The Ocean Between Us [NOOK Book]

Overview


On the surface Grace Bennett has it all—three wonderful children, a devoted husband and a life of adventure and travel. But somewhere between her husband Steve's demanding career, raising a family, the constant uprooting and the Navy's routine, Grace has lost her sense of self. And when a nearly forgotten secret resurfaces, her discontent comes into sharp focus. Something needs to change. She needs to change.

Then duty calls. Now, separated by an ocean of regrets and longing, ...

See more details below
The Ocean Between Us

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Original)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$13.99 List Price

Overview


On the surface Grace Bennett has it all—three wonderful children, a devoted husband and a life of adventure and travel. But somewhere between her husband Steve's demanding career, raising a family, the constant uprooting and the Navy's routine, Grace has lost her sense of self. And when a nearly forgotten secret resurfaces, her discontent comes into sharp focus. Something needs to change. She needs to change.

Then duty calls. Now, separated by an ocean of regrets and longing, Grace and Steve are forced to take a hard look at their faltering marriage. But when the unthinkable happens, Grace is left to face a Navy wife's worst nightmare—the cold truth that life's biggest chances can slip away while you're looking for guarantees.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A midlife marital crisis threatens the stability of a squeaky-clean navy family in Wiggs's latest, which overcomes a listless, saccharine start thanks to a rousing finale aboard an aircraft carrier. Steve and Grace Bennett look like the perfect military couple: Steve, a former pilot, has become an ambitious officer, and Grace successfully cares for their three bright, talented kids while he's deployed. But rips appear in the marriage fabric when Grace, seeking more in life, starts a relocation business, begins a fitness program and buys a small but lovely house near the Seattle base they temporarily call home. Wiggs's light, engaging style keeps the story moving in the first half, despite too many syrupy family scenes and a far-fetched subplot in which Josh, a fledgling pilot under Steve's command, is revealed to be his long-lost son from a brief, ill-advised teen marriage. This revelation widens the gap between Grace and Steve, who never told her about wife number one, and Wiggs balances their turmoil with a subplot involving their oldest daughter, Emma, and a hunky but predatory high school boy whose father is Steve's boss. But the tension isn't all emotional: Josh goes on a training exercise that nearly turns deadly, and Steve, trying to stop a deadly fire aboard his aircraft carrier, gets swept overboard into the icy Pacific. While Wiggs tends to nip suspense in the bud and linger on overripe romantic sentiments, her characters are sympathetic and her tale of frayed loves mended is sure to strike a responsive chord in a maturing audience. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
There's a mishap aboard the carrier Dominion: Ordinanceman Michael Rivera is badly burned when a flare explodes on deck, and Capt. Steve Bennett goes overboard while trying to remove the damaged cylinder. Lt. Josh Lamont and his men are waved off from landing their Prowler (an all-weather aircraft) and must eject when the plane goes out of control. This latest novel by Wiggs (Home Before Dark) opens at sea, then moves to those left behind at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington State and further still to nine months before the fateful day. How did Steve and his wife, Grace, come to the disconnect that was on his mind when he approached the flares? Josh was a "nugget" (fairly new pilot), but did thinking about Lauren, to whom he had proposed, make him negligent? Could Grace continue to accept the life of a navy wife when she had goals of her own? And where do Grace and Steve's three children find their lives headed? Readers will be swept up in the struggles of these individuals as they face the challenges of military service and its familial repercussions. We learn as much about the minefields of marriage and relationships as we do about navy regs and procedures. This engrossing novel will keep readers turning the pages. Recommended for all fiction collections; fans of TV's JAG will find it especially rewarding.-Bette-Lee Fox, "Library Journal" Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459248021
  • Publisher: MIRA
  • Publication date: 8/15/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 41,257
  • File size: 634 KB

Meet the Author


Susan Wiggs is the author of many beloved bestsellers, including the popular Lakeshore Chronicles series. She has won many awards for her work, including a RITA from Romance Writers of America. Visit her website at SusanWiggs.com.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt




USS Dominion (CVN-84)

0037N 17820W

Speed 33

2215 hours (Time Zone YANKEE)

Steve Bennett glanced at the clock on his computer screen. He ought to be in his rack and sleeping soundly. Instead, he sat with his feet propped on the edge of the workstation, hands clasped behind his head while he stared at a scenic Washington State calendar and thought about Grace.

