Safe Within

( 5 )

Overview

A novel of how family happens—whether you like it or not

Elaine and Carson Forsyth have returned to the tree house—Elaine's childhood home, a cabin nestled high in the branches of two oaks beside a North Carolina lake—where forty-nine-year-old Carson has chosen to spend the waning days of his life. As Elaine prepares for a future without her beloved husband, their solace is interrupted. Carson's mother, Greta, has set loose a neighbor's herd of alpacas and landed herself in ...

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Safe Within

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Overview

A novel of how family happens—whether you like it or not

Elaine and Carson Forsyth have returned to the tree house—Elaine's childhood home, a cabin nestled high in the branches of two oaks beside a North Carolina lake—where forty-nine-year-old Carson has chosen to spend the waning days of his life. As Elaine prepares for a future without her beloved husband, their solace is interrupted. Carson's mother, Greta, has set loose a neighbor's herd of alpacas and landed herself in police custody. While Carson, remarkably, sees humor in the situation, Elaine can only question what her obligations are—and will be—to a woman who hasn't spoken to her in more than twenty years.

In the wake of Carson's death, Elaine and their grown son, Mick, are thrust into the maelstrom of Greta, the mother-in-law and grandmother who never accepted either of them. Just as they are trying to figure out their new roles in the family, Mick uncovers unexpected questions of his own. A long-ago teenage relationship with a local girl may have left him with more than just memories, and he must get to the bottom of Greta's surprising accusations that he's not Carson's son at all.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Page portrays these past and present emotional quagmires with an acutely intuitive eye, drawing the reader into the complicated lives of her sympathetic characters.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“A complex, well-orchestrated family drama.”
Booklist on The Space Between Before and After
“Page portrays these past and present emotional quagmires with an acutely intuitive eye, drawing the reader into the complicated lives of her sympathetic characters.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer on The Space Between Before and After
“A complex, well-orchestrated family drama.”
Booklist on The Space Between Before and After
“Page portrays these past and present emotional quagmires with an acutely intuitive eye, drawing the reader into the complicated lives of her sympathetic characters.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer on The Space Between Before and After
“A complex, well-orchestrated family drama.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061876943
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,414,793
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Reynolds Page lives with her husband and three children in Wisconsin.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2012

    What is the book about? Elaine and her husband Carson, who is d

    What is the book about?

    Elaine and her husband Carson, who is dying of pancreatic cancer, are returning to their childhood home in North Carolina. They stay with Carson's mother in a cabin by a lake, where it might just be Carson's final resting place at only 49 years old. Carson's mother, Greta holds a lot of grudges towards Elaine because she believes Mick, their son, isn't really Carson's son.

    After Carson passes away, Elaine and Mick are put in a situation where they forced to stay with Greta, despite her refusal to accept them as family and keep to her presumptions that Elaine was not a faithful wife to her son. Her anger towards them goes so far that she goes out of her way to avoid Elaine and Mick, even at the funeral.

    What did I think of the book?

    Dealing with the rumors and gossip in such a small town in a depressing time as Carson comes back to town with his family is a lot harder than it seems. Poor Carson, you think you're going home to pass away in a safe place, but instead he is around others who question his paternity to the son he help raise. You bounce back and forth in time, and watch the characters bounce and forth between forgiveness and compassion. You never really expect what happens next with the inconsistency in the characters opinions.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2012

    Check out my full review at Kritters Ramblings A main character

    Check out my full review at Kritters Ramblings

    A main character that is twice my age, but a story that hit very deep in an emotional sense - I thought this book had a less than positive central story, but the reader doesn't feel left down in the dumps.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 25, 2012

    The most common theme that I have noticed in Page's books is the

    The most common theme that I have noticed in Page's books is the idea of forgiveness, and this book had a lot to do with coming to terms with things long past and learning to deal with these past hurts. This book was very much the same, the idea of this woman having to learn to forgive her mother-in-law following the death of her husband, was the focus. Although it stands to be said that it was more about Greta, the mother-in-law forgiving everyone else.

    I found this book to be pretty funny, like when Greta, the elderly stubborn matriarch went head to head with her former BFF and threw down some pretty good zingers. The line that stands out to me the most though was Elaine talking to her 24 year old son and saying that "Greta is apparently different things to different people. For us she might be a character-building exercise. For Morty...? Who knows?" I felt that not only was that line pretty clever, but it also characterized Greta's relationship with her son's family perfectly, she may have been so nice to other people but for this family she had nothing but contempt.

    I always love going on these journey's with characters because of how you gather the information. Very slowly at first until you have the whole picture and then you can decide how you feel about what happened. Plots like that, although intricate and wonderful, make the job of reviewer harder because I don't want to give too much away!

    The character in this book are so vivid from Elaine, the new widow who can't seem to grasp her new life, to her son who has to keep his hormones in check, to the supporting cast of gossipy, wicked, towns people. This book is a quick mellow read with undertones of forgiveness and moving on after a great loss.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    good

    Am now in the process of reading Safe Within. So far it has a good story, but am having trouble keeping track as it goes from one season to another, back and forth.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    frustration

    30 pages into this book and im so frustrated by the repetition from the first book...i'd return this one if there was a way. sure hope it picks up soon

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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