Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Captain's Daughter” as Want to Read:
The Captain's Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Captain's Daughter

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,267 ratings  ·  155 reviews
For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emma Straub comes an emotionally gripping novel about a woman who returns to her hometown in coastal Maine and finds herself pondering the age-old question of what could have been.

Growing up in Little Harbor, Maine, the daughter of a widowed lobsterman, Eliza Barnes could haul a trap and row a skiff with the best of them. But she always kne
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by Doubleday Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,267 ratings  ·  155 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sarah Joint
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is women's fiction how I like it: no instant love between characters who just met, simply an emotional and lovely read. I really enjoyed it and while I didn't connect with all of the characters and there were moments that left me scratching my head, it's worth a read. The author goes into great detail about life both in the small hometown of the main character and considerably more affluent town she lives in now. She makes you feel like you're there with them, and maybe capable of hauling i ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit, 2017-books
This could have been called "Despicable Me," except that title has already been claimed.

While I enjoyed Moore's last novel, "The Admissions," this book is something else all together. I found it hard to connect with most of the characters, as their actions belied common sense. Several plot points seemed contrived (a character on death's door shows up out of the blue for a Clint Eastwood "Go ahead. Make my day" moment, among one of several head-scratchers).

Not sure if I was "off" during the readi
In The Captain's Daughter, author Meg Mitchell Moore presents a female lead: Eliza who marries into a very different lifestyle that the one she was raised. Now, years later, during a trip back home she wonders what her life would have looked like had she remained a small-town girl. There are a ton of characters in this book and in my opinion, Ms. Moore was heavy-handed in her character development (I know, I know, authors can't get a break can they? It's either too little or too much...sorry). E ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
All of my reviews can be found on

Are you guys going to kill me if I add yet another book to your summer reading list? I’m going to assume you’re all like me and add new books to your TBR daily, so naturally you’ll be happy to add another book. What’s one more anyway?!

Meg Mitchell Moore is a new to me author and I really had no idea what to expect when I picked up The Captain’s Daughter, but if pushed I would’ve said that I was expecting a fun, lighthearted beach read, someth
Kate ☀️ Olson
Thank you to Doubleday Books for providing me with a finished copy of this book for review - all opinions are my own.

THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER is an exquisite story about motherhood, marriage, grief and being true to your roots, with much of the book being set in a gorgeous Maine fishing town. If you don't at least THINK about crying while reading this book, I'm fairly certain we can't be friends. It has ALL the feelings.

Moore has touched on the very deepest thoughts in a mother's and daughter's h
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
While this was a story of troubled people dealing with real challenges, the novel wasn’t dark. Nor was it chick lit or a frothy beach read. Set on the picturesque coast of Maine where the background was very much a part of things, The Captain’s Daughter was almost instantly engaging. I could smell the salt air and see the sunsets, but then New England has always been close to my heart! The quaintness of the old fishing town, the quirkiness of the folks, the down east mindset and strength of char ...more
Eileen Goudge
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartwarming and Well-written

I really enjoyed this novel. The author deftly weaves together multiple storylines in a tapestry that’s richly realized and full of heart.
Alison Smith
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read the reviews for this book before I picked it up, but I didn't pay them much attention. "Be nice!" I thought. "It can't be THAT bad!" I thought.


The idea behind the plot is a good one, and I was interested to see how it went. But the characters were so one-dimensional and underdeveloped that I couldn't really enjoy the story. The actions were disconnected and too jumpy; for example, one chapter ended with a fall and the world going black, then later it was all good, with no explanatio
Cindy Roesel
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
It’s often said that we leave the best for last. But BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2017 has had the best of the best novels all summer. As we near Labor Day and the end of our visits to the beach and pool, we still have another fabulous seashore novel to share.
A woman ponders the age old question: what could have been?
In Meg Mitchell Moore’s, new novel, THE CAPTAIN’S DAUGHTER (Doubleday), Eliza Barnes returns to the small Maine town she left years ago, because her widowed father has been h
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing

The Captain's Daughter
Meg Mitchell Moore

What it's all about...

