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Sea Escape

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  333 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Acclaimed novelist and nationally recognized family expert Lynne Griffin returns with Sea Escape—an emotional, beautifully imagined story inspired by the author’s family letters about the ties that bind mothers and daughters. Laura Martinez is wedged in the middle place, grappling with her busy life as a nurse, wife, and devoted mom to her two young children when her estra...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published June 21st 2010)
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I saw a review of this book that said "I wouldn't recommend it, but it wasn't a waste of time." I think that sums up my reaction to the book perfectly. I got to the end and felt vaguely let down. Two stories - a daugther's and her mother's are told, coming together at the end. The problem was that neither character was particularly interesting (or appealing), the storylines were fairly pedestrian and the resolution unsatisfying. Still, while I was reading it, I was reasonably interested. Count m...more
Lynne Griffin’s Sea Escape is a quiet, moving novel centering on mothers and daughters, fathers and sons — families, complicated and vast and difficult. Shades of Helen and Laura’s relationship can probably be seen in any mother/daughter duo, no matter how close — or how distant — they may appear. From the onset, I was drawn in by Griffin’s language. Her words brought me straight onto the porch of Sea Escape, her mother’s beloved home, or into the hospital room where she stood reading letters to...more
When I read the synopsis about a woman who starts her own sewing business and buys her dream home, I thought this might be a fun book to listen to. But the story doesn't focus on that aspect of Helen's life; instead, it is typical, formulaic, overly-descriptive chick-lit. Disappointment abounds for my dream of an inspiring story.

* Much of this review has been quoted from another reader because it so closely spoke my own thoughts.
Griffin’s Sea Escape is a quiet, moving novel centering on mothers and daughters, family secrets and family ties. Shades of Helen and Laura’s relationship can probably be seen in any mother/daughter duo, no matter how close — or how distant — they may appear. From the onset, I was drawn in by Griffin’s language. Her words brought me straight onto the porch of Sea Escape, her mother’s beloved h...more
Elizabeth Whitehead
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Missi Svoboda
Lynne Griffin does it again !!! She writes the story so well that you dont want to put the book down. You end up getting to a point where you CAN'T put it down. Her style of writing is so unique, you find yourself very emotional and captivated with the people in the story. This, like her other book, leave you with alot to think about....especially at the end of the book. You will continue to think about the story for a while after completing it.
Dawn valentine
Sea Escape is the type of book that digs deeply into the lives of women – their challenges, desires, fears, and relationships. It is also a book about mothers and daughters and the ambivalence that often develops between them. Finally, this novel deals with long term grief and the difficult road to recovery. Laura Martinez She is trying to balance her career as a nurse, wife and mother to two young children. Her relationship with her mother, Helen, has always been a difficult one. Helen survives...more
Patty Marion
This is a beautiful novel from front cover to back. The cover design is beautiful and made me think the book would be beautiful too, and it was.

I received SEA ESCAPE by Lynne Griffin as a First Read and was so moved by this story about the relationships within the Tobin family. I had not read her first novel and didn’t know what to expect but Griffin is such a fine writer with an exquisite sensitivity to our flawed natures that long to do and be what is good even as we stumble and then struggle...more
I thought the author's last book, her debut: Life Without Summer was wonderful. Her latest novel: Sea Escape, is based in part on letters discovered about the author's own family. It is also a story about the ties that forever bind mothers and daughters.

Laura Tobin Martinez is a 40 something, working wife and mother of two, who suddenly finds herself being stretched even further. Her mother Helen has had a debilitating stroke, and will require extensive rehabilitation. Laura and her mother have...more
Lynne Griffin’s "Sea Escape"

Lynne Griffin’s book, "Sea Escape", centers on a mother and daughter relationship. Some part of Helen and Laura’s relationship can probably be seen in any mother/daughter duo, no matter how close – or how distant – they may appear. As my own mother lived at the beach, the author’s words brought me straight onto the porch of Sea Escape.

"Sea Escape" alternates between Helen and Joseph’s courtship in the 1950’s and present day, when Laura is tending to her mother’s needs...more
When Laura's mother has a stroke, she resorts to reading her mother's letters from her long-deceased father to try to bring her mother back to her. Through the letters though, she finds her parents perfect life may not have been what it seemed, and that her and her mother unknowingly share the same secret.
The book started off a bit slow, but about every other chapter is from Laura's mother Helen's point of view, and they always include a letter from Laura's father, which I really enjoyed reading...more
Oct 23, 2010 Carol rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
This somber tone of this book fits. There are quite a few family relationships that are aching for more affection and less secrets in this book. Even though the situations were often very sad, I could not stop reading especially when the book centered on the mother’s sewing. The book made me recall the draperies and curtains that my mother artfully made for every room of all house that she lived. The act of sewing was a gift of love from the mother to her husband and children but that did not co...more
Sea Escape is a story of a mother and a daughter trying to forgive and love each other. Laura Martinez is the daughter. Laura is a busy wife, mother of two, and nurse who must also add taking care of her mother, Helen, after she suffers a stroke. Laura tries to connect with her mother by reading the letters she finds from her father to her mother that he wrote while working overseas. Helen we get to know through reading about her past and her life with her beloved husband, Joseph, who she lost m...more
Sea Escape is a story about family dynamics and the secrets that keep the family members together and/or rip them apart. The author goes back and forth between past and present seamlessly, mostly by using love letters written by the main character's father. This interesting technique worked well because the letters had a different "voice" than author's, as if they really were written by someone else. And, in fact, the letters are inspired by real letters the author's parents wrote.

