Cloud Nine

( 34 )


Sarah Talbot surely thought she'd never live to see another birthday. But against all odds, she beat the disease that threatened to take her life and she reopened her bedding shop, Cloud Nine. It is a new beginning for Sarah - a fresh start at life that few are given. It is a time to take roads she always passed by, to experience a world she'd all too often watched from the sidelines. And Sarah is determined to take every advantage of her newfound opportunity. Her first adventure comes during a special birthday ...
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Sarah Talbot surely thought she'd never live to see another birthday. But against all odds, she beat the disease that threatened to take her life and she reopened her bedding shop, Cloud Nine. It is a new beginning for Sarah - a fresh start at life that few are given. It is a time to take roads she always passed by, to experience a world she'd all too often watched from the sidelines. And Sarah is determined to take every advantage of her newfound opportunity. Her first adventure comes during a special birthday present from her friends: a ride over upstate New York in a small chartered plane. From there she views the spectacular autumn foliage. Yet, as so often happens when one takes chances, the unexpected occurs. For it is on this flight that she meets Will Burke, a former Navy pilot whose strength and confidence attract Sarah as much as the vulnerability he tries hard to conceal.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Immensely moving...Tender and heartbreaking."—Iris Johansen

"A tightly paced story that is hard to put down...Rice's message remains a powerful one: the strength of precious family ties can ultimately set things right."—Publishers Weekly

"One of those rare reading experiences that we always hope for when cracking the cover of a book...A joy."—Library Journal

"Luanne Rice touches the deepest, most tender corners of the heart."—Tami Hoag, author of Ashes to Ashes

"Elegant...Rice hooks the reader on the first page."—The Hartford Courant

"Warm, sweet, and deeply touching...a novel filled with poignant emotion and the fine, soft twist of elegant storytelling...a heartfelt look inside the workings of ordinary yet extraordinary lives."—Deborah Smith, author of When Venus Fell

"A celebration of family and the healing power of love. Poignant and of those rare books which refreshes and renews the landscape of women's fiction for a new generation of readers."…—Jayne Ann Krentz, author of Sharp Edges

Kimberly B. Marlowe especially good at getting inside the heads of the teen-agers as they watch the adults navigate through years of unfinished business-of-the-heart. -- The New York Times Book Review
Jessi Rose Lucas
Luanne Rice, author of Home Fires and the exquisite Blue Moon, has never written less than a superb, literate novel. Her new one is called Cloud Nine, and the title refers to more than just the shop of the same name that the heroine runs -- it also refers to the heights to which the human heart can rise despite the depths of life's misfortunes. This is a truly literary love story, with a woman at its center who both learns and teaches that life is precious and time is of the essence.

Sarah Talbot has spent her time in miserable health. One day she is having seizures, and the next, after the scans and checks from the doctors, she finds herself with a full-blown tumor. The prognosis is not good, and she is fairly sure she won't see another year come and go. But, in fact, she begins to recover, and it's as if her lease on life has been renewed. One of her first treats for her birthday is a ride in a plane. Will Burke is the pilot in charge, and as soon as they meet, there's a spark of recognition between them. Will's divorced and raising his daughter, Susan, a bit of a handful who keeps changing her name in order to find one that feels right for her. At the moment, she's known as Secret, and it's as much through her eyes as through Sarah's that the story unfolds.

As Sarah gradually reclaims her life, she tries to reconcile with her son, Mike, who has gone to live with his grandfather, but finds a new hope in her love for Will and her shop of antiques and quilts, Cloud Nine. As she becomes a focal point for the town of Fort Cromwell, New York, and as Will Burke learns to love and live through Sarah's spirit, a dark cloud returns to all their lives.