He was ten thousand miles from home, on an aircraft carrier in the middle of an unofficial communications blackout instigated by Grace herself. His wife. The mother of his children. The woman who had not spoken to him willingly since he'd been deployed.

She had maintained radio silence like a wartime spy. He received official communiqués about the children, and sometimes the occasional report that made him regret giving her power of attorney. But never more than that.

The cruise was nearly over, and for the first time in his career Steve felt apprehensive about going home. He had no idea whether or not they could put their marriage back together again.

"Captain Bennett?" An administrative officer stood in the doorway with a clipboard in one hand and a PDA in the other.

"What is it, Lieutenant Killigrew?"

"Ms. Francine Atwater is here to see you, sir."

Bennett hid a frown. He'd nearly forgotten their appointment. In the belly of a carrier there was no day or night, just an unrelenting fluorescent sameness, stale recycled air and the constant thunder of flight ops rattling through the steel bones of the ship.

"Send her in." He unfolded his long frame and stood, assuming the stiff and wary posture schooled into him by twenty-six years in the Navy. Killigrew left for a moment, then returned with the reporter. Steve would have preferred to use the public affairs office on the 01 deck, but apparently Ms. Atwater was adamant about exploring every facet of carrier life. It was, after all, the era of the embedded reporter.

Francine Atwater. Francine. A member of the "new media," eager to take advantage of the military's newly relaxed information policy. According to his briefing notes, she had arrived COD—carrier onboard delivery—and intended to spend the next two weeks in this floating city with its own airport. Both the skipper of the Dominion and Captain Mason Crowther, Commander of the Air Group, had welcomed her personally, but they'd quickly handed her off to others, and now it was Steve's turn.

"Ms. Atwater, I'm Captain Steve Bennett, Deputy Commander of the Air Group." He tried not to stare, but she was the first civilian woman he'd seen in months. In a skirt, no less. He silently paid tribute to the genius who had invented nylon stockings and cherry-colored lipstick.

"Thank you, Captain Bennett." Her glossy lips parted in a smile. She was a charmer, all right, the way she tilted her head to one side and looked up at him through long eyelashes. Still, he detected shadows of fatigue under her carefully made-up eyes.

Newcomers to the carrier usually suffered seasickness and insomnia from all the noise.

"Welcome aboard, ma'am."

"I see you've been briefed about me," she said, indicating his notes from the PAO.

"Yes, ma'am."

"What a surprise. Everyone on this ship has. I swear, the U.S. Navy knows more about me than my own mother. My blood type, shoe size, visual acuity, sophomore-year biology grade—"

"Standard procedure, ma'am." Even in lipstick and nylon stockings, the media held no appeal to the military. Still, he respected the way she stood her ground, especially while wearing three-inch heels. Civilians were advised on practical shipboard attire, but apparently no one had wanted Francine to change her shoes.

A tremendous whoosh, followed by a loud thump, rocked the ship. She staggered a little, and he put out a hand to steady her.

"Tell me I'll get used to that," she said.

"You'd better. We're launching and recovering planes around the clock, day and night. It's not going to stop." He slid open a desk drawer and took out a sealed plastic package. "Take these. I always keep plenty on hand."

"Earplugs?" She slipped the package into her briefcase. "Thanks."

He motioned her to a chair and she sat down, setting aside her bag. She took out a palm-size digital recorder, then swept the small space with a glance that shifted like a radar, homing in on the few personal items in evidence. "You have a beautiful family."

"Thank you, ma'am. I think so."

"How old are your children?"

