The View from Alameda Island

The View from Alameda Island

by Robyn Carr

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A poignant and powerful story about how one woman’s best intentions lead to the worst of situations, and how love helps her to heal and ultimately triumph.

From the outside looking in, Lauren Delaney has a life to envy—a successful career, a solid marriage to a prominent surgeon and two beautiful daughters who are off to good colleges. But on her twenty-fourth wedding anniversary Lauren makes a decision that will change everything.

Lauren won’t pretend things are perfect anymore. She defies the controlling husband who has privately mistreated her throughout their marriage and files for divorce. And as she starts her new life, she meets a kindred spirit—a man who is also struggling with the decision to end his unhappy marriage.

But Lauren’s husband wants his “perfect” life back and his actions are shocking. Facing an uncertain future, Lauren discovers an inner strength she didn’t know she had as she fights for the love and happiness she deserves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488098727
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 2,699
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at

Read an Excerpt


Today was Lauren Delaney's twenty-fourth wedding anniversary and there wouldn't be a twenty-fifth. To many it appeared Lauren had a perfect life but the truth was something she kept to herself. She had just been to see her lawyer and now she needed a little time to think. She headed for one of her favorite places. She needed the solace of a beautiful garden.

Divine Redeemer Catholic Church was an old church that had survived all of the earthquakes since the big one — the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Lauren had only been inside the building a couple of times, but never for mass. Her mother had been Catholic, but she hadn't been active. The church had a beautiful garden where parishioners often walked and there were several benches where you could sit and pray or meditate. Lauren was on her way home to Mill Valley from her job at Merriweather Foods and she stopped there, something she did frequently. There were no brochures explaining the genesis of the garden or even the fact that the church sat on such a generous plot of land for Northern California, but she'd happened upon an old priest once and he'd told her one of the priests in the early 1900s was a fanatic about growing things. Even though he'd been dead for decades, the church kept the garden going. They even preserved a large garden behind the beautiful flowers for fruits and vegetables, which they donated to food banks or used to feed hungry people in poorer parishes.

Divine Redeemer's parish just outside of Mill Valley, California didn't have many hungry people. It was an upper-class area. It was where she lived.

She was very well off. Richer than she'd ever imagined by her family's standards, yet her husband ranted about his low pay. He was a prosperous surgeon raking in over a million a year but he didn't have a yacht or a plane, which irked him. He spent a great deal of time managing and complaining about his finances.

She would be leaving him as soon as she could finalize the details. She had spent an hour with her attorney, Erica Slade, today. Erica had asked, "So, is this going to be it, Lauren?"

"The marriage was over many years ago," Lauren said. "All that's left is for me to tell him I'm leaving. I'm getting my ducks in a row."

They would be spending the evening at a charity auction and dinner. For that she was so grateful. There would be no staring at each other over a starched white tablecloth searching for things to say, no watching Brad check his phone and text all through the meal. As he was fond of reminding her, he was an important man. He was in demand. She was nothing.

If she ever received a call or text, it was from one of her daughters or her sister. But if they knew she was out, they wouldn't expect a response. Except maybe her eldest daughter, Lacey. She had inherited her father's lack of boundaries and sense of entitlement — it was all about her. Her younger daughter, Cassie, had, perhaps unfortunately, inherited Lauren's cautious and reticent nature. Lauren and Cassie didn't like conflict, didn't step on toes.

"When are you going to stand up for yourself, Lauren," Brad had been known to say to her. "You're so spineless." Of course, he meant she should stand up to anyone but him.

Oh, wouldn't Brad be surprised when she finally did. And he'd be angry. She knew people would inevitably ask, Why now? After twenty-four years? Because it had been twenty-four hard years. It had been hard since the beginning. Not every minute of it, of course. But overall, her marriage to Brad had never been a good situation. She spent the first several years thinking she could somehow make it better, the next several years thinking she probably didn't have it so bad since he was only emotionally and verbally abusive, and the last ten years thinking she couldn't wait to escape once her daughters were safely raised. Because, the truth was he was only going to get more cantankerous and abusive with age.