Cloud Nine is gorgeous storytelling matched with lyrical prose -- but get out your handkerchiefs for this one, and be prepared for the most touching love story of the year.
— Jessi Rose Lucas,

Kirkus Reviews
The obstacles inherent in finding true love, fighting terminal cancer, reconciling a broken family and maintaining the family farm are resolved—all within a few weeks—in this latest schmaltz-fest from Rice (Home Fires). Having just been given a clean bill of health after battling a brain tumor, 37-year-old Sarah Talbot is treated for her birthday to an airplane ride over rural New York. Her pilot, the dashing Will Burke, takes a fast shine to her rhapsodic happiness, which alchemizes his leaden gloom into golden hope. That's just what Will needs since the disintegration of his family: After his son Fred drowned (Will blames himself—he's a trained Navy rescue operative), he and his wife divorced, he quit the Navy to become a charter pilot, and his teenage daughter Susan lost, or seemed to lose, her marbles. Sarah and Will meet again by chance at a country fair, where Sarah hires him to take her back to Elk Island for Thanksgiving. Dangling off the coast of Maine, this remote spot was Sarah's childhood refuge; her teenage son and father now live there. Sarah longs to bring the runaway Mike back home with her and to reconcile with the father whons never forgiven her for leaving the island. Meanwhile, Will's daughter Susan stows away for the trip to escape the dreariness of life with her tight-lipped mother and pretentious stepfather. The island is a fantasy for all concerned. Though they barely know each other, Sarah and Will fall madly in love; Susanns mesmerized by everything—island life, Sarah, and handsome Mike. When Mike falls through an iced-over pond, Will even manages to save him. But nothing this good, of course, can last. An unbelievable death walkdown the aisle tops off this syrupy concoction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553580990
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/4/2000
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 441,429
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.92 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Luanne Rice
Luanne Rice is the author of numerous novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Cloud Nine, Follow the Stars Home, Dream Country, and Summer Light, all available from Brilliance Audio. Originally from Connecticut, she now lives in New York City with her husband.


Luanne Rice is the New York Times- bestselling author who has inspired the devotion of readers everywhere with her moving novels of love and family. She has been hailed by critics for her unique gifts, which have been described as "a beautiful blend of love and humor, with a little magic thrown in."

Rice began her writing career in 1985 with her debut novel Angels All Over Town. Since then, she has gone on to pen a string of heartwarming bestsellers. Several of her books have been adapted for television, including Crazy in Love, Blue Moon, Follow the Stars Home, and Beach Girls.

Rice was born in New Britain, Connecticut, where her father sold typewriters and her mother, a writer and artist, taught English. Throughout her childhood, Rice spent winters in New Britain and summers by Long Island Sound in Old Lyme, where her mother would hold writing workshops for local children. Rice's talent emerged at a very young age, and her first short story was published in American Girl Magazinewhen she was 15.

Rice later attended Connecticut College, but dropped out when her father became very ill. At this point, she knew she wanted to be a writer. Instead of returning to college, Rice took on many odd jobs, including working as a cook and maid for an exalted Rhode Island family, as well as fishing on a scallop boat during winter storms. These life experiences not only cultivated the author's love and talent for writing, but shaped the common backdrops in her novels of family and relationships on the Eastern seaboard. A true storyteller with a unique ability to combine realism and romance, Rice continues to enthrall readers with her luminous stories of life's triumphs and challenges.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Luanne:

"I take guitar lessons."

  • "I was queen of the junior prom. Voted in, according to one high school friend I saw recently, as a joke because my date and I were so shy, everyone thought it would be hilarious to see us onstage with crowns on our heads. It was 1972, and the theme of the prom was Color My World. For some reason I told my guitar teacher that story, and he said Yeah, color my world with goat's blood."

  • "I shared a room with both sisters when we were little, and I felt sorry for kids who had their own rooms."

  • "To support myself while writing in the early days, I worked as a maid and cook in one of the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. I'd learned to love to cook in high school, by taking French cooking from Sister Denise at the convent next door to the school. The family I worked for didn't like French cooking and preferred broiled meat, well done, and frozen vegetables. They were particular about the brand—they liked the kind with the enclosed sauce packet. My grandmother Mim, who'd always lived with us, had taken the ferry from Providence to Newport every weekend during her years working at the hosiery factory, so being in that city made me feel connected to her."

