romance novel just isn't my genre. Having said that, the book was well written. Language flowed, conveyed the intended emotions.
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.
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