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The Ocean Between Us (Us)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,984 Ratings  ·  235 Reviews
In The Ocean Between Us Susan Wiggs deftly portrays the struggles and triumphs of an American family facing life's greatest challenges as they come to understand the timeless lessons of the heart.On the surface Grace Bennett has it all--three wonderful children, a devoted husband and a life of adventure and travel. But somewhere between her husband Steve's demanding career ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Mira Books (first published 2004)
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I had to read this for a book club. I can't imagine who picked it -- someone with no taste in literature apparently.

"The Ocean Between Us" hits so many cliches I'm sure it's being optioned as a Lifetime original movie. The story revolves around a Navy family who's just moved to the Pacific northwest. Dad's about to ship out on another tour while Grace, the wife, suffers a midlife crisis, deciding to get in shape, start her own business and buy a house. Her husband is against all these things whi
Apr 02, 2009 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Vale
Reading significant portions of one's own life in a book other than one's own autobiography is an intriguing experience. I was immediately transported back to those days when, like the three children in this book, I too could be called the Navy brat of an officer who was a pilot, an officer who also served on board ship that deployed from port and was gone for months at a time, leaving my mother in charge and me and my brother wishing my dad could have stayed home.

Grace Bennett signed on willing
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Grace and Steve Bennett have been married for twenty years and they have three children in high school. Steve is a career Naval officer and his career has taken precedence over everything else in the family’s life. They’ve just moved to Washington state and Grace starts to feel the need to put down roots and begins to question all the sacrifices the family has made for Steve’s career.

On the eve of Steve’s deployment, the family finds out some shocking news, so the relationship between Steve and
*sigh* I guess there was a reason I kept putting this book off.
The book is very disjointed. There's a reason behind this, I supposed, to preserve the "mystery" of what actually happens, but it's almost like the book had 4 or 5 distinct "chunks" and Wiggs decided to mix them all up. It was confusing until about halfway through the book.
I also didn't like the little clues that were meant to mislead you assume incorrect conclusions.
Grace, at almost-forty, has a revelation that her life is not her o
Mar 06, 2012 Season rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had a real hard time getting into this one. I usually enjoy all of Ms. Wigg's books, so I don't really understand why I had such a hard time with this one. The characters seemed very real to me, but maybe I just didn't like how long it took to get to the point of everything. Not my favorite story, unfortunetly.
Steve Bennett had served in the Navy for 26 years. He and his wife had reached a crossroad in their relationship. He was deployed and left on a carrier with things unresolved. He was assigned to work with a reporter, Francine Atwater, and show her around. They were on night ops when he saw Rivera catch on fire. Steve quickly threw his float coat over Michael Rivera to put out the flames and was blown off the ship in an explosion of the flares that Rivera was also trying to throw off the ship. Ri ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: susan-wiggs
I didn’t expect this book to be as appealing and entertaining; it surprised me because it’s been a while since I read anything outstanding by this author. I liked the aspect of the Navy “wives”, who have to cope with every aspect of family life while their husbands are away on long-time deployment. I enjoyed the Bennett family dynamics very much. The three teenage kids were simply great. They had personality, I loved that. Actually all the characters were all balanced out perfectly.
The main thi
I almost didn't read this one because I didn't think I'd finish it in time since I didn't get to start it until Friday night. I had also just finished another book in the similar genre and thought I might need a change. But I'm so so glad I decided to read it because I really really enjoyed it (and finished it in plenty of time)!

The Ocean Between Us takes place over the course of one year in the Bennett family as they experience yet another year as a Navy family. Grace Bennett has always stuck b
Miranda Lynn
Jun 03, 2013 Miranda Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, read-2013
RATING = 3.75 stars

Susan Wiggs' The Ocean Between Us has been in my to-read pile for a while now, so I finally decided to try it out. I'm not a huge reader of chick lit and I've never read a book by this author before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect going into it. I was pretty surprised by how much I ended up liking it!

The Ocean Between Us revolves around a few US Navy families, and the hardships that come with living that kind of lifestyle. Grace's husband Steve has been in the Navy eve
Jan 08, 2010 Jeanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very mixed feelings about this book. I like the subject of Navy families and a captain's family in particular. Much of the external is true, and some of the internal conflicts. I lived the military life and think the author captured many nuances for wives and kids. That part I like and am continuing to the end.

But the inner dialogue is often over-written, based on a good central idea but written to the point of tedium. This is particularly done just before a major event and feels as if the edito
Laura Edwards
Jun 05, 2016 Laura Edwards rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The best part of this book was the very beginning with the information dump concerning the workings and life aboard a naval aircraft carrier. After that the book is cheesy and predictable, kind of like a bad made-for-TV movie.
Mar 02, 2016 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book about a Navy family and how the wife (Grace) and the 3 kids coped when the father was out to sea. Grace wanted her own business and house when Steve the husband was deployed and she did it. I like how it focused on the kids also. Typical ending but enjoyed it.
Denise Gianelli
Aug 12, 2013 Denise Gianelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nora Roberts describes this book, The Ocean Between Us by Susan Wiggs as " A human and multi- layered story exploring duty to both country and family". After reading The Story of Us, a under 100 page short story, I wanted to read the sequel! Lovely read about a naval family and how the wife evolves into a strong, independent woman, while still remaining true to her husband and children. Nora Roberts' description is accurate......I recommend this book, but the short story first.
Aug 31, 2015 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grace Bennett is married to a Naval officer and has been a Navy "widow" for approximately half of each year. As there oldest twins are close to graduation, she discovers that she has become uneasy with her life. Her husband, Steve feels her discontent as he prepares for deployment. Grace wants to lead a normal family life, she wants to own a home, and she wants to have a job outside the home. Several events occur that cause each member of the family to consider what is really important in their ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Knitcrit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes all I want is a well written chick lit book with family secrets, emotional characters and no smut. This fit that bill and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Dec 21, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Another great book by Susan Wiggs!! I am absolutely loving this author. Here is a book that a lot of people, especially women, can relate too. Even if you have never experienced military life, you can find yourself relating to a lot of these characters. She really did her homework when it comes to this way of life. Highly recommended!!
Apr 11, 2010 Tammie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely story of changes in relationships overtime...and how emotions are so different for individual people. Truly makes you take a minute to sit and think if you still appreciate the relationship you are in and what direction you want it to go in.

