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The Ocean Between Us (Us)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  5,729 Ratings  ·  269 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

Hardcover, Large Print, 607 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Thorndike Press (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
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
Apr 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Nov 27, 2009 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
Jan 12, 2011 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.
Mar 01, 2016 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.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-loetud
Tutvustuse leiab blogist
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
May 28, 2013 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
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't as good as some of hers, but I had trouble putting it down!
Mar 24, 2014 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
Aug 10, 2013 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.
Dec 10, 2008 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 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!
Feb 07, 2016 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.
Laura Edwards
Jun 02, 2016 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.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look forward to reading more of this author
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Navy wife has unusual strength to be able to withstand being separated from their husband when he's at sea for months at a time. Taking care of home and children and the separation from her husband can make or break a marriage. Such is the situation in Wiggs book The Ocean Between Us. Wiggs covers many of the possible scenarios that can play out in this situation. After 20 years of marriage, and information about a former marriage she knew nothing about, Grace Bennett doubts their marriage. He ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, rated
I read this a long time ago but I remember how much I enjoyed it. Grace Bennett is the hub of her family. She holds the fort down as her Navy husband is deployed. Her children have needs that accompany military children moving so much. As so many moms do, she feels like she doesn't know what she wants and who she is anymore. Moms give so much of themselves for their family. Maggie feels that her marriage is not what it should be. But her husband has an important position on the ship that he is d ...more
Rose Bedwell
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is too long for a book club. However, there is enough for a good book club discussion: life with teenagers, mid-life crisis (how to reinvent yourself) and understanding a bit about how it is for spouses of navy men/women! I enjoyed the book. It is one(of many) my aunt gave me. I love authors' "truths" that stop me in my tracks and make it go back and reread the comment over and over. Here is one from The Ocean Between Us: "Chances can slip away while you are looking for guarantees".
Sandy Teachey Lenox
This is standard romance novel stuff not to be read as high brow literature. I read it because I met the author, a funny, charismatic woman and I was fascinated to read how an author with minimal military connections (some friends) would capture the essence of many struggles, we military spouses face. She did a fair job. I was able to relate to many of the frustrations and challenges referenced. She even did a pretty good job with the acronyms and vernacular common in Navy life. I would recommen ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It was better than I expected in terms of insight into the marriage and looking at situations from different perspectives. there were some stereotypical characters too, but really, aren't there in every story? I found the teenage characters somewhat reactionary towards their Mom, Grace. these Navy wives and husbands are a stoic lot. I enjoyed the description of Washington state. And a military story without a lot of graphic combat. I will read more of Susan Wiggs. ~
June Jones
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would have given it 5stars, but for the slow middle part of the book, the trials of a us navel family.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really well written story. I loved the jumping around in the time line and the various POVs. A glimpse into the world of Navy families was very interesting.
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Great story!
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What did you think of The Ocean Between Us? 3 20 Jan 07, 2014 06:25AM  
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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
More about Susan Wiggs...

Other Books in the Series

Us (2 books)
  • The Story of Us