"Brian and Emma are twins. They're seniors this year. Katie's in ninth grade. And that's Grace, my wife." A world of pain and hope underlay his words, but he prayed the reporter wouldn't notice. Every day he looked at that picture and tried to figure out what would fix this. He'd never deceived his wife before, so he didn't know how to undo the damage he'd caused. An ordinary husband would go home, take her out to dinner and say, "Look, honey. The truth is…" But Bennett couldn't do that from the middle of the ocean.

And sometimes he wondered if he even wanted to, damn it. He'd done his best to keep her from being hurt, but she didn't seem to appreciate that.

In the photo, taken at Mustang Island when they were stationed in Corpus Christi, the four of them were laughing into the camera, sunburned faces glowing.

"This is a great shot," said Ms. Atwater. "They look like the kind of people nothing bad ever happens to."

Interesting observation. He would have agreed with her, right up until this deployment. Grace and the kids were part of the all-American family, the kind you saw on minivan commercials or at summer baseball games.

"What's it like, being away from them for months on end?"

What the hell did she think it was like? A damned fraternity party?

"It's rough. I'm sure you'll hear that from a lot of the sailors on board. It's hard seeing your baby's first steps on videotape or getting a picture of a winning soccer goal by e-mail." Steve wished he had prepared himself better for her nosiness. He should have barricaded his private self. He was supposed to be good at that. According to Grace, he was the champ.

Atwater studied another photograph, this one in a slightly warped frame nearly twenty years old. "But the homecomings are sweet," she murmured, gazing down at the fading image.

He couldn't recall who had taken that shot, but he remembered the moment with painful clarity. It was the end of his first cruise after they'd married. The gray steel hull of an aircraft carrier reared in the background. Sailors, officers and civilians all crushed together, hugging with the desperate joy only military families understood. At the center, he and Grace held each other in an embrace he could still feel all these years later. He clasped her so close that her feet came off the ground, one of her dainty high heels dangling off a slender foot. He could still remember what she smelled like.

Since that photo was taken there had been dozens of other partings and reunions. He could picture each homecoming in succession—Grace pregnant with the twins, no high heels that time, just sneakers that wouldn't lace up around her swollen feet. Then Grace pushing a double stroller that wouldn't fit through doorways. By then, her perfume was more likely to be a blend of baby wipes and cough drops. In later years, the kids kept her busy as she shuffled them between music lessons, sports practices, Brownies and Boy Scouts. But she always came to meet him. She never left him standing like some loser whose wife had given him the shaft while he was at sea, who would sling his seabag over his shoulder and pretend it didn't matter, whistling under his breath as he headed straight for the nearest bar.

Yesterday had been Grace's fortieth birthday. He'd phoned and gotten the machine. Lately she was so prickly about her age, anyway. She probably wouldn't thank him for the reminder.

Atwater asked about his background, his career path in the Navy, his role on the carrier. She listened well, occasionally making notes on a small yellow pad as well as recording him. At one point he glanced at his watch and was surprised to see how much time had passed. She'd talked to him about his family for nearly an hour. He wondered if he'd told her too much. Did the American people really need to know his life was coming undone like a slipknot?

He cleared his throat. "Says on my agenda that I'm your tour guide for nighttime flight ops." He was surprised that she'd gained authorization to be on the flight deck at night, but apparently her project was important to Higher Authority.

"I've been looking forward to this, sir." She came alive in that special way of people who were in love with flying, the more high-tech and dangerous, the better. And there was no form of flying more dangerous than carrier operations.

He was dog tired, but he put on a smile because, in spite of everything, he shared her enthusiasm.

"I thought about going into the service and learning to fly," she said, her eyes shining. "Couldn't make the commitment, though."

"Lots of people can't." He said it without condemnation or pride. It was a plain fact. The U.S. Navy demanded half of your life. It was as simple as that. He'd been in the Navy since his eighteenth birthday. And of his twenty-six years of service, he'd been at sea for half of them. That kind of commitment had its rewards, but it also carried a price. He was finally figuring that out.

