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Good Harbor

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3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  4,875 ratings  ·  591 reviews
Anita Diamant whose rich portrayal of the biblical world of women illuminated her acclaimed international bestseller The Red Tent, now crafts a moving novel of contemporary female friendship.
Good Harbor is the long stretch of Cape Ann beach where two women friends walk and talk, sharing their personal histories and learning life's lessons from each other. Kathleen Levine
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 2nd 2002 by Scribner (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ginnie Leiner
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
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Christine
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
Strother
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
Karen
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
Pam
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
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 -
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Liz
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
Janet
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 Florida...love that place!
Dianne
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
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Purabi
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
Therese
May 13, 2015 Therese rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girlfriends
Recommended to Therese by: I've read the author before
$1.99

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,
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Gayle Cappelluti
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
Toni
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
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Deborah
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
Charity
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.
Maura
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 Neck....it 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
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Jennifer
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?
Carol
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.
Laura Beasley
Dec 29, 2014 Laura Beasley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Marietje
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
Jan
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
Kristie
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
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Sue
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
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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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Jill Furedy
There's someone who reviewed this who wondered if they read this before and forgot about it because it seemed so familiar ...which was the exact reaction I had. There's a good chance a read it after I loved Red Tent so much, I mighht have looked for other titles by her. Nothing particularly stands out about this book, unlike Red Tent, so it could easily have been read and forgotten and then picked back up. It was near another book I was looking for at the library and I thought...oh, I should rea ...more
Wfbcreeds
Anita Diamant whose rich portrayal of the biblical world of women illuminated her acclaimed international bestsellerThe Red Tent,now crafts a moving novel of contemporary female friendship.Good Harbor is the long stretch of Cape Ann beach where two women friends walk and talk, sharing their personal histories and learning life's lessons from each other. Kathleen Levine, a longtime resident of Gloucester, Massachusetts, is maternal and steady, a devoted children's librarian, a convert to Judaism, ...more
Janet Gardner
This one was just okay. The narrative moves back and forth, chapter by chapter, between two women. Kathleen is a school librarian recently diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing a lumpectomy and subsequent radiation treatment. Joyce’s troubles seem more mundane: she’s uninspired by her work and troubled by the uneasy feeling that she’s drifting away from her workaholic husband and moody, adolescent daughter. The two women meet, instantly bond, and help each other through a few rough months. ...more
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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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More about Anita Diamant...
The Red Tent The Boston Girl Day After Night The Last Days of Dogtown Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for their Family and Friends

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“I like the way he danced. And then I like the way we danced together.” 16 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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