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Good Harbor
Anita Diamant
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Good Harbor

3.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,320 Ratings  ·  634 Reviews
Given the breadth of Anita Diamant's bestselling biblical epic, The Red Tent, it seems natural that her second novel has a much closer focus. Set in the small Massachusetts fishing town of Gloucester, Good Harbor is a slow-paced study of female friendship. Here Diamant can luxuriate in the development of just two principal characters: 59-year-old Kathleen Levine, a childre ...more
Published (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ginnie Leiner
Feb 13, 2012 Ginnie Leiner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If a married woman were to list the significant personal relationships in her life, it would be assumed that the most significant, most deeply felt, most comforting, most interactive would be with her spouse. Love those men (or women) as we may, oftentimes they would not fill the role as adequately as a trusted female friend. I had (have) such a friend. For 18 years I spoke every day with her about the significant and the mundane details of my life. The experience was never finished until I told ...more
Marcia Lonteen-Martin
Good Harbor is at best a mediocre book. I was greatly disappointed, since I expected more from the author of one of my favorite novels, The Red Tent.
Two women meet at this harbor on Cape Ann. Katherine is a children's librarian, married and the mother of grown sons, and recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Joyce is younger, the mother of a ten year old daughter, married, and a writer. She buys a bungalow near the harbor and proceeds to paint and fix it up while her husband remains behind an
Feb 11, 2009 Strother rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very quick read from an author I have loved, on themes I was mostly not versed in. Though the women's circumstances were thankfully unfamiliar to me, I would recommend this book to anyone who has struggled to make friends during a transition or a tough personal time, and who knows (or wants to know) the blessing of walking and talking with good company. The harbor of the book's title is not only Joyce and Kathleen's favorite stretch of beach, but a metaphor for the haven they become f ...more
I was disappointed when I first began reading Good Harbor. I had read The Red Tent and remembered Diamant as a better writer. It could have been the contrast with the previous book I read - Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill which was so well written. There is nothing new in Good Harbor. It is the story of two women who become friends: an older woman, Kathleen, going through breast cancer treatment and a younger woman, Joyce, who is dealing with empty nest syndrome. The story marches on slowly ...more
Dec 26, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never knew that Anita had written anything besides the Red Tent. I was at a conference and I sat in on a forum with her and Maggie Anton. This book was a lovely surprise. It is not a Shakespearean masterpiece but a wonderful feel good book about friendship and life. There were a few surprises along the way that reminded me that this was a work of fiction but otherwise I totally could see myself sitting right next to these ladies and watching a friendship bloom! I highly recommend it and it eve ...more
Apr 25, 2011 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I tend to agree with another reviewer who felt used, like the author had a deadline to meet for her editor and didn't give the ending the time necessary to make it decent. I also agree with another reviewer that I found Joyce to be dull--I guess maybe she was more petulant than dull, but still not appealing. I would definitely not have been able to maintain a friendship with her. I also thought that Joyce's affair was ridiculously pathetic, and while it was a way to get Kathleen to reveal her ow ...more
Nov 30, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd Anita Diamant book that I have read and have enjoyed this book as well even though Red Tent is a stronger book. Good Harbor is completely different than the Red Tent, but Diamant proves herself a very good writer no matter what time era a story takes place. Good Harbor is a story of the importance of friendship and I think is perfect for the 40-60 year old woman and although I am not in that category, I still appreciate many aspects of this book. Kathleen is dealing with illness ...more
Apr 01, 2015 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my second Diamant read this year, and I know why I am attracted to her books. Her writing is elegant and clear. Her characters are women I would like to know and probably would befriend. The women in Good Harbor remind me of people I know...and love. In fact, there are elements of their friendship that feel very near. Such a good read!
This is another book I found at the little library store in that place!
I love Diamant's writing style. This book enveloped me in comfort, cozied up in a big chair with my dog. Friendships, like the one enjoyed by Joyce and Kathleen, are a gift. I find that the older I am, the more difficult it is to make new friends, especially intimate friends. This is a quick read that left me feeling peaceful and happy.
Gayle Cappelluti
May 21, 2015 Gayle Cappelluti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I was getting into this book, I felt like deja vu - something was very familiar about it. Once I got half-way through, I realized it felt familiar because I had, in fact, already read it! But because I have a very annoying quirk whereby I cannot discard a book unless I complete it once I begin, I had to see it through. When I read the last line, I remembered that I read it after I finished The Red Tent because I was so impressed with the author's story telling abilities that I just had to re ...more
Karen White
This was my first book of 2012 and the first for the What's in a Name Reading Challenge (for the topographical feature category). I would really give this a 3 1/2 stars if that was possible. I did like the two main characters and their evolving friendship, and the descriptions of the North Shore (MA) coastline made me miss it so much! Oh, to live near an east coast shoreline...
What I didn't like so much was that I had this weird feeling I'd read it before (which is not really the book's fault -
Jan 28, 2015 Toni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rated this book 4 stars not because it was incredibly written or researched, etc. but for the shear joy it gave me in reading it. Yes it was a very light read; and yes it would probably rate as chic-lit book, or a so called beach-read. But don't we all need one of those occasionally, especially in January?! Well I did and I'm not sorry for it. At least it wasn't a romance novel. Horrors. Shudders.
It describes basic family life for two woman, one in her mid-fifties who discovers she has breast
Apr 02, 2014 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anita Diamant's book, Good Harbor, was an excellent, quick, vacation read. As it tells about the relationship between two women and how it grows into an important friendship for one-another, we hear much of their important life histories. It's the kind of book that makes you wish you had a friend as good as Joyce or Kathleen. The title, Good Harbor, refers not only to the name of the beach upon which they walk, but the relationship itself is its own "good harbor" for the two women. It is a safe ...more
Sep 24, 2009 Dianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story involved breast cancer – DCIS – which I have had, and it was somewhat interesting to read about that. However, I didn’t get it at all when the woman’s first and only reaction to the mastectomy option was horror…wouldn’t even consider it. That seemed unrealistic to me, that she didn’t at least acknowledge the worth of mastectomy.