This book is about Eliza and her family. A bit of background about Eliza...her mom died way too early, she grew up in Maine with her gruff lobsterman father and she escaped what could have been a life changing early experience with her high school boyfriend. She has a husband and two daughters whom she adores. Summer has just's filled with club lunches, pools, boating...Eliza's life is full and rich a
Jasmine Dale
Read this for a buddy read. It wasn't horrible but there was nothing great about it. All the issues were touched on pretty superficially. Just nothing significant.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was good, but not great. About half way through I wondered where it was going. I liked the way it ended because it tied up all the loose ends. There were a couple of controversial issues in this book that were kind of glossed over and would have been interesting for the author to explore. Still, it was worth reading.
I liked this book, but there were quite a few aspects of it that bothered me too much to say that I really liked it. It was an easy read, and the characters did manage to pull me in as the story progressed. That said, the book rubbed me the wrong way in two areas.

First, this book was obnoxiously elitist. It was almost like an inside joke how many times the author could drop the Ivy League or Brown into the story. It was impossible to forget that these people went to Brown, as if they are some so
Donna Hines
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Emotionally gripping, dangerously exhilarating, powerful beyond all words.
How often we've found ourselves torn between being caretakers and trying to find our own place in life?
When life forces us to slow down by pressing the pause button and giving us something to think about such as being diagnosed with terminable brain cancer we realize just how precious time is and how valuable a commodity.
In a way you can say we all are "captains" of our own ships and we are the ones who must find our way t
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arc
Eliza ... The Captain's Daughter. Lost her mom at a young age. Her dad was a lobster boat "captain". She came from humble beginnings. She attended med school for a couple years, but never finished. She's married ... married well (country club well) and has two kids. Life is good and cushy and comfortable.

Then her dad falls ill. She goes home to be with him. Learns it is aggressive brain cancer, but he is refusing treatment. She is torn - needed with her hubby and kids and needed with her dad.

Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Boring - nothing happens!
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I flew through the pages of this book. This was an outstanding story.

A lobsterman's daughter has to go back to her roots when her father gets injured on the job, and ends up having to stay to help for reasons she only realizes when she gets there.

If you like the writings of Jane Green, Billie Letts, or Karma Brown, I think you would enjoy this book.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
I really can't even express my love for this book. I had been sitting on it for a while and then saw Elin Hildebrand recommend it on FB so I decided to pick it up. I'm so glad I did. There was not one character that I couldn't relate to in some way. Eliza dealing with family struggles, Mary with a precarious situation and bad relationship, Rob with social and financial pressures. I can't say enough good things about this one. This is my first of Meg Mitchell Moore's and certainly won't be my las ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written with realistic characters. They aren’t perfect, they are flawed and they make questionable choices but they are still good people.

Eliza is the daughter of a lobster man.
Her mom died when she was young.
Her dad raised her alone and Eliza grew up with little money.
When she had a chance to leave town for college, she took it. She never went back home except for visiting.

Now she is married, with two children of her own and a loving husband. She’s also extremely wealthy because of
Lea Grady
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Run of the mill, plotless, "sort" of boring book. Lots of words about nothing. Shallow. However, only thing noteworthy (and not in a good way) on the recorded version I listened to was how the narrator decided to interpret the voices of the characters, particularly her impression of Charlie (the captain) who she positively made sound like the poltergeist. She also forgot her other characters voices on occasion and poltergeisted an elderly lady name Val, changed how the other characters sounded f ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an entertaining read of adults with children rehashing their lives and wondering if they made a mistake in their earlier choices in life.

The book deals with marriage, children, parents, ailing parents, and what could have been as well as dealing with issues on a daily basis in their lives.

I enjoyed reading this book.

Thanks to Doubleday Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
For the most part, this book was just ok. It was a story I was interested in, however, I felt like it was lacking somehow, even though I cannot say exactly how. The last quarter of the book improved for me somewhat, but I was still left feeling cheated.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I started this right after reading Moore's So Far Away. I didn't get very far, small town, tall, skinny girl, misfit. Then I was finished.
Sara Hill
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-books
Review can also be found on my blog or