As he went to the door, the Inbox on his computer screen blinked, but he didn't check to see what had come in. If it was personal, he didn't want a reporter reading over his shoulder.

He led her single file down a narrow passageway tiled in blue, narrating their journey and cautioning her to avoid slamming her shins on the "knee knockers," structural members at the bottom of each hatch. Lining theP-way were dozens of red cabinets containing fire-control gear and protective clothing. The least little spark could take out half the ship if it happened to ignite in the wrong place.

Steve spoke over his shoulder, but he wasn't sure how much she was taking in. The constant din of flight ops intruded—roaring engines, the hiss and grind of the power plant and arresting gear, the whistle and screech of aircraft slamming on deck—drowning out normal conversation. In the enlisted men's mess, they created a small stir. Sailors enjoying MIDRATS—rations for personnel on night duty—stopped what they were doing the minute they saw Francine Atwater. Their jaws dropped as though unhinged. Even the female sailors stared, not with the raw yearning of the males but with wistfulness, and perhaps a flicker of disdain. In the service of their country, they had learned to do without makeup, without hair spray, without vanity.

As they climbed an open steel ladder, Atwater took it in stride, but she was probably wishing she'd worn pants and thick-soled boots. They crossed the hangar bay, where aircraft waited with wings folded like origami cranes.

In the passageway under flight-deck control, the roar of aircraft pounding the steel deck was louder still. "We need to gear up," Steve said, handing her a flight suit and boots.

"I've been briefed on safety procedures." She sat down and slipped off her civilian shoes, flashing a slim foot encased in a nylon stocking. "Hours and hours of briefing."

"The Navy loves to brief people," he admitted, hearing echoes of the endless droning of Navy gouge he'd endured over the years, litanies of instruction and advisories. "In this case, I hope you listened," he added. Then, assuming she hadn't, he reiterated the list of hazards on the flight deck. A sailor could be sucked into an engine intake. Exhaust from a jet engine had the power to blast a person across the deck, or even overboard. He'd seen large men bouncing like basketballs all the way to the deck edge. Or an arresting wire might snap as a tail hook grabbed it, whipping with enough force to sever a person's legs. Taxiing planes, scurrying yellow tractors, breaking launch bars—all were hazards waiting to happen.

His hand wandered to his throat in a habitual gesture, seeking his St. Christopher medal. Then he remembered that he'd lost it, the good-luck charm he'd had since his first deployment. He never went to sea without it. Ah, hell. At least he wasn't flying.

He distracted himself by perusing the bulletin board of one of the squadrons. The postings included items for sale or trade, a movie schedule and an invitation to the upcoming Steel Beach picnic, during which a dozen or so garage bands would perform. Personnel on board were desperate to create a normal existence in a highly abnormal situation.

It didn't always work, Steve thought.

After she finished gearing up for flight ops, Francine Atwater looked totally different. Steel-toed boots, a shiny gray-green jumpsuit and a white visitor's jersey hid all of her charms except those big brown eyes.

Feeling a bit like an airline flight attendant, he showed her how to operate her float coat. The vest was equipped with a beacon light, a packet of chemical dye to mark the water if she found herself in the drink, a flare, a whistle. "This is your MOBI," he said. It was a transmitter the size of a cell phone, with a whip antenna connected to a small box.

"Let me guess. Man Overboard…Indicator."

"You did your homework."

"I told you, I was briefed. But you're forgetting something," she said.

"What's that?"

"I don't intend to go for a midnight swim."

"Then we're on the same page." He slipped the device into the dye pouch of her float coat and closed the Velcro fastening. "But just in case, the transmitter has its own unique identification. That way, the bridge will know identity and location immediately."

"So this one has my name on it?"

"Just the number of the float coat. You want me to show you how to fasten everything?"

"I've got it," she said.