The first time she'd seriously considered leaving him, the girls were small. "I'll get custody," he said. "I'll fight for it. I'll prove you're unfit. I have the money to do it, you don't." She'd almost done it when the girls were in junior high. He'd been unfaithful and she was sure it hadn't been the first time he'd strayed, just the first time he'd been caught. She'd taken the girls to her sister's cramped little house where the three of them shared a bedroom and the girls begged to go home. She returned and demanded marriage counseling. He admitted to a meaningless fling or two because his wife, he said, was not at all enthusiastic about sex anymore. And the counselor cautioned her about throwing away the father of her children, explained that the repercussions could be very long term. She found another counselor and it happened again — the counselor sympathized with Brad. Only Lauren could see that Brad was a manipulator who could turn on the charm when it suited him.

Rather than trying yet another counselor, Brad took the family on a luxurious vacation to Europe. He pampered the girls and ultimately Lauren gave the marriage yet another chance. Then a couple of years later he gave her chlamydia and blamed her. "Don't be ridiculous, Lauren. You picked it up somewhere and gave it to me! Don't even bother to deny it."

She'd told him she wanted a divorce and he had said, "Fine. You'll pay the price. I'm not going to make it easy for you."

Knowing what was at stake, she moved into the guest room instead.

Days became weeks, weeks became months. They went back to marriage counseling. In no time at all Lauren suspected their marriage counselor had an agenda and favored Brad. She helped him make excuses, covered for him, pushed Lauren to admit to her manipulative nature. Lauren suspected him of sleeping with the counselor. He told her she'd become sick with paranoia.

By the time Lacey was in college and Cassie was applying to colleges, Brad was worse than ever. Controlling, domineering, secretive, verbally abusive, argumentative. God, why didn't he want her to just leave? Clearly, he hated her.

But he told her if she left him he wouldn't pay college tuition. "No judge can make me. I can be stuck with some alimony but not support payments. And not tuition. When they're over eighteen they're on their own. So go then," he'd said. "You'll be responsible for cutting them off."

The last few years had been so lonely. She had spent a lot of time worrying that by staying with a man like Brad she had taught her daughters a dreadful lesson. She'd done her best with them but she couldn't make them un-see how their own mother had lived her life.

She'd taken a few hours from work to meet with the lawyer, laying out plans, creating her list and checking things off. The lawyer had said, "He's had you running scared for years. We have laws in this state. He can't cut you off and freeze you out. I'm not saying it will be easy or painless, but you will not starve and your share of the marital assets will be delivered."

It was time. She was finally ready to go.

Lauren inhaled the smell of spring flowers. This was one of the best times of year in Northern California, the Bay Area and inland, when everything was coming to life. The vineyards were greening up and the fruit trees were blossoming. She loved flowers; her grandmother had been a ferocious gardener, turning her entire yard into a garden. Flowers soothed her. She needed a garden right now.

Lauren heard the squeaking of wheels and looked up to see a man pushing a wheelbarrow along the path. He stopped not too far from her. He had a trowel, shovel and six plants in the wheelbarrow. He gave her a nod, and went about the business of replacing a couple of plants. Then he sat back on his heels, looked at her and smiled. "Better?" he asked.

"Beautiful," she said with a smile.

"Is this your first time in this garden?" he asked.

"No, I've been here a number of times," Lauren said. "Are you the gardener?"

"No," he said with a laugh. "Well, yes, I guess I am if I garden. But I'm just helping out today. I noticed a few things needed to be done ..."

"Oh, is this your church?"

"Not this one, a smaller church south of here. I'm afraid I've fallen away ..."

"And yet you still help out the parish? You're dedicated."

"I admire this garden," he said. He rotated and sat, drawing up his knees. "Why do you come here?"

"I love gardens," she said. "Flowers in general make me happy."

"You live in the right part of the country, then. Do you keep a garden?"