What I loved about The Captain's Daughter by Meg Mitchell Moore is how realistic it is. It is not a story you would create in your mind daydreaming but more formed by life experiences. In some ways, this was enjoyable because it felt like I was walking through friends in times of need. In other ways, it was a slight let down because most times I read to escape the world for a little bit and experien
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pleasant light hearted read, although I detected a morality/rigidity that was disconcerting to me and ultimately undefined and carried through. The novel fluctuates from a number of character’s pov but they all circle Eliza’s plight. Moore’s characters aren’t particularly well rounded or empathetic but the story provokes lots of food for thought. This is a novel predominately about motherhood (or rather about mother-daughter relationships): about absent mothers, neglectful mothers, sub ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-selection
The Captain’s Daughter – Meg Mitchell Moore

Eliza Sargent Barnes grew up in the lobstering village of Little Harbor, Maine where she had a pleasant but complicated childhood. When she married, Eliza moved to Massachusetts. The reader is introduced to Eliza as a young wife and mother with two young daughters. She is married to Robert Barnes, her college boyfriend. Rob recently launched his own architectural firm and spends his time working with his very demanding and well-heeled first client. Eliz
Holly Robinson
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of Elin Hilderbrand, you're going to love Meg Mitchell Moore. In The Captain's Daughter, Moore has written a lovely, often humorous, and emotional story of Eliza, who grows up in a small town in Maine, the daughter of a lobsterman, who ends up making it into an Ivy League college and marrying well enough to be living the posh country club life. When her father falls ill, she travels back to Maine to take care of him and figure out how she got to where she is at this moment in lif ...more
Gena - My Book Reviews for You
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-first
This was an outstanding novel! I really enjoyed the way the families’ lives were depicted. The book had a realistic, modern day tone to it. The story is set in Massachusetts and in Maine during the present time. There are some parts that are glimpses of the past, memories that are necessary to understand the characters’ lives. Eliza lives a country club, affluent life in Massachusetts with her husband Rob and her children, Zoe and Evie. Suddenly, Eliza finds herself going home to Maine to see he ...more
Lara Ryan
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, netgalley
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.

Although I was not a huge fan of The Admissions, I was intrigued by this book's ties to coastal Maine and Massachusetts. I'm a sucker for storied that I can try to put real life perspective on, even if it's just the setting. So, I gave it a chance.

I'm glad I did. The story had many underlying themes and storylines which kept the story flowing. Eliza is in the midst of taking care of her family now
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Eliza Barnes, daughter of a lobsterman from a small town in Maine, worked hard her whole life to break away from the fishing boats. With dreams of the Ivy League and medical school, Eliza leaves her high school sweetheart and widowed father to begin her journey. Plans slightly veered when Eliza gets married and finds herself living the country club life with a handsome husband and two beautiful daughters in Boston. This seemingly idyllic spell is broken when Eliza is called to help her father af ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Eden
  • Wedding Belles (Sassy Belles, #2)
  • Sailing Lessons
  • The Beach at Painter's Cove
  • The Goddesses
  • Dying Breath (Detective Lucy Harwin, #2)
  • Everything That Follows
  • The Chosen Ones (DI Robyn Carter, #5)
  • It's You
  • Seized (The Profiler #3)
  • Happy Ever After in Christmas (Christmas, Colorado #7)
  • Self-Sufficiency: A Complete Guide to Baking, Carpentry, Crafts, Organic Gardening, Preserving Your Harvest, Raising Animals, and More!
  • Mornings on Main
  • Slightly South of Simple (Peachtree Bluff #1)
  • Forever a Hero (The Carsons of Mustang Creek, #3)
  • Her Final Hour (Detective Gina Harte, #2)
  • Welcome to Moonlight Harbor (Moonlight Harbor, #1)
  • Beach Blues
See similar books…
Meg Mitchell Moore's fifth novel, The Islanders, will be published by William Morrow in June 2019 and is a July Indie Next Pick. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three teenaged and almost-teenaged daughters.
Find out more on Facebook.
“And yet what full lives had begun and ended there. in fact, the little house seemed to know that; it seemed in the pale light offered by the moon, to draw its very own rhythmic, settled breaths.” 0 likes
“This is what it meant to have children, this was coming for her one day, this was her future. You loved them and cared for them and they loved you back, conditionally, absolutely, so much love you thought you might drown in it, until the day they slammed the screen door and they got into someone else's truck and drove away” 0 likes
More quotes…