He showed her a status board outlining the night's exercises. The list indicated who was taking off, who was landing, who the crew members were, the purpose of their particular operation.

"Two of the names are in red," Atwater pointed out. "Is that significant?"

"They're nugget pilots. New guys. This is their first cruise."

"Lieutenant junior grade Joshua Lamont," she read from the chart. "Call sign Lamb."

Steve didn't move a muscle, even though the sound of Lamont's name was a punch in the gut. He wondered if he would ever get used to having Lamont under his command. A C-2 Greyhound transport plane had flown the young pilot aboard as a replacement pilot. Lamont was a member of the Sparhawks, the carrier's squadron of EA-6B Prowlers. The reporter probably thought his call sign was sweet, but Steve knew it came from an incident during training in Nevada—Little Angry Man Boy.

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

Heart to Heart Interview with Susan Wiggs

Heart to Heart: This novel's topic is incredibly current. What do you think of the book in light of the events of the past year [2003]?

Susan Wiggs: Good question! It's always a little eerie when, as a fiction writer, you tap into the zeitgeist without really meaning to. I began working on the book after 9/11 but before the second Gulf war, and I was conscious of the conflict as I wrote the story. In fact, a number of my U.S. Navy research sources were deployed, leaving my questions unanswered. Now that the book is finished, I feel incredibly proud of it. I believe it's an honest, heartfelt portrayal of an American family and their triumphs, troubles and sacrifices.

HtoH: Why write a novel about a military marriage? Why does it intrigue you?

SW: The topic, common as it is, fascinates me. I think in the book I likened another couple's marriage to an undiscovered country. However, unlike many fiction writers, I'm not all that interested in relationships that fail. It's the successful ones that intrigue me. So I wanted this book to be about a good marriage between two people who love each other but, over time, have lost each other. Fiction is about conflict, so the marriage had to be both conflict-ridden yet good at its core. Setting the marriage of the Bennetts (yes, that's a nod to Jane Austen) in a military milieu provided the perfect answer. A navy pilot's way of life is inherently dramatic, and there were all sorts of delicious possibilities for testing and exploring the couple's relationship with each other and with their almost-grown children.

HtoH: Your main characters, Grace and Steve, have 20 years of marriage behind them when we meet them. How difficult was it as a writer to pick up with your characters so far into their story?

SW: For me, this wasn't difficult at all. I knew Grace and Steve extremely well. Before I ever sit down to compose a draft of a novel, I've done heaps and heaps of preparatory work on the story, the characters, their backgrounds. I write a 500-to-1,000-word first-person bio about the major characters, finding their voices and their defining issues that way. I often write scenes that never make it into the book, but that inform me so I can write a rich, believable story. For example, in this book, I actually wrote the first meeting of Grace and Steve when she's a college girl and he's in naval pilot training. I also wrote about them moving to Guam and dealing with snakes, and her saying goodbye to him while pregnant with twins, knowing he won't be home for the birth. I had a real sense of Grace and Steve as people, and I hope that comes through in the novel.

HtoH: In The Ocean Between Us, Grace forms a special bond with several young military wives. Could you speak about the bonds between military wives that you witnessed during your research?

SW: "Young" is the operative word. They are incredibly young, because that's when the military needs their husbands. In any gathering, a good percentage of the women will be pregnant. What I observed among navy wives was that they could meet as strangers and 15 minutes later be the best of friends. Because they move every three years or more, they learn to form swift, strong bonds and to support each other through thick and thin. When someone gets in trouble, the others flock to her. The gossip -- good and bad -- flies faster than the speed of light, I swear. It's a wonderful community.

HtoH: What's next?

SW: A treat! No aircraft carrier disasters and visits from the chaplain! In July 2004, I'll have a classic beach read on the stands. Summer by the Sea is a novel about food, fun, and family set against the backdrop of an Italian restaurant at a seaside resort. Recipes included, just for fun. Thanks for asking!

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(45)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2011

    Loved this book - what a great way to showcase the military family!