"No," she said, laughing uncomfortably. "My husband has very specific ideas about how the landscaping should look."

"So he does it?"

Get dirt under his nails? Hah! "Not at all. He hires the people who do it and gives them very firm orders. I don't find our garden nearly as beautiful as this."

"I guess you have nothing to say about it, then," he said.

"Not if it's going to create conflict," Lauren said. "But it's kind of a secret hobby of mine to find and visit gardens. Beautiful gardens. My grandmother was a master gardener — both her front and backyard were filled with flowers, fruits and vegetables. She even grew artichokes and asparagus. It was incredible. There was no real design — it was like a glorious jungle."

"When you were young?"

"And when I was older, too. My children loved it."

"Did your mother garden?" he asked.

"Very little — she was a hardworking woman. But after my grandparents passed away, she lived in their house and inherited the garden. I'm afraid she let it go."

"It's a hereditary thing, don't you think?" he asked. "Growing up, our whole family worked in the garden. Big garden, too. Necessary garden. My mother canned and we had vegetables all winter. Now she freezes more than cans and her kids rob her blind. I think she does it as much for all of us as herself."

"I would love that so much," Lauren said. Then she wondered how the residents of Mill Valley would react to seeing her out in the yard in her overalls, hoeing and spreading fresh, stinky fertilizer. It made her laugh to herself.

"Funny?" he asked.

"I work for a food processor. Merriweather. And they don't let me near the gardens, which are primarily research gardens."

"So, what do you do?" he asked.

"I cook," she said. "Product development. Testing and recipes. We test the products regularly and have excellent consumer outreach. We want to show people how to use our products."

"Are you a nutritionist?" he asked.

"No, but I think I'm becoming one. I studied chemistry. But what I do is not chemistry. In fact, it's been so long ..."

He frowned. "Processed foods. A lot of additives," he said. "Preservatives."

"We stand by their safety and it's a demanding, fast-paced world. People don't have time to grow their food, store it, make it, serve it." His cell phone rang and he pulled it from his pocket. "See what I mean?" she said, his phone evidence of the pace of modern life.

But he didn't even look at it. He switched it off. "What, besides flowers, makes you happy?" he asked.

"I like my job. Most of the time. Really, ninety percent of the time. I work with good people. I love to cook."

"All these domestic pursuits. You must have a very happy husband."

She almost said nothing makes Brad happy, but instead she said, "He cooks too — and thinks he's better at it than I am. He's not, by the way."

"So if you weren't a chemist cooking for a food company, what would you be? A caterer?"

"No, I don't think so," she said. "I think trying to please a client who can afford catering seems too challenging to me. I once thought I wanted to teach home economics but there is no more home ec."

"Sure there is," he said, frowning. "Really?"

She shook her head. "A nine or twelve-week course, and it's not what it once was. We used to learn to sew and bake. Now there's clothing design as an elective. Some schools offer cooking for students who'd like to be chefs. It's not the same thing."

"I guess if you want homemaking tips, there's the internet," he said.

"That's some of what I do," she said. "Video cooking demonstrations." "Is it fun?"

She nodded after thinking about it for a moment.

"Maybe I should do video gardening demos."

"What makes you happy?" she surprised herself by asking.

"Just about anything," he said with a laugh. "Digging in the ground. Shooting hoops with my boys when they're around. Fishing. I love to fish. Quiet. I love quiet. I love art and design. There's this book — it's been a long time since I read it — it's about the psychology of happiness. It's the results of a study. The premise that initiated the study was what makes one person able to be happy while another person just can't be happy no matter what. Take two men — one is a survivor of the Holocaust and goes on to live a happy, productive life while the other goes through a divorce and he can hardly get off the couch or drag himself to work for over a decade. What's the difference between them? How can one person generate happiness for himself while the other can't?"

"Depression?" she asked.

"Not always," he said. "The study pointed out a lot of factors, some we have no control over and some are learned behaviors. Interesting. It's not just a choice but I'm a happy guy." He grinned at her.

