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Returning to Shore

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Her mother's third marriage is only hours old when all hope for Clare's fifteenth summer fades. Before she knows it, Clare is whisked away to some ancient cottage on a tiny marsh island on Cape Cod to spend the summer with her father - a man she hasn't seen since she was three.

Clare's biological father barely talks, and when he does, he obsesses about endangered turtles.
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Carolrhoda Books
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Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, lgbtq
Great book! Very current, and looks at LGBTQ topics through a unique lens. Highly recommend!
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Surprise gem.

Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

There was something so quiet about Returning to Shore. Not many action packed scenes, instead the distant lap of the tide in the background as a father unsteadily attempted to bridge a gap with his estranged daughter, teaching her the routines of the sea turtles and hence, his research in the small town he grew up in.

Clare was already filled with emotions on her way to Cape Cod. Not only was she not entirely thrilled with her mom’s n
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was really looking forward to this one. But I was disappointed. I wasn't connected to any of the characters (maybe it was the length of the book?) and I couldn't relate to them. I felt like the same thing was happening over and over again when Clare and Richard went out to find the terrapins. It was a quick read which was good. I wish I liked this one! :(
Ellen Wittlinger
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Clare's reunion with her father after many years is surprising and poignant. Written in Demas's usual lyrical style, the book captures the magic of Cape Cod in the summertime, especially for this girl who barely remembers that it's her real home. Lovely.
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
RETURNING TO SHORE is a brief book, not particularly fast paced but a quick read by virtue of its brevity. It's cover is bleak, but the book is anything but. It's a simple tale, enlivened with a touch of quirk and symbolism.

Clare has lived with her mother since her parent's divorce. She loved her stepfather, and still misses him, even as her mother is marrying for the third time. But she doesn't have much time to contemplate her dislike of her new stepfather before she's swept off to a small Cap
R.J. Gonzales
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally Posted at: RJ Does Books!

'Returning to Shore' is a coming of age story that follows Clare going to stay with a father she hasn't really known after her mother remarries. At first Clare is hesitant, reserved and cautious to warm up to him. She doesn't know this man, and he isn't exactly the most communicative of personalities to mesh with, with ease. But soon his story begins to unravel allowing Clare to see another side to this man beyond his bashful nature and intense passion for sea
Rashmi Tiwari
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is one of those YA novels that I think I should rate differently based on the fact that it is YA and I am not (a) YA but whatever. There is exceptional literature out there with the YA designation and I'm going to stick to my old lady standards when I rate YA.

Rant aside, this is a quiet story that doesn't really offend or impress. Demas' Clare is almost translucent as a character for all the color and depth we get from her. Perhaps this is a good trick for YA since it forces readers to eith
Summer Price
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book "Returning to Shore" by Corrinne Demas is about a fourteen year old girl named Claire who's mother arranges for her to stay at her father's house on an isolated island for three weeks. Claire isn't very happy about the idea of spending three weeks with a man who's been absent for almost her whole life, but as she spends more time with her father on the island, their bond deepens and they become close. However, when Claire returns home, she learns the truth about her parents' divorce and ...more
Betsy Hartmann
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Returning to Shore explores the deep waters of the reuniting of a daughter and her father after many years of separation. It's beautifully written and keenly observed -- a real gem with a lovely ending that stays with you long after the book is closed.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Quiet and introspective.
Shane Collins
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader copy of this novel from the publisher. Demas has published a wide range of novels - from adult literary to children's picture books. I have read one of her previous novels, The Writer's Circle, but this is the first of her YA novels that I've read.

In Corinne Demas's new novel, Returning to Shore (2014), fifteen-year-old Clare is sent to Blackfish Island for the summer when her mother remarries. She stays with her father, a man she has not seen since she was three an
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I was very excited to get a chance to read and review this book. I read Everything I Was a while back and really enjoyed it, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on this one as well. I had mixed thoughts on this one. I really, really loved it for approximately 99% of the story. The characters are great, the main character Clare is just the perfect mix of stubborn independence and wanting to still be a kid. I hearing her thoughts on her mom and new husband, as well as her first reactions to ...more
Tinky Weisblat
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Teenagers are intense and vulnerable—and their lives are seldom easy. Corinne Demas has created a realistic, touching tale of teenage angst and growth in “Returning to Shore.”

Clare dreads the upcoming summer. Her mother is leaving the country to honeymoon with husband number three, and the 15 year old is about to be exiled to Cape Cod to spend a few weeks with Richard, the father she hasn’t seen since she was three. She feels resentful and ill at ease.

When Clare meets her father he looks signifi
John Clark
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fifteen year old Clare is watching her mother get married for the third time as the story opens. In addition to being cynical about the durability of this union, she's still hurting from the loss of the stepfather who said he'd be there for her forever. Now he's just some guy living with another woman and out of her life. If that wasn't difficult enough to deal with, her mother nixes her plan to go to Colorado with her best friend for the summer. Instead, her aunt takes her out on Cape Cod to me ...more
Kirsten Feldman
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Demas's previous book, Everything I Was, featured a nearly lone main character, Irene, who finds an alternate, voluminous, all-encompassing new family up the road when her own family doesn’t seem to have much interest in her. I felt deeply for her. Here, too, the main character, Clare, finds herself shunted off so that her thrice-married mother can go on her honeymoon for three weeks. That her destination is her father’s ancestral cottage, where she has neither been nor set eyes on him in a deca ...more
Bruce Baugh
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I saw this book recommended as an example of young-adult fiction that also works for adults, and it is. This is a small but lovely, quiet story. The main character's a 16-year-old girl sent off for time with her father, whom she hasn't seen since she was three and has no memory of, while her mother's off on her third honeymoon. Clare peels back the layers of mystery around her father's life with her mother and his disengagement, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. It would have been easy to ...more
Chrystal Snowdrop Dreams
This book is a pretty quick read, though not fast paced. Clare is swept off to visit with her biological father right after her mother walks down the aisle for the third time. Clare misses her first step-father more than words can say and she is completely uneasy with seeing her Dad again for the first time in forever.

