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on July 19, 2004
While back-to-school shopping with her teenaged children, navy wife Grace Bennett catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror and doesn't like what she sees. She's nearing 40, has gained weight, and is still 'waiting' to get started with her life. Things she realizes are important, like getting a house, settling down, and developing a career of her own have been put on hold to let her devote herself to her family and to her husband, Navy Captain Steve Bennett's career. When she spots and falls in love with a beautiful home, she decides she can't take the waiting any longer.
Steve Bennett knows that his navy career puts strains on the family. Still, Grace knew that when she married him and it doesn't seem fair that she's changing the rules now. And a house is silly, really, as he'll be transferred again as he moves up the career ladder. He blows off Grace's concerns--until a long-buried secret from his past rears up and puts a tear in their already damaged relationship.
Steve and Grace's children are dealing with their own issues: their son is rebelling against his father's pressure to attend the Navy Academy; their older daughter is dealing with her new-found sexuality--and gets caught in a dangerous situation she can see no way out of; the younger daughter is the shy one--a curse in a family that moves every few years and must make new friends, new alliances whenever they do. The pressures military service puts on families are echoed in the problems and joys faced by Grace's circle of friends, especially her fitness coach Lauren, who has fallen for a young navy airman.
Author Susan Wiggs brings a strong emotional focus to the issues of the military spouse and woman's search for identity in a world still largely defined by men. Grace is a strong and sympathetic character, torn between her love for a man and her own need for autonomy, reinforced by her discovery that he has kept a secret from her throughout their marriage. Wiggs further hooks the reader by dealing with the issue of date-rape. Ultimately, the story is that of Grace's growth. She transforms herself from a woman who defines herself by her husband to a woman who can stand on her own feet--yet is strong enough to welcome a man into her arms if he is prepared to treat her as an equal rather than someone to whom orders can be given.
It took me a few chapters to get into this story but the payoff was definitely worth the investment. Wiggs demonstrates again why she is one of the top authors in romance/woman's fiction today.
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on April 1, 2004
Rebeccasreads highly recommends THE OCEAN BETWEEN US as a powerful novel of love & lies, youth & maturity, commitment & courage, getting hurt & second chances. It pays homage to military wives everywhere -- those intrepid, dedicated women who will live for the most part alone, raising children, moving from base to base, while being the anchor to which their husbands will return ... hopefully.
In THE OCEAN BETWEEN US, we are embedded with DCAG Captain Steven Bennett on an aircraft carrier somewhere off East Asia. Back home on Whidbey Island, in the heart of the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, there is a military base which has recently deployed hundreds of men & women in the fight against terrorism. There Grace Bennett, a 20 year veteran Naval wife struggles with the fallout from her husband's last time home, her children's imminent graduation from high school, her mid-life crisis, & the fears & troubles of the younger military wives in her care.
A thoughtful, emotional & hopeful novel that makes you want to stand up & cheer!
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on April 11, 2004
I have read a few of Susan Wiggs novels and I found them enjoyable reads. But this one blew me away, without a doubt, this is her best!!
Maybe because I am at that age and facing those same crossroads in life...but it touched my heart and gave me faith in what we all search for... a true love (of one or a family). It also made me realize how much the miltary men as well as their families sacrafice for our country.
There is so much more...but I suggest you purchase a copy...and kick was THAT good..I read it in one day...and you will want to as well!!!
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on July 9, 2004
What can I say, this book just blew me away. The Bennetts are an American family that will remind you of your own, or the way things should be when people love each other.
There was something about the pacing of this one, it just would not let me put it down. I would start thinking I had figured out one of the storylines, and then the story would turn another corner and I'd find myself in a completely different place! Masterful!
This is the ultimate read--rich, rewarding and calorie free.
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on May 31, 2004
I have read several of Susan Wiggs books and have enjoyed all of them, but this one was OUTSTANDING !!!! I loved the realistic relationships that the characters had with each other...and felt like I knew them -- didn't want the book to end. I would highly recommend this book !!!!
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on October 6, 2014
I really enjoyed the first book, but sad to say the second has only got me saying, "'s okay." I like it enough to finish it though - if that means anything.
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on July 28, 2013
Great sequel to "The Story of Us". "The Story of Us" was amazingly quick reading or was very short. "The Ocean Between Us" had more meat.
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