She noticed, suddenly, how good-looking this man was. He looked like he was in his forties, a tiny amount of gray threading his dark brown hair at his temples. His eyes were dark blue. His hands were large and clean for a gardener. "Now what makes a volunteer gardener decide to read psychology?" she asked.

He chuckled. "Well, I read a lot. I like to read. I think I got that from my father. I can zone out everything except what's happening in my head. Apparently I go deaf. Or so I've been told. By my wife."

"Hyper focus," she said. "Plus, men don't listen to their wives."

"That's what I hear," he said. "I'm married to an unhappy woman so I found this book that was supposed to explain why some schmucks like me are so easy to make happy and some people just have the hardest damn time."

"How'd you find the book?"

"I like to hang out in bookstores ..."

"So do we," she said. "It's one of the few things we both enjoy. Other than that, I don't think my husband and I have much in common."

"That's not a requirement," he said. "I have these friends, Jude and Germain, they are different as night and day." He got to his feet and brushed off the seat of his pants. "They have nothing in common. But they have such a good time together. They laugh all the time. They have four kids so it's compromise all the time and they make it look so easy."

She frowned. "Which one's the girl? Oh! Maybe they're same sex ...?

"Germain is a woman and Jude's a man," he said, laughing. "I have another set of friends, both men, married to each other. We call them the Bickersons. They argue continuously."

"Thus, answering the question about gender."

"I have to go," he said. "But ... My name is Beau."

"Lauren," she said.

"It was fun talking to you, Lauren. So, when do you think you might need to spend time with the flowers next?"

"Tuesday?" she said, posing it as a question.

He smiled. "Tuesday is good. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week."

"Thanks. Same to you." She walked down the path toward her car in the parking lot. He steered his wheelbarrow down the path toward the garden shed.

Lauren made a U-turn, heading back toward him. "Beau!" she called. He turned to face her. "Um ... Let me rethink that. I don't know when I'll be back here but it's not a good idea, you know. We're both married."

"It's just conversation, Lauren," he said.

He's probably a psychopath, she thought, because he looks so innocent, so decent. "Yeah, not a good idea," she said, shaking her head. "But I enjoyed talking to you."

"Okay," he said. "I'm sorry, but I understand. Have a great week."

"You, too," she said.

She walked purposefully to her car and she even looked around. He was in the garden shed on the other side of the gardens. She could hear him putting things away. He wasn't looking to see what she was driving or what her license plate number was. He was a perfectly nice, friendly guy who probably picked up lonely women on a regular basis. Then murdered them and chopped them in little pieces and used them for fertilizer.

She sighed. Sometimes she felt so ridiculous. But she was going to go to the bookstore to look for that book.

Lauren was in a much better mood than usual that evening. In fact, when Brad came home in a state — something about the hospital screwing up his surgery schedule and flipping a couple of his patients without consulting him — she found herself strangely unaffected.

"Are you listening, Lauren?" Brad asked.

"Huh? Oh yes, sorry. Did you get it straightened out?"

"No! I'll be on the phone tonight. Why do you think I'm so irritated? Do you have any idea what my time is worth?"