  • "I lived in Paris. The apartment was in the Eighth Arrondissement. Every morning I'd take my dog for a walk to buy the International Herald Tribune and have coffee at a café around the corner. Then I'd go upstairs to the top floor, where I'd converted one of the old servant's rooms into a writing room, and write. For breaks I'd walk along the Seine and study my French lesson. Days of museums, salons du thé, and wandering the city. Living in another country gave me a different perspective on the world. I'm glad I realized there's not just one way to see things.

    While living there, I found out my mother had a brain tumor. She came to Paris to stay with me and have chemotherapy at the American Hospital. She'd never been on a plane before that trip. In spite of her illness, she loved seeing Paris. I took her to London for a week, and as a teacher of English and a lover of Dickens, that was her high point.

    After she died, I returned to France and made a pilgrimage to the Camargue, in the South. It is a mystical landscape of marsh grass, wild bulls, and white horses. It is home to one of the largest nature sanctuaries in the world, and I saw countless species of birds. The town of Stes. Maries de la Mer is inspiring beyond words. Different cultures visit the mysterious Saint Sarah, and the presence of the faithful at the edge of the sea made me feel part of something huge and eternal. And all of it inspired my novel Light of the Moon."

  • "I dedicated a book to Bruce Springsteen. It's The Secret Hour, which at first glance isn't a novel you'd connect with him—the novel is about a woman whose sister might or might not have been taken by a serial killer. I wrote it during a time when I felt under siege, and I used those deeply personal feelings for my fiction. Bruce was touring and I was attending his shows with a good friend. The music and band and Bruce and my friend made me feel somehow accompanied and lightened as I went through that time and reached into those dark places.

    During that period I also wrote two linked books—Summer's Childand Summer of Roses. They deal with the harsh reality of domestic violence and follow The Secret Hour and The Perfect Summer When I look back at those books, that time of my life, I see myself as a brave person. Instead of hiding from painful truths, I tried to explore and bring them to the light through my fiction. During that period, I met amazing women and became involved with trying to help families affected by abuse—in particular, a group near my small town in Connecticut, and Deborah Epstein's domestic violence clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. I learned that emotional abuse leaves no overt outward scars, but wounds deeply, in ways that take a long time to heal. A counselor recommended The Verbally Abusive Relationshipby Patricia Evans. It is life-changing, and I have given it to many women over the years."

  • "I became a vegetarian. I decided that, having been affected by brutality, I wanted only gentleness and peace in my life. Having experienced fear, I knew I could never willingly inflict harm or fear on another creature. All is related. A friend reminds me of a great quote in the Zen tradition: "How you do anything is how you do everything."
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      1. Date of Birth:
        September 25, 1955
      2. Place of Birth:
        New Britain, CT

    Read an Excerpt

    Another autumn had come to Fort Cromwell, New York, and Sarah Talbot was there to see it. She sat on the front porch of her small white house, drinking apple cinnamon tea, wondering what to do next. The college kids next door were washing their car. Spray from the hose misted her face. Wrapped in a red plaid blanket, she tilted her face to the sun, and imagined the drops were saltwater and she was home on Elk Island.

    A blue sedan drove slowly down the street. It looked municipal, as if it might belong to an undercover police officer or street inspector. FORT CROMWELL VNA was stenciled on the side, and when it parked in Sarah's driveway, a small, trim woman in a white coat climbed out.

    Sarah smiled to see her.

    "What are you doing here?" Sarah asked.

    "That's a fine greeting," the visiting nurse said.

    "I thought you were done with me," Sarah said. Holding her blanket with one hand, she used the other to unconsciously ruffle her closely shorn white hair.

    "Done with you? My daughter would kill me. Besides, do you think that's how I treat my friends?"

    "I'm your patient, Meg," Sarah said, smiling.

    "Were, Sarah. Were. We're here to take you for a ride."

    "A ride? Where--" Sarah began. Glancing at the car, she noticed Mimi in the backseat.

    "Happy birthday, Sarah," Meg said, bending down to hug her.

    Sarah reached up. She put her arms around the visiting nurse and smelled her citrus-scented shampoo. Meg's pockets jangled with keys, pens, and a stethoscope. A colorful plastic teddy bear was pinned to her lapel, just above her name tag. Sarah could feel by the new padding between her bones and Meg's skin thatshe was putting on weight. The hug felt good, and she bit her lip.