Um, it was good, I guess. I mean, I stayed interested and all, but it just seemed a little too simple, contrived; made use of too many tired stereotypes. The f
Apr 23, 2015 Purabi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anita Diamant’s Good Harbor is a far cry from her best seller A Red Tent. However I must acknowledge that to compare one against the other would be comparing oranges to apples. Having read The Red Tent and The Last Days of Dogtown I have been an avowed Diamant fan so was excited to read Good Harbor. This one is written in a different vein altogether – of two women, complete strangers until a chance meeting during prayer services at the Temple. Kathleen, late fifties, beautiful and elegant, has j ...more
My Book Club Selection for June of 09. A good read from Anita Diamant, exploring the mother/daughter relationship (I pray my daughter will not turn into an alien when she hits puberty!) and friendships. An "easy read" that made me laugh and cry. The Book Club discussion was very interesting, as a few women found it too "light". One said "it was like a bag of potato chips. I didn't need to eat it, but I did" -- which got us all laughing.
Aug 28, 2014 Maura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I enjoyed most about this book were the descriptions of the places on Cape Ann, since we have stayed there often over many, many years. The "red hotel" that marks the end of the beach at high tide is one we have stayed at, and we too have crossed the wooden bridge over the tidal creek. The traffic circles, the bridge, Bearskin was fun to visit them in this book with the characters.

This is the 3rd time I have read this author. First was "The Red Tent", many years ago. Then in Rock
I love this writer, from what I can remember. I need to go back and read the Red Tent to ensure that I do actually like her. I enjoyed this book because the main character lives in New England and is a Children's librarian. How could I not love her?
Two women, Kathleen and Joyce, in need of a friend meet each other at Temple. Though a decade (or two) apart in age, the women find comfort in the other's friendship. Kathleen, undergoing radiation for breast cancer, and Joyce, raising a tween and dealing with a shift in her relationship with her husband, find friends they never seemed to have in each other - a sounding board, someone who knows the right things to say, some support.