Excerpted from "The View from Alameda Island"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Robyn Carr.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The View from Alameda Island 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robyn Carr tackles challenging issues in a story of new beginnings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 12 months ago
This was a wonderful story! I enjoyed the characters and sharing their lives!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
Captivating and emotional! Two characters are coming to a crossroad in their life right around the same time and when they meet, it's the breath of fresh air they each needed. Friendship leads to romance as their divorces progress. The characters were both emerging from bad situations and finding solace in a happier life and each other. The plot had surprising aspects woven in that kept it fresh, although I felt like the side story of Tim and Angela was distracting from the heart of the story. Overall a really good read! Wife and mother Lauren Delaney has been living a lie. To others, she has a great life of wealth and prestige with a loving husband and prospering daughters ... in reality, she's been biding her time until her children are at a point where they can support themselves so she can finally leave her controlling husband. On their 24th wedding anniversary, she puts her final plan in motion ... and meets a kindred spirit. Beau Magellan has been going through the motions for years with his unhappy wife. It's an ongoing game of her leaving then coming back only to repeat at her leisure. This time he's had enough. He wants his freedom this time, and when he meets Lauren at a time in her life when she's starting on the same journey, they strike up a friendship that will later lead to more.
ryansvava More than 1 year ago
Loved this book-could hardly put it down-read it in two days.
sbart84 More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I could not put down. A powerful story of two lost souls, both going through divorces that have formed a friendship that develops into so much more. An accidental meeting, but they each find strength through each other. My heart just broke for Lauren, the emotional abuse that she took for so many years because she wanted her daughters not to suffer from a broken marriage. Everything was picture perfect on the outside but you don't realize what goes on behind the closed doors. Loved Beau, a strong man willing to raise his step sons on his own. He too tried to make his marriage work for his sons but finally decided enough was enough. This book is so powerful, and it can be anyone in our lives! I highly recommend.
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one in a way that was lovely and satisfying. This is definitely a cozy mystery/thriller and a genre that I don't read a lot of, and yet, I really ended up enjoying the characters and watching them evolve and develop even more than I thought I would. I also LOVED Lauren, who was such a picture of strength and perseverance in the face of an abusive and troubled husband. I could do with more books that really allow the lead female character to be her own hero, and refuse to let them fall into being weak despite their being challenged repeatedly. I appreciated that Robyn Carr stuck to her guns in ensuring that Lauren stayed steady and strong regardless of what was being thrown at her. I also appreciated that she took the time to write Lauren's daughters responses to the situations as complete polar opposites - it rang so much more true. Frustrating, yes, but believable. Overall this was a great summer read - something quick and easy to digest. An absolute recommend for your summer tbr!
RobinLovesReading More than 1 year ago
Lauren Delaney makes a monumental decision. It is her twenty-fourth wedding anniversary, and instead of heading to a restaurant or some other celebratory destination, she heads to a divorce attorney. Lauren has decided to divorce her husband Brad. Her marriage was never ideal. Far from it. Brad was verbally and emotionally abusive, yet she stayed with him, Lauren had wanted to leave Brad for years. However, they have two daughters, Lacey and Cassie, and Brad always made her worried about custody Lauren finds a new apartment, even meets a new neighbor, Beau. However, one day Brad shows up because he wants his ideal life back. Lauren was his everything. Brad didn't even know where the dry cleaners is located, for example! Well, when he gets to Lauren's apartment, the actions he take are totally shocking. Poor Lauren! Well, that's what I thought. Despite what happened that day, Lauren showed incredible strength and battled through experiences worse than she ever experienced during her marriage. The View from Alameda Island was often a tough read. I was with Lauren every step of the way as she struggled through the changes her life took. I cried more than once, especially when dealing with one of her daughters. The girls had opposite reactions when they learned of Lauren's appeal for divorce. That part of the story was very difficult to read. With the changing circumstances that hit Lauren, her one daughter's reaction was even more frustrating and painful. Meanwhile, Lauren's new friend, Beau, is also going through a divorce, and makes no secret that he is very drawn to Lauren. Even more so, he is very protective of her. However, Lauren has to guard her heart, lest she end up in another very bad situation. In addition to Lacey, Cassie and Beau, readers got the pleasure of the character, Tim, a priest and Beau's lifelong friend. Tim's counsel and experiences were an excellent addition to a very well-written and engaging story. I was absorbed in this book from start to finish. Lauren went through so much, yet managed to come out on top. It was so beautifully done. I am sure that many, many women will be able to relate to this story on more than one level. Kudos to Robyn Carr for writing an incredibly compelling read. This is definitely one of my favorite reads this year thus far. Many thanks to Mira and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