Clare goes through some typical teenage moments during her stay on the island, like being slightly embarrassed about who her father is, falling to a bit of peer pressure (but also
Miranda the Gayvenger
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked it because it was different.

It has a summery waves lapping against the shore feel to it rather than a big bold beach party feel. At first I put it down because it was in 3rd person. But short of anything else to read, I gave it another try and was drawn into Clare's world. There is a nice father/daughter dance going on with Clare telling us about her 2nd father and then moving on to tell us about her birth father.

The thing I like most is that Clare finds the courage to make a wise deci
Laura Phelps
This book follows Clare, a young teen meeting her biological father for the first time since she was 3, and her journey to accepting him for who he is.

To be honest, I had to choke down the first few chapters. The writing seemed clunky and the main character so overdone - I mean really, a disenchanted, headstrong, angsty teenage girl? How many of those have been in literature lately?

But either the book got better or I opened my mind to it, because by the end I realized that it really was unique.
A Book Vacation
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it
To see my full review:

This is a very short read--I think it took me about two hours to devour, and I liked it, but truth be told, I don't really feel one way or another about it. The storyline is well written, the characters are believable, and it's a cute coming of age story, but overall, there just isn't a whole lot to it. Our main character, Clare, is finding herself while at the same time finding her father, a main she doesn’t remember and doesn’t really know, and in a
Brandi Rae
I did have a couple of problems...none of which made it a bad book. Just not a great book either.

With a book this short, by using the third person, the author made it really hard to connect to the characters, especially given some of the big issues in the book. As a reader, I felt distanced from the characters, never getting to know enough about them.

Also, the short sentences at times made the narrative a bit choppy; at times (but not throughout the book), there was a lot of telling not showing.
Ridgewood Public Library Youth Services
4 out of 5 stars

This is a very quick read (it's a very short book) but manages to pack quite a story into its brevity. Clare's mother got married for the 3rd time and Clare is adjusting to life without her beloved stepfather (mom's 2nd husband). She's sent to spend a few weeks with her biological father in Cape Cod while mom's on her honeymoon. Clare doesn't remember her father and wants to know why he stayed out of her life. The book revolves around Clare and her father getting to know each oth
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Here is an excerpt from my review: "I really liked this book. It deals with some deep stuff but in a not-too-complicated way. It's nice to see Clare evolve not only in her relationship with her father but also in her understanding of herself. In the beginning, Clare isn't really sure who she is and who her family is. The only father she's truly known is her first stepfather, and she's a little devastated that he's no longer married to her mom and confused about what to do now that he's not. Is h ...more
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-books
This is a very quick read (it's a very short book) but manages to pack quite a story into its brevity. Clare's mother got married for the 3rd time and Clare is adjusting to life without her beloved stepfather (mom's 2nd husband). She's sent to spend a few weeks with her biological father in Cape Cod while mom's on her honeymoon. Clare doesn't remember her father and wants to know why he stayed out of her life. The book revolves around Clare and her father getting to know each other and Clare lea ...more
Elaine Von
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was caught up in this story of 15-year old Clare who spends the summer on Cape Cod with her father whom she hasn't seen since she was three.

She gets caught up in a dangerous boat ride with boys who are drinking. She learns about her Dad's passion for saving endangered animals and also learns information about him which forever changes Irene's opinion of him.

I loved how Demas shows understanding evolving between Irene and her father. Must admit I cried a bit!

saving endangered animals and also
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is a lovely story about 15 year old Clare. After her mother gets married for the third time, she sends Clare, who is pining for her stepfather, her mother's second husband, off to visit her father, whom she has not seen since she was too young to remember him. On an island with a virtual stranger, Clare discovers who her father is and what his secrets are. It takes some time, but they forge a relationship as they care for the terrapins that her father catalogues and tries to save even as na ...more
Karen Osborn
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is beautifully written-- like a poem. The emotions of the daughter and the father as they stumble through the re-kindling of their relationship are so moving and the turtle scenes are great. I got teary-eyed when the daughter remembered calling her father daddy. This novel is as much for adults as young adults. The complexities of character are so well developed, including the father's relationship with his dead lover, which we learn more and more about, slowly over the cou ...more
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-lgbt
i barely got past her meeting her dad before i said, oh with this mysterious act he's either gay or dying or both. there's nothing bad about this book, but i don't think there was much actual development of their relationship and the fact that this is a ~issue book~ about her dad but they can't even say the word GAY is just. eh.
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was too short! It had the components of a good plot and there was some nice character development but just when I was starting to feel a solid connection to the characters...BAM! was over! I would've liked to have seen a lot more in this book and it's too bad because I think it could've been great!
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Corinne Demas is Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College and a fiction editor of the Massachusetts Review. She has a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

She is the award-winning author of thirty books, including five novels, two collections of short stories, a memoir, and numerous books for children.

More about Corinne Demas...

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“If you didn't want to know things, you didn't have to know them. Things didn't become facts until someone actually spoke them. Until then, you could just go on acting just the way you had been acting and even if you suspected there was something that would change everything, you didn't have to acknowledge it; you didn't have to let it in.” 2 likes
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