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Distant Shores
Distant Shores
Author: Kristin Hannah
In her remarkable New York Times bestseller, Summer Island, Kristin Hannah struck a chord in readers and critics alike with her portrayal of the bittersweet reunion between an errant mother and her unforgiving daughter. Now Hannah once again reveals the fragile ties that bind a family in transition, as two people choose to escape t...  more »
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780345450722
ISBN-10: 0345450728
Publication Date: 1/29/2002
Pages: 416
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 256 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Distant Shores on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
In the aftermath of a tragedy, Elizabeth "finds herself questioning her life-her choices, her marriage, and her long-forgotten dreams. In a daring move that will shock her husband, friends, and daughters, she chooses to let go of the woman she had become - and reach out for the woman she wants to be."

A page turner especially for anyone who has wondered what happened to the person they were or the one they thought they'd be. It's for anyone who every thought the grass is a little greener on the other side of the fence...or down the road not taken. I loved it!
maurak avatar reviewed Distant Shores on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The novel's cover, featuring relaxed painted toes lounging in a hammock on what looks like the warm Carribbean, is no way to judge this moving and sometimes dark novel about a 46-year-old woman facing an empty nest, an absent husband, and forgotten dreams in middle age. Our heroine doesn't jet off to a tropical island to get her groove back, but rather simply chooses to stay in the house she loves on the rugged and rainy Oregon coast and face her darkest fears - of being alone, of being not good enough, of finally figuring out something you love beyond your family and risking failure to try to reach it.

Although I have no husband or children, as I face the decade starting with a 4- in my age, I can relate to so much of what Elizabeth Shore confronts in "Distant Shores" -- breaking decades-long habits of putting others' needs first, feeling paralyzed by not knowing what you want but knowing that you need to want something, feeling the sadness of finally remembering a forgotten talent, and facing the risk that the grief and regret about lost years will get in the way of the years you have left. Add to that the loss of a beloved parent, a marriage drifting in halfhearted habits of affection, and a handful of fully realized minor characters, and Kristin Hannah pulls together a contemporary set of problems that will become familiar to many readers. Hannah does not allow readers to have an easy, perfect happy ending where everything is resolved neatly and triumphantly, but the light at the end of the tunnel is strong, warm, inspiring, and well worth the journey.

Interestingly, although the novel is not even 10 years old, its anachronisms are surprisingly jarring -- no one emails one another, there is no talk of texting -- so what is otherwise in every way a "contemporary" novel feels slightly off. Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable read.
reviewed Distant Shores on
Helpful Score: 2
I like any thing Kristin Hannah writes. This book was just as good as her others.
reviewed Distant Shores on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Thoroughly enjoyed this book about Elizabeth's struggle to rediscover who she really is after 24 years of nurturing marriage. A lovely book and characters to care about.
reviewed Distant Shores on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I reallly like this book, but the story is fairly depressing throughout the entire book. The characters are richly drawn and the story is very compelling. I would recommend--just make sure you're in an upbeat mood when you read it!
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beekers24 avatar reviewed Distant Shores on + 26 more book reviews
I love Kristin Hannah's books but this wasn't my favorite. It was kind of slow and predictable. I enjoyed the story line but I could easily read a chapter and put the book down to do something else. I did, however, envy the main characters life ~~ has a husband who loves her and is faithful, lives in a beautiful home, no need to work outside the home due to no monetary worries! I had a hard time feeling her "pain".
reviewed Distant Shores on + 3 more book reviews
I love Kristan Hannah, and this is one of her best!
reviewed Distant Shores on + 175 more book reviews
3.5 out of 5 stars - "We're all afraid. It's the going on that matters."

This novel highlights the pain of unfulfilled dreams. It is better to try and fail than to never give yourself the chance to find out.
An empty nester with an ambitious husband wonders who she is and decides to take some time to find out of there is anything left of the girl she once was or if she has sublimated everything in her devotion to her marriage and family.

Possible Spoiler:
I would have rated this higher if it had not had a too pat, fairy tale ending
eadieburke avatar reviewed Distant Shores on + 1603 more book reviews
Elizabeth and Jackson Shore married young, raised two daughters, and weathered the storms of youth as they built a family. From a distance, their lives look picture perfect. But after the girls leave home, Jack and Elizabeth quietly drift apart. When Jack accepts a wonderful new job, Elizabeth puts her own needs aside to follow him across the country.
Then tragedy turns Elizabeth's world upside down. In the aftermath, she questions everything about her life--her choices, her marriage, even her long-forgotten dreams. In a daring move that shocks her husband, friends, and daughters, she lets go of the woman she has become--and reaches out for the woman she wants to be.
This is not one of Kristin Hannah's better books. The characters were interesting but the plot was slow in the beginning and dragged in places. I thought the 2nd half was poorly written and a bit confusing. I felt Jack should have told Elizabeth about his cheating during the separation. Other than that, the book did have some good parts but too few to really mention. I look forward to my next Hannah book because it's gotta be better than this one.
reviewed Distant Shores on + 356 more book reviews
Good read
reviewed Distant Shores on + 2 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. Following the couple through their trials seemed real. Likely the same issues had by many others. I appreciated the final outcome.
debs avatar reviewed Distant Shores on + 637 more book reviews
Good, solid story. Interesting characters. Liked it well enough, although some of her other works were more interesting for me.
techiechik avatar reviewed Distant Shores on + 3 more book reviews
Loved this story. The transition from being a Mom and your family being the number 1 priority in your life to finding yourself and your passion once the children are grown was really something I could identify with. I worked through alot of my own emotions and feelings throughout this book and hugged it at the end. (which means it was an amazing book)
reading-galore avatar reviewed Distant Shores on + 115 more book reviews
This touching story is about a couple going through the difficulties of empty nest syndrome after being married for many years. Elizabeth has put her dreams on hold for her husband, Jackson, a football player who has struggled in his career and caused them to relocate many times. Elizabeth loves her girls and has always been the "glue" that kept the family together. Circumstances cause Elizabeth to reevaluate her life choices and she begins her journey of personal growth. I was emotionally involved with the family's struggles and really enjoyed reading this earlier Kristin Hannah novel.
reviewed Distant Shores on
This is one of the best I've read; it is a great story line yet personal and meaningful. Deep insight by the author allows each reader to pull from it their own insights. Most of all, it keeps moving just fast enough that you don't want to put it down yet never makes you feel as though you are being rushed.

I recommend that everyone read it, if only to see how one person with courage and confidence chooses to face their life.