perriknows More than 1 year ago
This book is about choices. Marital choices. Parental choices. Lauren has been in her marriage for 24 years. Surviving. She's the defacto errand girl, parent, and hostess for her surgeon husband. Wanting to make sure her daughters have the funds for their education, she waits and plans her escape, finally filing for divorce when her youngest daughter graduates college. Her life, her choice Beau has been in his marriage for many years as well. Also, surviving. He's been the step-dad to his wife's children. Raising them when their mother wouldn't. He's a great guy, loves his kids, and wants the best for them. After his wife 'needs a break' and moves out, he follows through with filing for divorce. His life, his choice. They're both fed up with the subtle and not so subtle jabs that keep coming from their spouses. They know change is coming and that's also their choice. Ms. Carr weaves these two strangers together in a most convincing way. They're not cheating on their spouses, but it might be perceived that way. These two battered souls need to finally make a choice that works from them. Making them the victors, rather than the conquered. The compilation of secondary characters adds so much to the book and allows the reader to realize why Lauren and Beau are who they are, and why they do what they do. I enjoyed this read. It's much darker than many of her other works, but very powerful. This could be anyone. This IS anyone who has had a messy divorce.
perriknows More than 1 year ago
This book is about choices. Marital choices. Parental choices. Lauren has been in her marriage for 24 years. Surviving. She's the defacto errand girl, parent, and hostess for her surgeon husband. Wanting to make sure her daughters have the funds for their education, she waits and plans her escape, finally filing for divorce when her youngest daughter graduates college. Her life, her choice Beau has been in his marriage for many years as well. Also, surviving. He's been the step-dad to his wife's children. Raising them when their mother wouldn't. He's a great guy, loves his kids, and wants the best for them. After his wife 'needs a break' and moves out, he follows through with filing for divorce. His life, his choice. They're both fed up with the subtle and not so subtle jabs that keep coming from their spouses. They know change is coming and that's also their choice. Ms. Carr weaves these two strangers together in a most convincing way. They're not cheating on their spouses, but it might be perceived that way. These two battered souls need to finally make a choice that works from them. Making them the victors, rather than the conquered. The compilation of secondary characters adds so much to the book and allows the reader to realize why Lauren and Beau are who they are, and why they do what they do. I enjoyed this read. It's much darker than many of her other works, but very powerful. This could be anyone. This IS anyone who has had a messy divorce.
rlane More than 1 year ago
I LOVE Robyn Carr’s writing, so I’ve been looking forward to The View From Alameda Island, it was amazing and crazy! I think this has been the craziest exes I’ve read from Ms. Carr, but the relationship between Lauren and Beau was steady and calming throughout any drama that came at them. Their romance was slow and steady, felt real, but also had heat and chemistry! I loved it! Let me just tell you I wanted to strangle both of their exes! Their pictures would be up by the words “narcissistic”, “megalomaniac”, and “delusional” in the dictionary! Wow! I honestly can’t believe they both put up with so much, but I can somewhat understand because there were kids involved. Each wanted to wait until their kids were out and mostly settled on their own path. Beau get special props for being a stepfather and not bowing out because he split from the boy’s mom. They truly needed a stable force in their life since their mom was flighty, full of drama, and manipulative! I was touched by the wonderful friends and family Beau and Lauren had, a testament to the kind of good people they were at heart, they definitely needed the support! I loved how each ex had their own comeuppance at every turn, and never got away with things too long. I’m so sad for anyone who goes through this kind of drama in their family. At any rate, I loved how it all turned out. The setting of Alameda Island was lovely! I’m in East Bay San Francisco just about every other weekend, but I haven’t got over to that neck of the woods yet, but now I want to! It sounds like a charming little town full of character! I mostly listened to the audio version narrated by Therese Plummer, one of my all-time favorite performers! She nails both the male and female characters, and I love her easy cadence. She narrates most (if not all) of Ms. Carr’s books, as well as the Casey Duncan (Rockton) series by Kelley Armstrong. Another favorite author/series! I’d be willing to give just about any author a go if Ms. Plummer is narrating the story!
