Good Harbor

Good Harbor

3.23 (5,964 ratings by Goodreads)
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From the bestselling author of THE RED TENT come a contemporary novel that explores the burden of secrets, the weight of grief and the healing power of female friendship When Kathleen meets Joyce, each woman has come to a turning point in her life. Kathleen, whose sister died of breast cancer fifteen years earlier, has just been diagnosed herself and finds her world abruptly thrown into terrifying turmoil. While Joyce, increasingly distant from her awkward, adolescent daughter, is taking stock of her marriage and family, and struggling to get to grips with a burgeoning career as a novelist. Neither realizes that their chance meeting will result in a life-altering friendship. A mutual appreciation of books initially brings the women together and they rapidly fall into friendship, taking long walks along Good Harbor beach and talking about their lives. Piece by piece, they begin to share their personal histories and acknowledge how much they can learn from each other. But long-hidden secrets are often difficult to reveal and only after some painful soul-searching do they each come to terms with the fact that sharing those startling secrets can help them confront their emotional scars. Good Harbor is a rich and moving novel about the tragedy of loss, the insidious nature of family secrets and, ultimately, the redemptive power of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 130 x 192 x 22mm | 222.26g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • Pan Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0330491660
  • 9780330491662
  • 586,209

Review Text

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina begins: 'All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' Romantic novelist Joyce Tabachnik is 42 when she finds herself pondering the wisdom of that sentiment. With husband Frank she has just bought a vacation house in New England. Notwithstanding the ghastly decor, the bizarre statue of the Virgin Mary in the garden and the fact that daughter Nina is threatening any second to turn into a revolting adolescent, Joyce is bursting with good intentions. Forget the bodice rippers, she is going to become a serious writer, she might even join a watercolour class. Or will she? Infected by inexplicable inertia, Joyce instead finds she can't even get off her butt to paint over the avocado kitchen. Then enter Kathleen, for whom things are a little more serious. At 59, she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, the disease that did for her sister. She feels guilty about that. She feels guilty about something else too. For, devoted as husband Buddy and sons Hal and Jack might be, Kathleen cannot forget Danny, her third child who was killed in infancy. Was she responsible for his death? Is the cancer her punishment? Kathleen meets Joyce at the local synagogue. They start walking together on the beach at Good Harbor, they start talking. By slow degrees their lives unravel. Somewhere along the line they are going to have to knit them together again. Taking every midlife crisis cliche in the book, Anita Diamant spiritually roots this, her second work of fiction, in her Jewish identity. Her characters, however, with the exception of an implausible Irish drugs runner, score high on sincerity and zero on schmaltz. Tender, testing, and almost uncannily familiar, Good Harbor is very good news for women, however bad they might have thought themselves to be. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Anita Diamant

Anita Diamant's first novel, THE RED TENT, was a Sunday Times bestseller for Pan and has been on bestseller lists worldwide - spending over 2 years on the New York Times list. Diamant lives in Massachusetts with her husband and more

Rating details

5,964 ratings
3.23 out of 5 stars
5 8% (495)
4 29% (1,703)
3 44% (2,643)
2 16% (935)
1 3% (188)
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