Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review: Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin & Giveaway

Summary:   Laura Martinez is wedged in the middle place, grappling with her busy life as a nurse, wife, and devoted mom to Henry and Claire, when her estranged mother, Helen, suffers a devastating stroke. In a desperate attempt to lure her mother into choosing life, Laura goes to Sea Escape, the pristine beach home that Helen took refuge in when her carefully crafted life unraveled years ago, after the death of her beloved husband, Joseph. There, Laura hunts for legendary love letters her father wrote to her mother when he served as a reporter for the Associated Press during wartime Vietnam. Believing the beauty and sway of her father’s words have the power to heal, Laura reads the letters bedside to her mother–a woman who once spoke the language of fabric; of Peony Sky in Jade and Paradise Garden Sage–but who can’t or won’t speak to her now. As Laura delves deeper into her tangled family history, each letter revealing patchwork details of her parents’ marriage, she finds a common thread. A secret, mother and daughter unknowingly share.

My Thoughts:

Set in New England, on the coast of Massachusetts, Sea Escape shares the story of a mother and daughter and the challenges that they face. Laura, is in her mid-forties and is happily married with a loving husband and two young children and a career as a nurse working with newborn babies. She still yearns for the approval and closeness of her distant mother Helen. Laura feels that she "lost" her mother when her father died when she was a young girl. Helen then seemed to slip into a world focused on the past and reading love letters from her deceased husband.

When Helen has a stroke, Laura does all that she can to help her and in the process takes a peek into her mother's past to help understand her distant mother. She so desperately wants to connect to her mother and Laura decides to read some of the love letters her father wrote to her mother during their courtship and marriage. These letters prove to be insightful although they also provide a painful look into the past. Laura uncovers secrets that her mother has hidden and the pieces of the past start falling into place.

The story is revealed as it goes back and forth between the present with Laura's point of view and the past from Helen's perspective. I loved how the use of the love letters between Helen and her husband were used to share the past through Helen's point of view. I found this very effective, but I am also a fan of letters in novels as for me, it gives a personal richness to a story. I also enjoyed the parts where Helen shares her life as a young girl and as she grows into a woman during the 1950's through the 1970's and highlights of the time during the Vietnam War.

Sea Escape beautifully unravels the struggles between mother-daughter relationships as well as the bonds that run so deeply. It's a novel that I could connect to as I enjoy reading about mother-daughter relationships and their complexities. Ms. Griffin has created a richly layered story filled with strong characters and the beauty of the New England area.  Sea Escape is the perfect summertime read for those who enjoy reading about mother-daughter relationships and women's fiction with the beautiful backdrop of New England.

I found it very interesting that Ms. Griffin found inspiration for this novel through her own mother's illness and letters her own father wrote to her mother.

SEA ESCAPE is an Indie Next List Notable and Entertainment Weekly Top Ten Book of Summer.  For more information, c
heck out Lynne Griffin's website, here.

You can follow Lynne Griffin on:
Twitter @Lynne_Griffin 
and on Facebook Lynne Griffin

I read Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin as part of her book tour with TLC Book Tours. You can check out other tour stops and reviews, here.

Disclosure: Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publiser Simon & Schuster for sending me a review copy of this book. I am an Amazon and Indiebond associate.


Sea Escape: A NovelLife Without Summer: A Novel

I have a terrific giveaway, the publisher, Simon & Schuster has generously allowed tour hosts to give away One Copy of Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin AND  One copy of Lynne Griffin's first novel Life Without Summer to one lucky winner!

All you have to do is leave a comment, make sure to include your email address so that I can contact you if you are a winner. Otherwise, I won't be able to include your name in the drawing. Open to US & Canada only. Books will ship directly to the winners from the publisher. Enter by July 30, 2010.


  1. These books both look and sound lovely. I've been reading reviews of them both recently and I would love a shot at winning them.

    Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  2. I'd love to win this giveaway.
    Love & Hugs,

  3. What an amazing giveaway, I would love to win and read these books.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  4. Wow, these two books seem like perfect summer...or anytime!...reads. As an avid reader of writers who post on FaceBook, I am always anxious to delve into new and heartwarming stories concerning women and their challenging situations. I am also a writer of women's fiction, so I am particularly interested in vivid characterizations in novels. Thanks for holding this contest...I would love to win and read these books!

  5. I have read so much about Sea sounds wonderful!!! Thank you for an awesome giveaway...I am a new follower and love your site.

  6. Sea Escape is beautiful! I'd love to read Lynne's first book.

  7. I like reading books about these types of relationships.

    reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

  8. would enjoy reading this wonderful novel...thanks for the chance :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  9. Hi,would love to read these book,thanks R.L.

  10. Both of the books sound great. Just found your blog today, so I am a new e-mail subscriber.


  11. Perfect summer reads! Please count me in.


  12. I love reading books about mother/daughter relationships and I am a softy for books that include letters as part of the story. Letter writing is becoming a lost art! I would love to win and read both books!


  13. Those books sound wonderful! Please include me in the giveaway! Thanks for hosting this!

  14. These books sound great. Please include me.

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

  15. Sea Escape is set in a beautiful spot and it sounds like an intensely emotional story about an issue most woman are familiar with. This book sounds like it does a wonderful job exploring mother/daughter relationships.

    Thank you for this great giveaway!

    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

  16. i was happy to enter to win "Sea Escape" but, 2 books, wow. I, too love to read about Mother/Daughter relationships. Please, enter me in this wonderful giveaway.

    gcpeach17 at aol dot com

  17. I really enjoyed this novel. I'm anxious to read her first one now just as soon as I have some time.

  18. Thanks for the giveaway. This sounds like good summer reading.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  19. Great giveaway! Please sign me up. stacybooks at yahoo

  20. Oh my goodness, this sounds like a very good one. Thanks for the chance to win!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  21. What a beautiful review Bonnie!!!!

  22. Have heard a lot of great things about both books, so I would definitely like to win. Thanks!


    jhsmail at comcast dot net

  23. I love the connection to the author's mother's letters - I wish I had copies of what my grandfather wrote to my grandmother during WWII, but she burned them for fear her children would read them. :(

    Thanks for being a part of the tour - I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!

  24. they sound great thanks for the opportunity!

  25. Sounds like a lovely story! Great review!

  26. I love to read about the mother/daughter relationship, so I'd love to be entered in your great giveaway. milou2ster(at)

  27. Both of these books sound good. Please enter me! Thank you!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  28. What a great giveaway!


  29. Two wonderful books that I would love to read! Please count me in for your giveaway!

    Thank you,


  30. I'd like to enter, please.

    ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

  31. Sounds like a wonderful and touching book. I would love to read both of these books. Please enter me. Thanks!


  32. These sound like great stories. Would love the chance to read them. Count me in, please!

    Thanks! :0)
    librarygrinch at gmail dot com

  33. I'd love to read both of these books. Thanks for the chance!
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com


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