    As a Navy brat growing up, seeing my dad go on several deployments to a Navy Wife watching my husband leave as well, this book brought everything together for me. Not only did it show the thoughts and feelings of the military man that was deployed and what he had to endure, but it also showed the children and wife he left behind and what they went through without him. I truly bonded with this family and highly recommend this book! You will cry, laugh, etc along with the characters as Susan Wiggs really opens up each one of them for you to see into their hearts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    THOUGHT-PROVOKING!

    For twenty years Grace Bennett has been the perfect navy wife to her husband, Steve, traveling the globe with each re-station and raising their three children.
    There is conflict between Grace and Stephen that serves as a reminder of how much family members sacrifice also, so that their loved ones can serve in the military.
    Steve knows that his navy career puts a strain on his family.
    Grace is almost 40, has gained weight, and is still WAITING to get started with her life. She wants to settle down, start a career of her own.SOMETHING!
    Steve is bewildered by Grace's sudden change of heart towards him, when he believes that his career proves how much he cares for his family and his country.
    Their children are dealing with issues. Their son is rebelling against his father's pressure to attend the Navy Academy; their older daughter is dealing with her sexuality and gets caught in a dangerous situation; the younger daughter is shy, a curse in a family that is forced to move every few years and must make new friends.
    A past secret rears its ugly head amongst the naval suspense thriller background and the emotional struggle drama that is thought-provoking and keeps the reader spellbound!

    Another one that kept me absolutely spellbound was EXPLOSION IN PARIS!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2006

    The ocean gives life, sustains life and takes it away...It's all here in this book...

    I wasn¿t sure how I was going to feel about this book, An Ocean Between Us, as I knew it was not a historical romance (which is my preferred genre of love stories to read) and that it contained the story line with many characters (I was worried I might get lost along the way with too much going on) and that it was a book heavily on the military life of a Naval family (I knew little about this way of life so, unsure if I would find it interesting or too different and a bit boring). But¿.true to form, SW writes another great one. Let¿s face it, real emotion, real conflicts, real life surpasses time and space so, when an author brings you into the heart of the story line you can¿t help but be interested and fascinated all at one time. I was impressed that SW had so many characters in live action in this book yet, no one got lost along the way. That included the main characters of Grace (mother/wife), Steve (husband/father/military man), kids Emma, Katie, Brian(their teen-aged children), Josh (Steve¿s unknown first child/military man), Lauren (Josh¿s love interest) and others such as Patricia/Officer Riviera, ex-wife Cissy, and others. As the book went on, I noticed each new chapter dealt with a different person and their view point/perspective and life event was profiled and then a new character would arrive and a switch would occur again. Eventually, you got to know everyone and back and forth it went and of course, the inevitable happens, the story life comes full circle and show why everyone is tied together. The difficulty Naval and other military families go through in service to their nation was a powerful and moving story to tell. Life apart is more common than life together. Sacrifice to a thankful nation is critical element to these families but, so is the impact of living apart for a life time when it comes to husbands, wives, kids and relatives. This book showed what can happen to even the best families when distance and time take their toll. Who do you become? What do you do? What do you hope, wish and desire? Who follows who? Who stays behind? How does life go on while loves ones are away? And all the difficulty to patching up a family due to the affects of distance and duty. I found all the twists and turns in this book enjoyable. The most important of course being, the soul searching Grace did as a middle aged woman with grown kids, a duty bound Naval man moving up the ranks of his profession and trying to figure out who you are in mid life with no career, no house, no set place to call home and a lost identity. Her journey of self ¿discovery was powerful and important ¿ I¿m sure many, many women can relate. Grace¿s story re-affirmed that you teach people how to treat you so¿treat yourself goooooood! Of course this book ended up being pretty thick and long. There was some elements that could certainly have used more time and expansion but, book can only get so big. This book over-all is a great read. Pick it up soon, read it and add it to your Susan Wiggs library. You won¿t be sorry you did. If you enjoy honest and real love stories and seeing the human spirit prevail, then this is the one for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2004

