Kristilyn's Reviews > Distant Shores

Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah
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Feb 21, 12

bookshelves: physical-book, read-in-2012
Read on January 22, 2012

Don’t we all want fame and fortune? Or are you the kind of person who would rather stay in your comfort zone and handle small successes as they come in, without the public eye’s opinion?

This is the basis for Kristin Hannah’s novel, Distant Shores. It’s the story of Elizabeth — Birdie — and Jackson Shore, a married couple who weathered the ups and downs of marriage as they started a family with their two girls. They moved and moved, following Jackson’s career as an NFL star. Now that their girls have grown up and started their own lives, Elizabeth and Jackson are drifting apart, each seeming to seek different things for themselves. They end up questioning their marriage, their passions and their dreams, noticing that their ideas may not be the same.

Another great book by Hannah, I was immediately drawn into this one, mostly because of the beautiful scenery painted for me of Jackson and Birdie’s home — Birdie’s dream home, on the edge of the ocean, with a view of the water, a view of the stars. It sounded like a dream home to me. Being more of a recluse myself, I wondered why anyone would want to seek a life outside of this environment, but over time ideas change and what two people want at one time may not be the same years and years down the road.

I found myself identifying most with Birdie. Being an artist myself — a musician — I wonder sometimes what it would be like to not make music at all. Birdie’s a painter and she stopped painting when her girls were born. Just abandoned it, then and there. I couldn’t imagine going back to it after all those years, but one could only hope for the courage that Birdie had.

Jackson wasn’t my favourite character, but I think he was meant to be painted that way. I felt empathy towards Birdie and how she was treated by her husband. I hate to sound like men are incapable of anything — because they certainly aren’t! — but some men need a push from their woman … they need the prodding, the reminding. And some, like Jackson, need to constantly be put up on a pedestal.

I appreciated this novel, but disagreed with the end. I don’t want to give anything away, but it didn’t end how I would have liked it to. I felt that too many events happened throughout the novel for it to end like that. And I almost felt cheated with the ending — I finished the book and didn’t feel complete. I didn’t feel that great resolution I usually feel after reading Hannah’s books — I felt there were a lot of loose ends, unresolved issues. However, this is a wonderful story about marriage and how it’s hard work to keep it going, especially for the long haul.

That being said, this is another great work by Kristin Hannah. Perfect for a married couple, or even those who dare to dream.
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Reading Progress

01/22/2012 page 242
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