Anita Diamant whose rich portrayal of the biblical world of women illuminated her acclaimed international bestseller The Red Tent, now crafts a moving novel of contemporary female friendship.
Good Harbor is the long stretch of Cape Ann beach where two women friends walk and talk, sharing their personal histories and learning life's lessons from each other. Kathleen Levine, a longtime resident of Gloucester, Massachusetts, is maternal and steady, a devoted children's librarian, a convert to Judaism, and mother to two grown sons. When her serene life is thrown into turmoil by a diagnosis of breast cancer at fifty-nine, painful past secrets emerge and she desperately needs a friend. Forty-two-year-old Joyce Tabachnik is a sharp-witted freelance writer who is also at a fragile point in her life. She's come to Gloucester to follow her literary aspirations, but realizes that her husband and young daughter are becoming increasingly distant. Together, Kathleen and Joyce forge a once-in-a-lifetime bond and help each other to confront scars left by old emotional wounds....Continua
This story was pretty so-so for me. I didn't really connect with either of the main characters and didn't find the plot very compelling. When I set the book down, there wasn't all that much reason to pick it up again.
4 stars - an ejoyable read
Description from Amazon
From the bestselling author of THE RED TENT come a contemporary novel that explores the burden of secrets, the weight of grief and the healing power of female friendship When Kathleen meets Joyce, each woman has come to a turning point in her life. Kathleen, whose sister died of breast cancer fifteen years earlier, has just been diagnosed herself and finds her world abruptly thrown into terrifying turmoil. While Joyce, increasingly distant from her awkward, adolescent daughter, is taking stock of her marriage and family, and struggling to get to grips with a burgeoning career as a novelist. Neither realises that their chance meeting will result in a life-altering friendship. A mutual appreciation of books initially brings the women together and they rapidly fall into friendship, taking long walks along Good Harbor beach and talking about their lives. Piece by piece, they begin to share their personal histories and acknowledge how much they can learn from each other.
Why did you choose to read this book?
I had read and enjoyed The Red Tent so when Good Harbor was released I was keen to get hold of a copy - so keen in fact that I bought it in hardback. Luckily I bought it for 1/2 price (the sticker is still on the cover) as according to the receipt tucked inside I bought this book in December 2002! I’m actually quite embarrased that it has taken me more than 5 years to actually read it - and am vowing never to buy a hardback copy of anything again - this isn’t the first time I’ve left a book sitting on the shelf so long I could have just bought the paperback version and saved some ££ ;0)
A review of the book
The novel centres around Kathleen, resident of Gloucester, who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer - and Joyce a budding novelist who has just bought a summerhouse in the area.
The two women meet at a Jewish Temple and become fast friends - taking long walks along the beach at Good Harbor, sharing the stories of their lives - an act which helps them both discover more about themselves and ultimately come to accept the paths that they have taken.
Could you relate to the characters? Did you empathise with them and their plight?
I found it quite hard to relate to the characters in this book - they are both much older than me and I have no experience with many of the novel’s themes; motherhood, breast cancer, religion. Despite this I was able to empathise with them as Diamant does a good job of describing their experiences and their thoughts and feelings.
There was a central theme to which I think we can all relate - that of keeping thoughts and feelings to yourself and not sharing with those closest to you for fear of hurting their feelings, or fear of making them think less of you.
How realistic was the characterisation? Would you want to meet any of the characters? Did you like them? Hate them?
I really enjoyed spending time with Kathleen and Joyce - and feel I have become to know them well and would like to meet similar souls in real life - if you have a few hours to spare one Sunday afternoon and want a good book to curl up with then I recommend you pick up a copy of Good Harbor....Continua