    "How did you know?" Sarah asked when they pulled apart. Today was her thirty-seventh birthday. She was having a quiet day: no party, no cards or calls from home. In the car's back window Mimi was waving with one hand, trying to paste up a bright pink sign with the other. In silver glitter she had written MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY!

    "I read your chart," Meg said, grinning. "Come on."

    Will Burke stood in the hangar, his head under the hood of the Piper Aztec. Fall was his biggest season. He needed all three of the planes he owned serviced and ready to fly. The lake region was a tourist destination, with all the cider mills and foliage trails. He operated fifteen-minute aerial tours, especially popular during the Fort Cromwell Fair. The end of October brought parents' weekends at two area colleges, with scheduled flights back and forth to New York, shuttling parents to see the big games and visit their kids.

    At the sound of tires crunching over the gravel outside, he wiped his socket wrench on a blue rag and placed it on his tall red toolbox. He checked his watch: four o'clock. A friend of his daughter's had booked a quick birthday tour, up and down, a fifteen-minute scenic loop of the lake and mountain. An easy thirty dollars, and he'd be back to the tune-up in no time.

    Tucking his work shirt into his jeans, Will walked outside to greet his customers. He didn't really feel like taking a break, but the afternoon was sunny, and the fresh air felt good, so he found himself smiling at the car anyway. He waved as they pulled up.

    Meg and Mimi Ferguson got out. Meg was the town visiting nurse, and she yelled hello with cheerful efficiency, making Will smile a little wider. He hung back, wondering which one had the birthday. His daughter sometimes baby-sat for Mimi, and judging from what he remembered, Mimi must be about ten.

    But then someone new got out of the car, a woman Will had never seen. She was small and thin, the size of an underfed teenager. Her skin was pale and translucent, like high cloud cover on a fall day, and her head was covered with blond peach fuzz. It was the way she looked at the sky that caught Will's attention: with total rapture, as if she hadn't ever seen it so blue before, or as if she couldn't believe she was about to go up in it.

    "Ready to fly?" he asked.

    "Which plane, Mr. Burke?" Mimi asked, excited.

    "That one," he said, pointing at the two-seater Piper Cub.

    "We can't all fit?" Mimi asked, disappointed.

    "Now, Mimi--" Meg began.

    "Sorry, Mimi," Will said. "The big plane's getting an oil change. If I'd known . . ."

    "You know what, Mimi?" the woman said eagerly. "Why don't you go up for me?"

    "It's your birthday flight," Mimi said. "It was my idea, and we want you to go."

    "Happy birthday," Will said to the woman.

    "Thank you." Again, that expression of amazement, as if she had never been so happy. She stared at him directly, and he had that shock he felt when coming upon a person he knew from somewhere, hardly at all, but who has undergone a drastic change of appearance. A weight gain or loss, a different hairstyle, a drop in health. He had seen this woman around town looking quite different. Then, for some strange reason, he pointed at the sky.

    "Ready?" he asked.

    "I am," she said.

    "Let's go," he said. Then, speaking to Mimi in a voice he tried to keep from sounding overly hopeful, he said, "Hey, Susan's in the office. She'd be glad to see you."

    Secret's dad had brought her to the airport. Her allergies were out of control, and the school nurse had tried to call her mother, but of course she wasn't home. So Secret had told her to call Burke Aviation and ask for Will: Her father would definitely pick her up. And he had. She'd felt better almost immediately upon reaching the airport, but there was no point in going back to school: the day was almost over. She slouched at his desk, painting her nails. Craning her neck, she could just see the action outside, through the big window. Mimi and her mom and their friend were standing by the landing strip, talking to him.

    Of all the kids Secret baby-sat for, Mimi was the best. She was a nice little kid. She listened to her parents, never tried to get Secret to pierce her ears in weird places, and wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up. She had Dreams and Goals, she knew there was more to life than Emma Turnley, the only school in this one-horse town, just as Secret herself did.