The author pe...more
Sea Escape, by Lynne Griffin

I wanted my other, messy life back.
pg. 49

Combine the tension of a mother daughter relationship, family secrets, stories told through love letters and an expert weaving of eras from the 1950's through the Vietnam war and beyond, and you have this book. It is obvious that the author has used personal experience and her expertise in family studies to create this good read. Throw in a seaside setting and you have me completely engrossed. four stars for me....more
Carla Ford
Sad but often typical that relationships, especially between mothers and daughters, can be based on secrets and misunderstandings. As Laura cares for her mother Helen following a stroke, she begins to read letters that Helen had always closely guarded from her. Helen was devastated by the death of Laura's father when Laura was just a teenager, and her relationship with Laura was damaged. Never close as Laura married and started her own family, the wedge between the two women kept them from havin...more
Donna Johnson
As I read the synopsis for Sea Escape, I hoped that I would not be let down by what I “thought” the book would be like – and I was by no means let down. I felt the author was able to bring me into the lives of the characters, mainly because I felt it was easy to relate to the characters and I could picture them as anyone of my family members, friends, neighbors or even the clients I work with. I work with hospice patients and their families and part of my work is to attempt to have them make pea...more
I was lucky to have received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. From the moment I started reading it I knew that I was going to like it. The story has a lot of depth, a lot of twist and turns that you don't see coming. The level of emotion that you feel as you read both the mother's and the daughter's stories are real and raw. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, to me there seemed to be a perfect balance of detail and story. Lynne gives just enough information of the environment th...more
One might be tempted to dismiss this novel written about yet another woman sandwiched between meeting the needs of parents and children, so common that we don’t marvel at the work involved if we are committed to respecting and honoring the caretakers and those being cared for. Griffin’s deep understanding of human behavior supports every step of this novel in which a young mother is reluctantly drawn back to care for her estranged mother who has recently suffered a stroke. Nothing is easily acco...more
James (DayOldNews)
Sea Escape bounces between the histories of a a middle-aged woman and her mother, detailing how their relationship went from loving to strained and the secrets behind that stress. The story got more interesting the deeper into the book, but the start was a bit plodding.
Dale Harcombe
I loved Lynne Griffin’s first book Life without Summer and this next one Sea Escape did not disappoint. As soon as I pulled it off the library shelf before I went into hospital, I knew it was the next book I had to read. This book was inspired by personal family letters. It beautifully demonstrates the ties that bind and at times complicate relationships between mothers and daughters. The relationships are beautifully explored and it is no surprise to know Lynne is an expert on family, life and...more
Virginia Campbell
I very much enjoyed "Sea Escape". My own mother and I lived together for almost fifty years. Ours was a fiercely uncomfortable relationship, alleviated with brief spurts of biting humor. When my mother became ill, and grew weaker and weaker, I continued to care for her at home. During this time, I also went back to college, worked full-time and cared for our numerous rescue animals. In "Sea Escape", I saw glimpses of my own difficult relationship with mother, noting that as I grew older, I wonde...more
I struggled to get through this book. I really wanted to like it but there was just something missing. A story about the secrets family members keep, Laura learns about the mother who separated herself from the family after the death of her husband. Hidden love letters scattered throughout her mother's house begin to tell the tale of her parent's love story and also expose heartache she never saw coming. I enjoyed the author's symbolism in Laura's mother's intricate sewing abilities and intense...more
I really wanted to like this book. It said it was about a nurse who had a busy life and finds peace by the sea. I would not recommend the book, but it wasn't awful.
Laura is trying to deal with arranging care for her mother after a stroke while continuing to be a wife, mother, and nurse. Her mother, Helen, has been hiding family secrets for years while pretending to have a perfect family. Since Helen's husband, Joseph, died overseas, she has withdrawn into the world of his letters.
I found the beginning of the book quite choppy as it moved from one member to another in this multigenerational family. As the family secrets were revealed through Joseph's letter...more
Mary Anne
I like this book especially since it was written by Lynne Griffin who goes to my church. Lynne is such a lovely woman; she is very accomplished but you would never know from her. Humility.
The book tells the story of a woman whose mother has a stroke. While her mother recuperates in a rehab facility, Laura, the daughter, reads letters her father had written to her mother over the years of their marraige. One by one family secrets are revealed through the letters helping Laura to confront her moth...more
Some unexpected turns in this story. A good summer read about family dysfunction but what may really be behind it.
Tattered Cover Book Store
Jackie says:

Laura is in the sandwich generation--she's got two kids at home, a thriving nursing career, a loving husband, and a very difficult mother who shut down years ago when Laura's father died. When her mother has a massive stroke, Laura breaks her mother's long held demand for privacy by beginning to read to her the letters her father wrote to her mother years ago, describing their perfect love. Or at least that was always the story. As the letters unfold, a different tale of her parents...more
Eileen Smith
I liked it very much - it was a hopeful book with good characters. I wish Lynne Griffin wrote more novels
Sabrina Laitinen
This is a lovely book that shows the ties of love between a mother and daughter. When Laura's mother suffers a stroke, she takes her to a sea side retreat called Sea Escape. It is here that Laura's finds solace in letters written by her deceased husband. There are such poignant moments scattered throughout this novel. Lynne Griffin has given us a story here about love and hope, and is sure to be enjoyed by book clubs who read books on ths topic. Our book club short-listed this for a summer read...more
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unsure 1 2 Aug 28, 2012 02:54PM  
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LYNNE GRIFFIN is an acclaimed novelist and a nationally recognized expert on family life. She is the author of the novels, SEA ESCAPE (Simon & Schuster, 2010) and LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER (St. Martin’s Press, 2009).

Lynne is also the author of the nonfiction parenting guide NEGOTIATION GENERATION: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment (Penguin, 2007).

Lynne teaches family studies at t...more
More about Lynne Griffin...
Life Without Summer Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment Ein Sommer Ohne Dich Dagen zonder Abby

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