    Simply superb

    For two decades Grace Bennett has been the perfect navy wife to her beloved Steve while traveling the globe when her husband gets restationed and raising their three delightful children. So why is the devoted family matriarch feeling worthless and dissatisfied? Perhaps it is simply that her youngest is in ninth grade and like her older siblings needs mom less, but Grace thinks it goes deeper as she believes it is her identity that she lost....................................... Steve is bewildered by Grace¿s sudden change of heart towards him, as he believes that his career proves how much he cares for his family. Now deployed, he knows his marriage is in jeopardy especially since Grace has established a communication black out. He refuses to accept that he lost her without going down fighting as he loves his wife and children, but panics that Grace will not be there when he redeploys. When Stephen¿s ship is in troubled waters, Grace may not have a choice whether to remain a sailor¿s spouse with the overseas danger to her husband and the rest of the sailors on board.................................... THE OCEAN BETWEEN US excitingly plays out on two levels. There is the conflict between Grace and Stephen that serves as a reminder of how much family members sacrifice so that their loved ones can serve in a military that constantly ships out to hot spots (whom else but the military and their family have really sacrificed anything for the Global War on Terrorism?). The second theme is an action subplot that shows how dangerous the world is. Both the relationship drama and the naval suspense thriller combine to make a terrific thought provoking tale......................... Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2005

    Just wonderful!

    I picked up this book at the library even though I'm not a big reader of romance novels. Well, I stayed on the beach until 6 p.m. so I could finish it in one day! Just loved this author and can't wait to read them all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    I give t his a 5-star rating. I've read this book twice and it'

    I give t his a 5-star rating. I've read this book twice and it's one I can't put down. Having been a military wife for over 18 years, and now retired with the same man many more years, I can totally relate to Grace and sense that she wants more out of life. She is the epitome of what a commanding officer's wife shoud be, be there for the women or men who are left behind when the ship (or unit or spouse) goes to seas or other shores. The problem is, who should she go to when she's blue, unhappy, scared? At the same time she can and should look for ways she can enhance her life beyond being the CO's wife. Sometimes it's hard, especially when you have children who also need nurturing when the spouse is gone. Grace did find her self and made some changes in her life that affected all in her family. She had the respect of her children and her friends, but she had to convince her husband of the changes she made in her life that affected him as well. A well written book by Susan Wiggs, as always. This book is fast reading and interesting; I hated to put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    Tme well spent

    Susan Wiggs has written another good read. The characters were believable and true to life. I look forward to my next one by this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Great book!

    SW tells her most powerful story about how loves grows, changes, and needs to be nurtured in this fabulous book. It reminds us that we also change through our life and experiences, just like our relationships. I feel this is her most touching novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Wonderful story, great characters, really like this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    C

    ASHCLOUD
    Locked out

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Fantastic, true to Life story!!

    Susan Wigg's characters are so well developed and really pull the reader into the story. Could not put this book down..so true to life. A must read especially for any military family, but everyone else also, as I am not from a military family.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    good read, well written

    Wiggs characters are believable and it's easy to get invested in their lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Great book. Susan Wiggs is an awesome writer!

    Susan Wiggs at her best. This is a great book. Hard to put down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    Loved it!

    If you are a mom, you can relate to Grace in this book. It is a great story of Grace finding herself again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Great book!

    My book club read and all the ladies enjoyed this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    Loved it!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 29, 2011

    Great Book

    This is a great book, I would recommend it to anyone. Each chapter brought something new and different and kept you interested in the characters from beginning to end. This was my first Susan Wiggs book and plan to read more from her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 21, 2011

    good read

    Enjoyed this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Great Read

    This book was about a wife/mother learning to live her life. It points out that life is a series of transitions and growth and within a marriage it needs to be recognized that we grow and our partner needs to be aware of this also and to embrace the changes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2009

    romantic

    great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)