    "Hi, Susan," Mimi said, bursting through the door.

    "'Susan'?" Secret said, barely looking up. "There's no one named Susan here."

    "That's right, I forgot," Mimi said, grinning. "Secret. You changed your name. What're you doing?"

    "October is the month for witchy doings, and since you know I'm a witch, I'm painting my nails accordingly," Secret said patiently, as if she were explaining something terribly obvious to a dim but cherished friend. She wiggled her fingers at Mimi, casting a spell.

    "Wow," Mimi said, admiring the artwork. Secret had used India ink and a crow-quill pen to paint delicate spiderwebs on her iridescent pale blue nails. Being right-handed, her left hand was more intricately done, with microscopic spiders clinging to the silken strands.

    "You brought that lady here for her plane ride, I see," Secret said, looking out the window again. The airport was tiny, and there wasn't much activity. "Was she surprised?"

    "Very surprised," Mimi said. "I'm glad you suggested it."
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    One of Luanne Rice’s most emotionally powerful novels, Cloud Nine tells the story of Sarah Talbot, a cancer survivor who beats the odds and vows to make the most of her second chance at life. Her family presents big challenges, though, especially her son and her father. Both of them are reeling from previous losses, hardening their hearts against Sarah because they nearly lost her too. With Thanksgiving approaching, she charters a small plane to visit them at the family home in a rugged corner of Maine. The pilot, Will Burke, is immediately captivated by her courageous spirit, sparking a passion that burns brighter than anything they have experienced before. The love between Will and Sarah begins to heal their families, granting the strength to face their darkest fears … even when the future threatens to shatter their fragile new bonds.

    The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Luanne Rice’s Cloud Nine. We hope they will enrich your experience of this deeply moving novel.

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    Reading Group Guide

    1. Discuss the novel’s title. What did Sarah hope to give the customers of her bedding shop? How does the world look to her from the sky, with Will piloting? Where do you find your perfect bliss? Which people in your life help you attain it?

    2. How does Sarah approach her illness? What gives her the courage to be optimistic during her recovery? What can she teach everyone who faces a daunting challenge?

    3. How does Susan cope with the loss of Fred? What is reflected in her wish to change her name, and in the rage she sometimes expresses in front of her parents?

    4. How was Sarah affected by the death of her mother? Is George’s response to grief typical of most spouses? Why does Mike feel more comfortable being with George than with Sarah?

    5. Discuss Will’s ex-wife, Alice, and her newfound wealth with Julian. What is missing from her life, despite the financial success? Were she and Will ever a good match?

    6. What does Mike need in order to feel secure in the world? How did your opinion of him shift throughout the novel?

    7. Why were Will and Sarah drawn to each other so quickly? How do they forge common ground between her past and his–including his history with the navy, and the loss of parents?

    8. How is Sarah changed by being reawakened sexually? How did illness and recovery influence her perception of her body?

    9. Many of the novel’s characters grapple with the question of why bad things happen to good people. What approaches have you seen to tragedies such as the ones that unfold in Cloud Nine?

    10. How has Sarah’s relationship with her family changed by the novel’s closing chapters? What kinds of homecoming experiences did she have? How did the Talbot’s Thanksgiving gathering compare to yours?

    11. Why is it important for Will to marry Sarah? What pain from the past is washed away in that moment?

    12. How did you react to the novel’s epilogue? What legacy is left for Susan, and for all of the novel’s characters?

    13. Luanne Rice often draws on the unique landscape of New England in crafting her novels. What makes the setting of Cloud Nine appropriate for the characters’ lives? What are the beauties and shortcomings of Elk Island and its remote location?

    14. In what ways does Cloud Nine underscore the wisdom of love that is evident in each of Luanne Rice’s novels? How does this novel offer a new definition of a happy ending?

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 34 )
    Rating Distribution

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 25, 2014

      Warrior Den

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 31, 2013



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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 18, 2013

      To below

      It is not dec31 you stuped

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 31, 2012

      This is the elders den

      This is the elders den. It has some rocks at the entrance that are perfect for basking.


