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The Ocean Between Us


4.11  ·  Rating details ·  6,206 ratings  ·  294 reviews
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, raising a family, the constant uprooting and the Navy's routine, Grace has lost her sense of self. And when a nearly forgotten secret resurfaces, her discontent comes into sharp focus. Someth ...more
Paperback, 489 pages
Published February 22nd 2005 by MIRA (first published 2004)
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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
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
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
*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
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
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book, navy
Well who would have thought? I picked this off the library shelves because I was waiting on a couple of audio books that had not arrived. Whenever this happens, I get home and check out Goodreads. I was disappointed that the reviews were mostly lowly rated and none of my friends had read it.

I don't know what the reading of this book was like but I loved, loved the audio book. I think the mention of "romance" may have put some off but this novel is more about Navy life, marriage sacrifices and m
Kate Vale
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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.
Michele Lumsden
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was story that hit home about a Naval family and the struggles. With a brother and cousin in the Navy, and husband having been Navy. IT really showed the stresses that each person can go through. It did not take long to read this. I really felt for each character (except Cory, who wasn't a main guy anyway).
Laurie Fernandez
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyed insight into Navy wife life.
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
It wasn't as good as some of hers, but I had trouble putting it down!
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
No don't do it to yourself! Just accept that life is tough for navy families, which is the only point to this book, and save yourself the cheesy and predictable awfulness, complete with stereotypical broad-shouldered, white-toothed, naval-hero style male characters with all the sensitivity of a fleet of snails. The story chronicles the difficulties of long-married homemaker Grace and her naval pilot husband Steve. Grace has a midlife crisis, goes on a diet and gets a new job, while he is wildly ...more
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
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
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
Look forward to reading more of this author
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
There were things I liked about this book. I liked that it's a couple of who've been married a long time, trying to figure out the changes in their relationship over time. I also liked the look into the Navy life, although I don't know how accurate it was. However, I did have some big problems with the story, which can basically be summed up with "completely unfulfilling resolution of conflicts".

(view spoiler)
Barry Martin Vass
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great story from Author Susan Wiggs. Being a Navy wife isn't exactly a walk in the park: between deployments and required duty, a Naval husband is only home half of the time. Which puts incredible pressure on the wife. And after twenty years of raising their three children while her husband, Captain Steve Bennett, is away at sea roughly half his life, Grace Bennett has reached the breaking point. She doesn't want to move like a vagabond through various ports of call around the world, she ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5
Sometimes, no matter how much, or how little, time you spend reading, you find a book that touches you in a way you didn't expect. This is one such book.
I found myself understanding Grace's discontentment even though I'm not a Navy wife. I understood Emma's silence and Lauren's uncertainty, maybe because it spoke robe as a mother and wife who has given up most of my adult life to being so and so's wife or so and so's mum - never did anyone think it important to know my NAME. I was merely there t
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rated, reviewed
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
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".
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What did you think of The Ocean Between Us? 3 22 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

Other books in the series

Us (2 books)
  • The Story of Us