I found the first 20 pages or so a little difficult to follow, b
Dec 30, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absorbing tale of two women and the friendship they formed. I have been to Cape Ann- Rockport and Gloucester, and have seen the Thatcher Island Lights. Her descriptions accurately describe the beauty of the area. But, more than that, I think the fears and anxiety of any woman facing any kind of cancer were described in a very realistic fashion. (I am a survivor as well, but not of DCIS) The author is very skilled at creating female characters with depth and realism. I enjoyed following the ma ...more
Laura Beasley
Dec 29, 2014 Laura Beasley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book Club
This is the second book by this author I have read and it was very good. Very thought provoking and the story was so believable. The author really lets you know how the people feel and it seems so truthful. Two ladies become friends. The older one Kathleen is goign thru treatment for cancer and Joyce is have problems with her husband and daughter. They meet and instantly click even though there is an age difference. They walk on the beach and talk and open up to one another. Hurts in the past an ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Marietje rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book about a friendship between two women very much, despite the fact that the plot was not a new one. I knew in advance that it was completely different than the Red Tent, so I did not try to compare it. I identified with both women at certain points, and I think many women older than 45 will agree with me. The book was very spiritual in how the characters understand each other and respect the others faith. The only thing that bothered me slightly is that everything gets tied up ...more
Allison Bishop
Probably more like 3.5 stars. I really really liked it, and I was a sobbing mess at parts, but I'm not sure I can say I loved it. I think I might have, were I not expecting a book of the quality and depth of the Red Tent, but this fell short. I saw someone else's review compare it to a Lifetime movie, and that kind of rings true. That may not be entirely fair, as the two main characters were wonderful and I loved their friendship, but I just felt a little bit cheated, like something was lacking. ...more
Aug 01, 2015 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the Red Tent, but this book is just "meh." The bottom line is that communication in relationships is very important. The two characters are almost caricatures: Kathleen has breast cancer and Joyce is a writer of romances. Kathleen will be fine, but she has to deal with the death of her son 25 years before. Joyce has issues of her own, and has a quick affair, like in her romance novels. All families come together at the end. No more. I read it because I was curious and I found it ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a light read, not at all in the depth of Red Tent, but one that does show the strength of a close friendship when you have hidden issues, not well dealt with. The fragileness of the two women was clear but the situations were not that unusual. Almost every woman has had something like them and didn't fall apart as much but clearly the two women found a common depth where they could talk without judgement and begin to heal. I liked the author's discussion questions comparing Biblical times ...more
Dec 27, 2015 Therese rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girlfriends
Recommended to Therese by: I've read the author before

Long ago I read The Red Tent by the same author and loved it. I was expecting another fantastic story even though this one is completely different.

Good Harbor is located in Cape Ann, Massachusetts and is the setting for a friendship that happened at "just the right time" for Kathleen Levine and Joyce Tabachnik who meet unexpectedly one day.

Kathleen a 59-year-old children's librarian married to Buddy with two grown sons has just found out she has breast cancer. Joyce and her husband, Frank,
Apr 07, 2015 Kristie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Kathleen and Joyce are both living on Cape Ann. When they meet, they're both a little lonely and going through some tough times in their lives. Kathleen is facing a breast cancer diagnosis and Joyce has a terrible teenager at home and a mostly-absent husband. They immediately click and become confidantes.

I think it says just about everything you need to know when I write that I really never did get the two names straight in my head. They're not even that similar but I had to have context before
Jul 22, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anita Diamant's international bestseller The Red Tent brilliantly re-created the ancient world of womanhood, exploring the passions, traditions, and turmoil of a family of mothers and daughters from the Book of Genesis. In Good Harbor, she brings her remarkable storytelling skills and emotional insight to the lives of modern women, considering the precarious balance of marriage and career, motherhood and friendship.

The seaside town of Gloucester, on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, is a place where the
Bark's Book Nonsense
I read this as an unabridged audiobook. Not having read The Red Tent I had nothing to compare Good Harbor to for good or bad. Overall I all enjoyed listening to this in the morning but it wasn't nearly as emotional as I'd expected it to be which is good, I guess, because I expected it to make me a runny mess. On the downside, this is a book I won't remember come next week . . .

It was a nice, gentle tale about the distance that can develop between couples that often goes unnoticed but it was also
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Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books -- the newest being THE BOSTON GIRL.

Addie Baum is THE BOSTON GIRL, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to the wider world of the 1910s and ‘20s: short skirts, celebrity
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“I like the way he danced. And then I like the way we danced together.” 17 likes
“Mind your business" had been the motto of her childhood. But now that seemed like a failing in a friend.” 3 likes
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