literarybelle More than 1 year ago
This book was a complete roller coaster ride. I was expecting a simple romance on an island with a heartbreaking story. Well, this book has all of that and much, much more. Lauren is getting out of a long marriage to a verbally abusive husband. Beau is getting out of a twelve year marriage to a flighty woman. The two come together in a beautiful friendship that helps ease the pain for both of them. Neither of them were happy in their marriages, but they never would have expected the chaos to ensue after. This story made me laugh and cry, and I highly recommend checking it out.
bookfan-mary More than 1 year ago
I find Robyn Carr’s characters always easy to cheer on. In this case, it’s Lauren, a woman who has waited far too long (for mostly understandable reasons) to break free from an abusive husband. Her circumstances aren’t what I’d consider typical in that she has the means to leave and transition to a new life. It was interesting to see how her story played out as life offered up new and wonderful possibilities. There’s a secondary plot line about a priest changing his path in life that I thought interesting although I’m not sure how accurate the details are. In the end I don’t think the novel needed to include the priest’s story at all. I liked this novel but not as much as most of Carr’s other books. 3.5 stars
Julie12 More than 1 year ago
This book is a bit darker than the other Robyn Carr books I've read. In fact, it was hard for me to get into at first because I wasn't sure I wanted to read something so difficult. However, I persevered and I'm glad I did. Lauren has been married to her surgeon husband for over 20 years. She has been mentally and physically abused and manipulated to show the outside world a perfect marriage when behind the scenes it was anything but. She has stayed so long for the sake of her daughters because her husband used them as pawns in his sick game of control. When she decides to make her break from this dismal marriage, she is thrown into more turmoil because people are taking sides, even in her own little family. However, she perseveres and we see Lauren gain her strength. That was the upside of this book to me - seeing Lauren get stronger and more self assured. I also liked the character of Beau and the other supporting cast in this book of a woman coming into her own. There are definitely some difficult scenes in this book so it's not an escape book, in my opinion. There is some lovely romance later on in the book to lighten the mood. All in all, I enjoyed this book but take one star off for the doom and gloom I felt while reading some parts and give it 4 stars. *This book was provided to me by Little Bird Publicity. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.
bc2mc3 More than 1 year ago
Another fabulous story from Robyn Carr, who I have been reading for years. A standalone, the story revolves around Lauren, an abused wife of a surgeon, with 2 grown daughters who finally decides to file for divorce. And Beau, a landscape artist, who has also recently separated from his wife. They meet, and the story is of their relationship as it pertains to their divorces, their grown children and their families, as well as their exes. A richly rewarding book, this story has so much heart. First of all, I love reading books about “older relationships” as these people have already lived a lifetime, and all come with interesting baggage. And the way Ms Carr develops their personalities and relationships makes for a a rich full story.
AnnieMcDonnell More than 1 year ago
This story is about the struggle of leaving a marriage behind; no matter how cruel a spouse can be, and no matter how toxic a relationship is. Lauren meets Beau who is having similar issues and wanting to leave his marriage as well, so they form a friendship that soon starts to lean towards more. But, can that happen with Lauren’s spouse still lingering so close by? There is the family dynamic with the children and who they each side with, and the friends along the way. I found that this story dragged a bit in few places and I got a little bored sometime; I have to be honest. Maybe I just didn’t really feel attached to many other characters. But, my interest in the outcome for Lauren was enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fans of Robyn Carr's will be delighted to find that she has a new (non-series) novel out just in time for spring and Mother's Day. This book is about second chances, making the kind of life that you want to have happen and of not holding back out of fear. The story focuses on Lauren who seems to have it all...except that, of course, she doesn't. She is married to Brad, a successful surgeon, and has two daughters. Beau is married with two stepsons. He is a landscape architect whose marriage has been unhappy for years. Tim is a priest and friend of Beau's. He also becomes a friend of Lauren's. What happens to each of these characters, those around them and their relationships forms the basis of the novel. The pages turn easily and readers will be interested in how the characters fare. A good women's fiction book all in all. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
