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Good Harbor

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  6,360 Ratings  ·  746 Reviews
Given the breadth of Anita Diamant's bestselling biblical epic, The Red Tent, it seems natural that her second novel has a much closer focus. Set in the small Massachusetts fishing town of Gloucester, Good Harbor is a slow-paced study of female friendship. Here Diamant can luxuriate in the development of just two principal characters: 59-year-old Kathleen Levine, a childre ...more
Published 2003 by Allen & Unwin (first published 2001)
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Ginnie Leiner
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If a married woman were to list the significant personal relationships in her life, it would be assumed that the most significant, most deeply felt, most comforting, most interactive would be with her spouse. Love those men (or women) as we may, oftentimes they would not fill the role as adequately as a trusted female friend. I had (have) such a friend. For 18 years I spoke every day with her about the significant and the mundane details of my life. The experience was never finished until I told ...more
Marcia Lonteen-Martin
Good Harbor is at best a mediocre book. I was greatly disappointed, since I expected more from the author of one of my favorite novels, The Red Tent.
Two women meet at this harbor on Cape Ann. Katherine is a children's librarian, married and the mother of grown sons, and recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Joyce is younger, the mother of a ten year old daughter, married, and a writer. She buys a bungalow near the harbor and proceeds to paint and fix it up while her husband remains behind an
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This disappointingly superficial novel recounts the meeting of two women who become friends over a summer. There were ample opportunities to make the plot more interesting, but a ton of the writing focused on how much everyone worried about not sharing painful memories or sordid details.

A bit more follow through on all the plans would have greatly added to this book. BTW, Diamant's other novel 'The Red Tent" is fantastic, so if this is your first exposure to her work do give that tome a second c
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very quick read from an author I have loved, on themes I was mostly not versed in. Though the women's circumstances were thankfully unfamiliar to me, I would recommend this book to anyone who has struggled to make friends during a transition or a tough personal time, and who knows (or wants to know) the blessing of walking and talking with good company. The harbor of the book's title is not only Joyce and Kathleen's favorite stretch of beach, but a metaphor for the haven they become f ...more
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I tend to agree with another reviewer who felt used, like the author had a deadline to meet for her editor and didn't give the ending the time necessary to make it decent. I also agree with another reviewer that I found Joyce to be dull--I guess maybe she was more petulant than dull, but still not appealing. I would definitely not have been able to maintain a friendship with her. I also thought that Joyce's affair was ridiculously pathetic, and while it was a way to get Kathleen to reveal her ow ...more
I was disappointed when I first began reading Good Harbor. I had read The Red Tent and remembered Diamant as a better writer. It could have been the contrast with the previous book I read - Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill which was so well written. There is nothing new in Good Harbor. It is the story of two women who become friends: an older woman, Kathleen, going through breast cancer treatment and a younger woman, Joyce, who is dealing with empty nest syndrome. The story marches on slowly ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
Narrated by Jennifer Wiltsie

This was a quick gentle flowing story. It had a few themes, of friendship, of fsmily, secrets and of healing. The narration was great.
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never knew that Anita had written anything besides the Red Tent. I was at a conference and I sat in on a forum with her and Maggie Anton. This book was a lovely surprise. It is not a Shakespearean masterpiece but a wonderful feel good book about friendship and life. There were a few surprises along the way that reminded me that this was a work of fiction but otherwise I totally could see myself sitting right next to these ladies and watching a friendship bloom! I highly recommend it and it eve ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my second Diamant read this year, and I know why I am attracted to her books. Her writing is elegant and clear. Her characters are women I would like to know and probably would befriend. The women in Good Harbor remind me of people I know...and love. In fact, there are elements of their friendship that feel very near. Such a good read!
This is another book I found at the little library store in that place!
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd Anita Diamant book that I have read and have enjoyed this book as well even though Red Tent is a stronger book. Good Harbor is completely different than the Red Tent, but Diamant proves herself a very good writer no matter what time era a story takes place. Good Harbor is a story of the importance of friendship and I think is perfect for the 40-60 year old woman and although I am not in that category, I still appreciate many aspects of this book. Kathleen is dealing with illness ...more
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story involved breast cancer – DCIS – which I have had, and it was somewhat interesting to read about that. However, I didn’t get it at all when the woman’s first and only reaction to the mastectomy option was horror…wouldn’t even consider it. That seemed unrealistic to me, that she didn’t at least acknowledge the worth of mastectomy.

Um, it was good, I guess. I mean, I stayed interested and all, but it just seemed a little too simple, contrived; made use of too many tired stereotypes. The f
I love Diamant's writing style. This book enveloped me in comfort, cozied up in a big chair with my dog. Friendships, like the one enjoyed by Joyce and Kathleen, are a gift. I find that the older I am, the more difficult it is to make new friends, especially intimate friends. This is a quick read that left me feeling peaceful and happy.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Good Harbor, Anita Diamant
عنوان: گود هاربر - بندر خوب؛ آنیتا دایامنت؛ مترجم: مینا وکیلی نژاد؛ اهواز، ترآوا، 1390؛ در 272 ص؛ شابک: 9786005620795؛
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Readable but mind-numbingly bland story which comes from the same mind as the astonishingly good 'The Red Tent'. Another case of one-hit-wonderism, I can't help but feel sorry for authors such as Diamant who clearly peak with their first novel and spend the rest of their career in a futile attempt to try and reach those dizzying heights once more. Okay admittedly that's a bit of an assumption given that I've not read any of her other books, but after reading this one I'm not sure I ever will.

