20 July 2010

Review: Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin

Laura Martinez, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and neonatal nurse finds herself pulled in all directions and can't seem to prioritize her time. When her seventy-seven-year-old mother, Helen, has a stroke, Laura starts to feel overstressed as she juggles her various roles. While trying to find a way to help Helen heal, Laura learns some truths about her family history and searches for a way to make peace with her mother and gain hope for the future.

Lynne Griffin's Sea Escape is an emotional journey that spans three generations of women. It is through Laura that we learn the current situation and the progress of her mother's recovery from her stroke. The past is revealed from Helen's memories of her parents and of her own marriage, and her perspective is augmented by the letters her long-dead husband sent her when he traveled the world as a soldier in Korea and later as a reporter.

Griffin does a nice job with the shifting viewpoints and jumps in time. The reader is never lost, and the revelations of significant moments are well timed. The writing is vivid and moving, but unfortunately, there are several aspects of the story that are bothersome.

In particular, Laura's and Helen's behavior is sometimes a bit unrealistic (can't say what without spoilers). Further, although most readers will be more than satisfied with the ending, some of us will find it difficult to fully accept the convergence of the plot lines as Griffin has written it.

Despite some flaws in the plot, there is much to like about Sea Escape. It is easy to relate to the characters' joys and sorrows, and Griffin's descriptions of Helen's hospitalization and rehab are true to life. The novel will appeal to readers who are attracted to stories that revolve around families, marriage, and parent-child relationships.

Sea Escape at Powell's
Sea Escape at Book Depository
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Published by Simon & Schuster, 2010
ISBN-13: 9781439180600
Challenges: 100+
YTD: 66
Source: Review copy (see review policy)
Rating: B
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

17 comments:

Diane 7/20/10, 6:59 AM  

I liked this book, but no as much as her first book: Life Without Summer.

bermudaonion 7/20/10, 7:37 AM  

I do enjoy books that explore relationships, so I think this book might be for me. Thanks for a thoughtful review.

Nise' 7/20/10, 7:58 AM  

Sounds like a book for me (women and their relationships).

Kay 7/20/10, 9:49 AM  

I'm definitely going to try this one. I know that some have had issues with it, but the relationship angle and the letters will get my foot in the door at least. I also think the cover is so pretty. Makes me think of my Mom.

Molly 7/20/10, 10:29 AM  

I have developed an interest in books that tell the story from multiple points of view. I am very interested in picking this one up to see how the author manages to accomplish that.

Donna 7/20/10, 12:42 PM  

I usually wait for new releases to appear in the "current fiction" section of a major discount book store. But Sea Escape falls into the category of books I can't wait to read. Everry review of this book makes me want to read it. I have a feeling I'll be reviewing it soon. Thanks.

Sandy Nawrot 7/20/10, 1:44 PM  

I guess this book falls under the heading of "I will read it if it throws itself into my path". Although not something that would rock my world, it would be worthwhile.

Kris 7/20/10, 4:57 PM  

I'm in love with the cover. It sounds like a book that if I found a cheap copy, I would grab it and probably enjoy it, but not one I would rush out to get.

Amused 7/20/10, 11:56 PM  

I love books like this that span the generations of women! I'll have to pick this one up!

Jennifer 7/21/10, 5:33 PM  

I definitely find this book appealing. However, I've been hesitant to actually get it and read it. Not sure why. Still, I feel like I'd be able to relate with the characters a lot. Maybe I should just get over whatever qualms I might have and give it a try.

Julie P. 7/21/10, 7:59 PM  

I definitely enjoyed this book but I admit that I didn't fall in love with it like I had hoped.

heathertlc 7/21/10, 9:05 PM  

I can't say I'm a big fan of relationship-themed books but this one does seem to be getting a lot of praise ... not sure it's for me though.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

Mystica 7/21/10, 11:14 PM  

I too like family sagas like this.

Jenners 7/22/10, 7:53 PM  

Sounds like a perfectly good read with a few flaws ... but that cover is just lovely.

Jennifer (Crazy-for-Books) 7/25/10, 4:44 PM  

I've had this book on my wish list for a while and can't wait to read it, flaws and all! :)

Meg 7/27/10, 4:38 PM  

I really liked Sea Escape and wasn't too bothered by the seemingly simple way in which several of the plots converged, though I definitely see what you mean! Helen and Laura's relationship was very complex and I really related to what Laura was going through. A character to root for!

Jen - devourer of books 8/4/10, 12:33 PM  

I just received a copy of this, so I'm really glad you liked it!

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