When I pick up a Robyn Carr book I think romance, sweet, and fun. This book is all of that but it is also a lot of twists and turns that will make you think about the life you are living. Getting married means forever, means love, means respect and means happiness. For Lauren, none of that comes true. She marries to escape being poor. She wants the status that comes with being married to a successful surgeon, yet that isn’t what she gets. The book starts up with Lauren figuring out how to stand up for herself and leave her husband so I instantly felt respect for her. Sure she has lived for 20+ years with the abuse but she is now looking for a way out, setting up a life for herself without being a wife of a surgeon, and finding out who Lauren is. Everything about The View from Alameda Island is wonderful. The book is hard to put down, easy to fall into, and wonderful from beginning to end.
paulalala09 More than 1 year ago
Finding real, healthy love in a moment is not even close to well in a relationship is the basis for this stirring novel. The personalities of Lauren and Beau are appealing and thoughtful, charming, buffeted by their own kid’s responses to their divorces, and finding strength in each other. Counter to Lauren and Beau are Brad and Pamela-domineering, controlling and just plain ugly. All of them combine to tell a story of trying to let go of the ties that bind, especially the ones that shackle lives. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
KelsieAL More than 1 year ago
The View From Alameda Island is great women’s romantic fiction from bestselling author, Robyn Carr. This is a tale of love, loss and second chances. Lauren Delaney, wife and mother of two daughters is done with her marriage. She’s so done that she consults a divorce attorney on her twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. Her husband, Brad, is verbally, emotionally and physically abusive, and he’s a cheater. She stayed with him for the sake of her daughters but they’re grown now and Lauren is ready to finally live for herself. Beau Magellan is separated from his wife, Pamela, who is also a cheater. Beau has given her multiple chances to repair their marriage and isn’t willing to give her another one. His stepsons, who he raised as his own, are grown. He can finally live for himself. Lauren and Beau meet in a church garden that she visits to meditate and just enjoy nature’s beauty. . The two bond over their mutual interest in gardening. They start slow but steadily build their relationship. Interestingly, Lauren and Beau’s lives mirror each other in multiple aspects. The couple start their new life together but aren’t prepared for the reaction of their exes. Carr held my attention from beginning to end. All of the characters are fully developed. The church garden is alive and very much part of the story. I was pleasantly surprised by the plot twists. The ending fully resolved the story. The View From Alameda Island rates 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this novel to fans of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. My thanks to Harlequin - Mira and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars The View from Alameda Island is an engaging, well-written, character-driven novel. It is a book about toxic marriages, self-centeredness, blended families, guilt, and healing. Beau and Lauren have suffered under abusive spouses for years. But when the two of them decided that it was time to end their toxic marriages, their spouses couldn’t believe, that they were being dumped. Once the decision to divorce was made, life became very tough for both Beau and Lauren. The two of them had met by accident but became close friends and great support for one another. Their soon to be ex-spouses, became vicious, in unexpected, and unlawful ways. Although The View from Alameda Island is a bit over-the-top, it does, however, shine a spotlight on the ugly agony that a family unit breakup causes. It also shows the reader that although it is painful to leave toxic relationships, there is life and healing after them. Thank you, Mira Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.
boclairedesigns More than 1 year ago
Robyn Carr is one of my favorite authors because she has a unique ability to weave the story and get the reader involved with all the characters. This book was no different. However the strange similarities between Beau and Lauren with their families was a bit hard to believe. They both are filing for divorce from unstable partners. They each have two grown children, one from each family that supports them and one supporting the spouse. There are multiple violent episodes, and the saving grace is how they deal with life's challenges. I focused on the characters, their friends, and family along with the setting, rather than the story itself. You can imagine their neighborhood on Alameda Island and get transported to the market and pub that Lauren and Beau frequent. This skill to gain a reader's understanding and empathy is where Robyn excels. A change to the background situations to make them a bit different, would have garnered a 5 star rating. I was provided a free ARC eBook from Net Galley and the publisher for an honest review.