Mary Beth
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice light read of two women who meet and share theirs lives and trails. About friendship can fill in the gaps. Author of the Red Tent. Book is Good Harbor by Anita Diamant
Gayle Cappelluti
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I was getting into this book, I felt like deja vu - something was very familiar about it. Once I got half-way through, I realized it felt familiar because I had, in fact, already read it! But because I have a very annoying quirk whereby I cannot discard a book unless I complete it once I begin, I had to see it through. When I read the last line, I remembered that I read it after I finished The Red Tent because I was so impressed with the author's story telling abilities that I just had to re ...more
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anita Diamant's book, Good Harbor, was an excellent, quick, vacation read. As it tells about the relationship between two women and how it grows into an important friendship for one-another, we hear much of their important life histories. It's the kind of book that makes you wish you had a friend as good as Joyce or Kathleen. The title, Good Harbor, refers not only to the name of the beach upon which they walk, but the relationship itself is its own "good harbor" for the two women. It is a safe ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rated this book 4 stars not because it was incredibly written or researched, etc. but for the shear joy it gave me in reading it. Yes it was a very light read; and yes it would probably rate as chic-lit book, or a so called beach-read. But don't we all need one of those occasionally, especially in January?! Well I did and I'm not sorry for it. At least it wasn't a romance novel. Horrors. Shudders.
It describes basic family life for two woman, one in her mid-fifties who discovers she has breast
Megan Baxter
This is one of those books that leaves me feeling ambiguous. There are things I liked about it. There are things I didn't like about it. It certainly wasn't one of those books that seized me until I just had to tell everyone else to read it. But it also wasn't one of those books that left me angry and ranty. (There's been a lot of ranting recently, hasn't there?)

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this
My Book Club Selection for June of 09. A good read from Anita Diamant, exploring the mother/daughter relationship (I pray my daughter will not turn into an alien when she hits puberty!) and friendships. An "easy read" that made me laugh and cry. The Book Club discussion was very interesting, as a few women found it too "light". One said "it was like a bag of potato chips. I didn't need to eat it, but I did" -- which got us all laughing.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely book about the special bond between friends. It takes place on the coast of Massachusetts and chronicles the everyday struggles of life, along with how cancer affects one's mindset, and how to overcome all the grey days of life. It's a short book (less than 300 pp) and a very enjoyable one. This novel would make a great summer / beach read. It's full of unexpected turns and you cannot predict where it will exactly go, until the end. Highly recommend.
I love this writer, from what I can remember. I need to go back and read the Red Tent to ensure that I do actually like her. I enjoyed this book because the main character lives in New England and is a Children's librarian. How could I not love her?
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a decent book, and I'm glad I read it. Not necessarily a life-changing book, but a good read.
A rare jaunt into fiction for me. This is mostly about 2 women who became friends and walked on the beach every day. They both have issues. I would give it 3 stars.
Kira Nerys
Anita Diamant always makes me feel like I understand the Experience of Being a Woman. That impacted me most when I read The Red Tent at the beginning of high school, grappling with this concept of being a Jewish Woman. Despite having been a focus of my bat mitzvah, I can't yet provide a satisfactory definition, but I've learned how to talk about the Experience of a Woman part. I've learned the language women usually use--or perhaps the language we try to use, when we discuss intensely personal e ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anita Diamant sees and writes friendship between women in a way that is more real than anything else I have found in fiction.

It is freeing and undemanding, a lifeline. It is unpredictable and fleeting, a mystery.

In this case, Joyce and Kathleen don’t even realize how much they need each other when they find each other, which makes the gift even sweeter.

Over their first cappuccinos, they talk about books and work and children. “They sat quietly for a moment, each savoring memories of little shoe
Rebecca Wilkins
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
After finishing The Boston Girl and being disappointed, I saw Good Harbor on my shelf and looked up to see that I read it in 2004. Had a day to spend inside to avoid smoky air and read the entire book in one day. It is much better written than The Boston Girl. Obviously Diamant either had breast cancer or was associated closely with someone who did because she covers it quite well. This book is about the friendship between 2 women and makes me appreciate my friends even more. I wish we had a bea ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! From the beginning, I connected with the settings of Belmont and Cape Ann. Kathleen, one main character, is a longtime resident of Gloucester who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Joyce is about 20 years younger, and she and her husband have recently bought a second home there. The two women, "bagel and lox Jews," meet at temple and gradually become close friends through their walks at Good Harbor. They slowly bond as they walk and talk about mothering, marriage, careers, ...more
A nice, easy read about two women whose friendship gets them through some rocky life changes. One if facing cancer, the other is facing a faltering marriage and her daughter's awkward (read that as "normal, but highly vexing") entry into adolescence. No cliffhangers, no epic battles, no real "I didn't see that coming" moments. And that's OK. Sometimes you just want to be lightly entertained.

Diamant's mixed blessing is that her first fiction book was a best seller and so well known. Every writer
Maureen Bauer
This was an interesting read. It was not one of my favorite books but I found it to be compelling, it told a good story. The two principal characters are women who meet because they are going through mid-life changes in their lives. Kathleen lives at a shore community called Good Harbor, in Massachusetts. She meets a new arrival Joyce, and the two of them become the best of friends through their trials and changes going on in their lives. The backdrop of a brisk tourist season in a seaside commu ...more
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Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books -- the newest novel being THE BOSTON GIRL.

She recently published an updated edition of her VERY FIRST book, which was The New Jewish Wedding: THE JEWISH WEDDING NOW

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“I like the way he danced. And then I like the way we danced together.” 18 likes
“Mind your business" had been the motto of her childhood. But now that seemed like a failing in a friend.” 3 likes
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