      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 8, 2012



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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 8, 2012

      The Story of CloudClan- Chapter 1, Part 3 (Note: Chapter 1 part 1 and Chapter 1 part 2 got switched. Read the Yellow book first, then the Red and Black book!)

      Why can't he be nice like Chesnutblaze- or you?"
      "Well, some warriors are meaner than others. Also, Darkfur is extremely loyal to Stormstar. When Stormstar is sad, Darkfur is sad." Goldenstone set her emerald eyes on Cloudkit. "Don't get discouraged! If you want to be a great warrior, you must keep strong."
      Cloudkit nodded, but her eyes still seemed dull. "What are the other dens named?"
      "Well, there's the apprentice's den, the medicine cat den, and the leader's den. We could go to the apprentice's den, because that's where you're going to be when you're older."
      Cloudkit still seemed sad, but nevertheless nodded her head.
      "The apprentice's den is that fallen, hollowed out tree!"
      "Uhm, okay." Cloudkit waited until the golden she-cat took the lead, and followed her, her tail dragging limp on the frost-encrusted grass.
      The pair got to the hollow log. Cloudkit, suddenly getting back the urge to meet new cats, leapt into the log. "Hi! My name is Cloud-" she ended her speech abruptly as she saw the den was deserted. The only thing that inhabited it was a large lump of moss.
      "Where is everyone?" Cloudkit stepped inquiringly into the empty den. "Are they on patrols?"
      Goldenstone shook her head. "No. There are currently no apprentices." Her green eyes turned dull with saddness and worry. "All the apprentices were turned into warriors several moons ago. And the harsh leafbare killed all of the kits that were becoming apprentices. And since there will most likely be no more kits until newleaf, you, and only you, my sweet," Goldenstone touched her nose onto Cloudkit's flank, "will be the lone apprentice." Her voice sounded hollow in the airy den.
      Instead of puffing out her chest with pride, the white she-kit's silver ears drooped. "B-but I won't have any friends!!"
      "Of course you will! The warriors have already made good friends with you, and sooner or later, a queen will kit."
      Goldenstone looked sympethetically at Cloudkit. "Don't worry. Being an apprentice is fun! I remember my apprenticeship, and if I enjoyed it, you will as well."
      "What /do/ apprentices do anyway?"
      "They train to become warriors, or on occasions, a medicine cat."
      Cloudkit's eyes finally filled with happiness. "You mean, a real warrior? Like the warriors that we saw before?"
      Cloudkit started to jump around excitedly once again. "Yay! Let's start my apprenticeship now!"
      Goldenstone laughed. "You certainly are enthusiastic enough," she chirruped. "But becoming an apprentice before you a six moons old is against the warrior code! And StarClan would not like that."
      "Oh…" Cloudkit fell to the ground mid-leap before jumping up again, in her usual animated way. "Well, I can ask StarClan to make an exception for me! Problem solved."
      Her yellow mother chuckled. "Would you like to make a nest?"
      Goldenstone showed her daughter how to make a nest, from stripping the moss off the large lump to mashing it together. Once it was done, Cloudkit leapt into the dark green bed. "Wow! It's so nice and soft. But it's not as soft as the one in our normal den, though!"
      The golden mother gently scruffed Cloudkit and lifted her off the nest. "Time to go."
      Cloudkit leapt out the den and nearly crashed into a dark gray tabby tom. The cat snarled at her, and unsheathed his silver claws.
      As Cloudkit crouched to the ground, awaiting the blow, she felt herself get picked up. She thrashed and kicked until she smelled a familiar scent."Goldenstone!"

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 28, 2010


      I found Cloud Nine to be a thoughtful and inspirational book. People will be able to relate to the story line but if your looking for the happy uplifting book, this book is not the way to go. Throughout the book issues such as cancer and divorce are brought up in almost every chapter. And these are the sort of issues that many people in America and anywhere else in the world can relate too. The way some of the characters react to the problems they face are great examples of courage and strength.