Excellent read for those married forever and a day!
Oct 29, 2015 Patsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like this author!
On the surface Grace Bennett has it all --- three wonderful children, a devoted husband and a life of adventure and travel. But somewhere between her husband Steve's demanding career, raising a family, the constant uprooting and the Navy's routine, Grace has lost her sense of self. And when a nearly forgotten secret resurfaces, her discontent comes into sharp focus. Something needs to change. She needs to change.

Then duty calls. Now, separated by an ocean of regrets and longing,
Lyn Richards
Grace twins are on the verge of graduating from high school, she has been a Navy wife for several decades and her younger daughter is growing more and more independent by the day. Grace and her husband have been drifting apart recently and then comes a blow which threatens to completely blast them apart. Will Grace's marriage survive, is she yearning for something more, what are her dreams, and does she feel that investing all her time in her marriage and her children's lives that she has forsak ...more
Loved this story:-)
Grace Bennett signed on willingly for her role as the wife of a Navy officer, but when she realizes she's given too much of herself, she also concludes she has to do something or she will have lost who she really is. But what she wants to do is complicated by a secret her husband has kept from h
Not my usual choice for a book, however, I enjoyed reading this one. I have several relatives who were married to or were career military people, but still, I never really had a true sense of their lives or how they were affected by such a career choice. This book does an excellent job of setting the scene and honestly moving you through the lives of a military family. What's more, besides the main conflict/plot, there are several subplots which not only hold your interest, but compel you to kee ...more
Jul 17, 2014 Jessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Ocean Between Us", by Susan Wiggs is an interesting look at military life, from the wife's viewpoint. Grace and Steve have spent their whole married life going wherever the Navy sends them. They have raised their three children in this nomadic lifestyle, moving every few years, before the kids can make any real friends. Now that all of their children are in high school, and Grace is nearing 40 years old, she begins to question the lifestyle of the Navy and her role as wife and mother. Steve ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look forward to reading more of this author
Dec 27, 2015 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Susan Wiggs has perfectly captured the Navy wife in this story. As my sister-in-law was a Navy wife, I know, some of the joys and problems of this life style. Steve Bennett is a loving husband, a good father, and a Navy man through and through. His wife, Grace is the glue that holds the family together. A terrific mother, great wife and she has become her own woman after years of everything for Steve and the Navy. Loved the story and appreciated the ending. As we know, all is well that ends wel ...more
Cindy Ferguson
Jun 18, 2016 Cindy Ferguson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saturday, June 18, 2016

In my review a bit earlier this evening I neglected to mention that Susan's Prequel Novel "THE STORY OF US" should be read before starting this enduring love story between Emma and Steve of nearly twenty years that almost comes to a catalyst, when Steve is once again preparing for deployment; shortly after secrets of his past life before he married Emma, come to light. Anyone reading this novel will remain at a level of heightened anticipation, needing to know what will ha
Allison L
Sep 20, 2012 Allison L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the things that I’ve always enjoyed about reading books is the way that they can take you away from reality while often still educating you in a way that is unexpected and rewarding. The Ocean Between Us by Susan Wiggs did just that for me. While on the surface it may seem to be a simple story about the sacrifices of love and marriage, it is sensitive tale makes you think about the things that military spouses have to deal with when their loved one is on active duty. Personally, the close ...more
Feb 04, 2011 Marilu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, i-won-it
When I first started this book I thought to myself " Oh no! I am not going to like this as much as I had hoped to!" The first chapter had a lot of Navy jargon, and I was just not interested in it. But, I kept at it, and I am glad I did!

Grace and Steve Bennett have been married nearly twenty years, and have three children in their teens. Steve is a career Navy Officer. Grace is a Navy wife, and mother. Grace has always been very supportive of Steve's career, moving herself and her family, whenev
Dec 25, 2010 Darcy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, romance
This was a great story about families, what they mean to each other, what happens when you don't work hard at keeping them strong, along with beginnings and endings.

Grace and Steve have been married for over 20 years, raised 3 kids together, and lived the normal nomadic life. Along that way Grace and Steve find themselves doing what so many married couples do, not really listening to each other, to the point where their marriage is in trouble. The spark that seems to flame this point is a youth
Jan 07, 2013 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Though a naval setting you don’t have to be a serviceman’s wife to relate to the fundamental questions Grace is now faced with.

Grace is nearly forty and has been married to Steve Bennett for twenty years and raised their three teenage children virtually singlehanded while Steve’s navy career has seen him deployed at sea for months at a time. When Steve is close to the promotion he’s worked for all his career Grace is beginning to acknowledge and face the niggling feelings of discontent that hav
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Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field's End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world's top authors to her seaside community. (See ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Us (2 books)
  • The Story of Us

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