Good Harbor Book reviews

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Author(s): Anita DiamantDownload  

Description: 

Anita Diamant whose rich portrayal of the biblical world of women illuminated her acclaimed international bestseller The Red Tent, now crafts a moving novel of contemporary female friendship.Good Harbor is the long stretch of Cape Ann beach where two women friends walk and talk, sharing their personal histories and learning life’s lessons from each other. Kathleen Levine, a longtime resident of Gloucester, Massachusetts, is maternal and steady, a devoted children’s librarian, a convert to Judaism, and mother to two grown sons. When her serene life is thrown into turmoil by a diagnosis of breast cancer at fifty-nine, painful past secrets emerge and she desperately needs a friend. Forty-two-year-old Joyce Tabachnik is a sharp-witted freelance writer who is also at a fragile point in her life. She’s come to Gloucester to follow her literary aspirations, but realizes that her husband and young daughter are becoming increasingly distant. Together, Kathleen and Joyce forge a once-in-a-lifetime bond and help each other to confront scars left by old emotional wounds.

Some Reviews: 846 in Goodreads.com

Deborah

Deborah rated it     

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 place where they can each share their inner-most thoughts without fear of rejection.

I didn’t give the book five stars, even though the writing was very good. I thought there were parts of the story that could easily have been eliminated, and others, upon which I would have liked to have had Anita elaborate on, and go into with more depth.

It seems like an unlikely story from the author of The Red Tent, but it is nonetheless a good read!

Rebecca Wilkins

Rebecca Wilkins rated it     

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 beach to walk on close by. These ladies are both in the doldrums phase of their marriages when “desire becomes duty” or maybe even avoidance of duty. For Kathleen her bout of cancer opens her marriage back to desire and settles some long misunderstandings. When I read this book the first time my husband had just been diagnosed with cancer, and it is certainly a time when love, desire and recognition of what you lose if the diagnosis does not go well all come to the fore. The younger woman, Joyce, seemed to be anticipating empty nest as she dealt with the first stages of raising a teenager. Both of these women were going through the life dramas that affect average people and it did hold my interest again.

Rev. Linda

Rev. Linda rated it      

Found this gem at a library Friends sale…I thoroughly enjoyed “The Red Tent”, so finding another novel by Diamant was wonderful – based on the copyright dates, this novel was written (or perhaps published) before The Red Tent…a good portrayal of the importance of trust, in a marriage and in a friendship – From the publisher: Good Harbor is the long stretch of Cape Ann beach where two women friends walk and talk, sharing their personal histories and learning life’s lessons from each other. Kathleen Levine, a longtime resident of Gloucester, Massachusetts, is maternal and steady, a devoted children’s librarian, a convert to Judaism, and mother to two grown sons. When her serene life is thrown into turmoil by a diagnosis of breast cancer at fifty-nine, painful past secrets emerge and she desperately needs a friend. Forty-two-year-old Joyce Tabachnik is a sharp-witted freelance writer who is also at a fragile point in her life. She’s come to Gloucester to follow her literary aspirations, but realizes that her husband and young daughter are becoming increasingly distant. Together, Kathleen and Joyce forge a once-in-a-lifetime bond and help each other to confront scars left by old emotional wounds.

Judy

Judy rated it      

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, religion, and eventually family and personal secrets.

One theme of this novel is that it is unusual and challenging to make new friends as one grows older. It’s unclear why this is so, perhaps the demands of family and career get in the way.

Another theme is loss, both as a reality and as a fear. Kathleen lives with the former and Joyce with the latter.

There is suspense as well as some surprises toward the end of the story. This novel is a quick, absorbing, and very touching read.

Christine Ramsey

Christine Ramsey rated it     

This is a comfort novel, which is a good and necessary thing in times of upheaval. One of the main characters is an older woman who is facing health and age challenges. She meets a much younger woman who moves into her town, and they become good friends and help each other in interesting ways that are supportive to each of them while they walk on a local beach. This book is one of the more hopeful novels I have read in recent times. It was a book I picked out just as we were being locked down for the coronavirus pandemic, and my local library was CLOSING for an unknown period of time. This was good reading for this period of time. Recommend.

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