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    • Posted October 10, 2009



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    • Posted August 21, 2009

      Not Up To Par

      I was very disappointed in this book. This is not Luanne Rice's earlier style of writing. Beach Girls, Fire Fly Beach, Home Fries and Summer Child just to name a few were great reads, books with characters and situations that you could relate too, plots that were similar but diversified enough to hold your attention. I was bored reading Cloud Nine and skimmed the last couple chapters. This could have been a great read if the character personalities and events were not repeated so many times through out the book. It was a good plot with strong characters but they really did not advance. Susan's Mother and Step-father could have been stronger and more involved in the plot. But Susan's real father was lost his credibility expressing his undying love. Come on Luanne no one talks like that. This is the second book of her that I have to give thumbs down.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 5, 2008

      A reviewer

      I've enjoyed many of Luann Rice's books, and this one got off to a nice start with Sarah meeting Will on her birthday flight, but then things began happening way too fast to be believable. The course of Sarah's illness was weird--she is in complete remission but then suddenly has a devastating recurrence that puts her close to death? The whole thing happens over one Thanksgiving weekend! The author could have spent more time letting the relationship between Sarah and Will evolve, and the recurrence of Sarah's cancer could have happened a bit more gradually. Highly dramatic events happen in rapid succession, and then the conclusion of the story comes immediately afterward. All of the talk about the bonds of love between the characters rang false because the main characters only connected with each other for a few weeks! Too cheesy. When I started the book, I loved the characters almost immediately but then I felt cheated by the lack of development. I can recommend several of Luann Rice's books, but I would definitely skip this one.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted September 2, 2006

      Too sad

      This book was very sweet and touching. Her stories always make me want to find a life like her characters. Cloud Nine, however, gripped you from the beginning and you get to know the characters. When I got to the end I cried and cried and cried like Sarah was someone I knew personally.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted September 1, 2005

      Touching story

      This story was beautifully written. I think this is one of her best.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 4, 2005

      A Touching book

      Some people say that hard times make hard people, but this book shows that there must be exceptions, Sarah is a loving person who's only show of her rocky life is her halo of yellowish grey hair and her too skinny frame. Sarah's cancer has been in remission for a short time and she decides to seize the life she still has and hold on for all she's worth. Leaving her pride and joy, a bedding store called Cloud Nine, she impulsively vacations back to the island she grew up on and brings a man along who she has just begun to know... As much as Sarah loves being on the island with her son, father, aunt, snow and Will, the questions always seem to creep in like the tide from the ocean surrounding their island. How can she fall in love with Will in such an uncertain future? Will her father ever lose his fear of attachments long enough to show his love for his daughter? Then a sudden accident occurs, and Sarah makes a promise she must keep, one with fatal consequences. Will she find the true meaning of home and love in the short time she has left?

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 5, 2004


      This is the best Luanne Rice book I have read yet. I was hooked from the first chapter and was I couldnt put the book down until I reached the end. Very emotional and touching.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 16, 2004

      No Doubt- A Page Turner

      This is my favorite book of all time. Luanne Rice has shown her talent most of all through this book. I never cry at the end of a book, but I suppose Sarah is like my mom. Rice makes everything seem so real, it will inspire you in so many ways and make you realize that true love is out there somewhere. Hoag was definitely right when she said Rice touches the deepest corners of the heart.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 22, 2003

      Sad Ending

      I have read several of Luanne Rice's novels, but this one was ruined with the ending. Too sad for me...too much to bear. Although it is a slice of life, I like to read something with a brighter ending.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 23, 2002

      First Time Luanne Rice Reader

      I think this is the first book that has ever brought tears to my eyes. I enjoyed every page and couldn't put the book down. I will read other books by Ms. Rice. Thanks to my coworker for loaning this book to me!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 31, 2001

      sorry, too sappy

      wow, after reading this book, then reading all the rave reviews, I'm wondering if they only publish favorable reviews so they can sell more books...hmmm. Well, I did not find the characters or story very believable. I had a really hard time finishing it, but felt I had to, as it was recommended for a book club discussion. It was too much of a tear-jerker, romance.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 19, 2001



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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 6, 2001

      an emotional success

      I haven't cried over a book in years. This books pulls chords and makes you think!!

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